It’s 9:30 P.M. and over the last couple of hours, you’ve spent your time walking the dog, eating dinner, tucking in the kids and watching your favorite TV show. You head to your bed to catch a good night’s sleep in anticipation for work the following day. Depending on how you feel, you might lay on your belly, your side or your back – but it’s not an overarching concern, as long as it’s a comfortable position.
But what’s the healthiest way to sleep? According to Yahoo Health, research conducted by Stony Brook University found that a side-sleeping position improves waste clearance from the brain, which could prevent Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegenerative diseases.
The brain’s cleansing system, the glymphatic system, is most active during sleep. In regards to amyloid beta and tau proteins, which contribute to neurological diseases, it was found that rodents who slept on their sides cleared amyloid beta about 25 percent better than those who slept on their backs or bellies. Additionally, this position also encouraged the flow of cerebrospinal fluid throughout the brain, which helps in its cleansing.
In order to get the glymphatic system started, an adequate amount of sleep is needed. Therefore it’s imperative that we hit the seven-eight hour mark every night. So if you still prefer to sleep on your belly or back, focus on your hours of sleep!
Many Americans treat physical well-being and mental well-bring completely separately, when in fact, the brain and the body work simultaneously to keep the other stable.
Keeping your body healthy is vital to making sure your brain stays smart. As people age, they often play brain teasers such as Sudoku to keep their brain active, figuring if they don’t use it, they’ll lose it. While this theory is certainly correct, a healthy body is another key component to having a healthy mind.
According to an article from HealthDay News, keeping your heart and circulatory system in check is a key factor in protecting your mental abilities.
With an estimated 47 million people worldwide currently living with dementia, it’s now more important than ever to make healthy lifestyle changes, and thus promote mental well-being. Luckily, the Alzheimer’s Association has provided us with some key tips to make this happen:
- Multiple studies have shown that exercise promotes brain health.
- Get enough sleep. Health experts agree that problems with memory and cognition typically worsen after a restless night.
- Play it safe. Protect your head from injury. Even a mild concussion can contribute to decline in brain activity as we age.
- Eat a healthy diet. Momma was right! Eating your fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cognitive instabilities.
However you decide to promote your brain’s health, be sure to keep challenging your brain and always stay curious!