A new study claims sleeping on your side is the most effective way of cleansing the brain of toxins that could lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Research carried out by Stony Brook University claims the position that you sleep in could affect the brain’s ability to flush out toxins, a build-up of which could potentially leady to developing neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s.

Scientists looked at the glymphatic system, which is the waste clearance system for the brain. They found that it was only when you’re asleep that the glymphatic system is able to flush out the toxins that accumulate in the brain during the day, and it’s why sleep is so important for brain health.

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The researchers put rats under an anaesthetic and then put them into different sleeping positions to monitor (through an MRI scan) the rate at which their glymphatic system removed the toxins. These toxins included amyloid beta and tau proteins, and it’s the build-up of these proteins which have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Rats that were sleeping on their side had the lowest number of toxins, compared to those sleeping on their back or front.

However, it’s worth remembering that your sleeping position is only one factor in a variety of factors or causes which can contribute to your chances of developing dementia, so if you find yourself waking up on your front or back after a night’s sleep, don’t worry too much!

Find out what else can lead to a higher risk of dementia by clicking here.