Back and stomach sleepers, listen up. A new study has revealed that sleeping on your side reduces your chances of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. The reason: The position makes it easier for the brain to clear out waste.
The research, published in The Journal of Neuroscience and conducted at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY, looked at how well rodents’ brains get rid of harmful products while they rested on their backs, stomachs and sides. Researchers discovered that rodents lying on their sides were 25% better at eliminating amyloid beta than their back- and stomach-sleeping counterparts. Since amyloid beta causes plaque buildup seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, the study authors believe sleeping on your side could ward off Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders.
Side sleeping could be so beneficial because it moves toxin-clearing cerebrospinal fluid through every passageway in the brain. But in the other kinds of positions, “the fluid exits prematurely and does not enter the brain,” lead study author Helene Benveniste, MD, PhD, professor at Stony Brook University, told Yahoo Health.
So if you weren’t already sleeping on your side to prevent snoring, you’ve got more motivation than ever to reposition yourself.