A bad sleeping position could trigger diseases like ALS, says study – how do you sleep?

Boris Johnson 'sleepwalking into the next disaster' says Walden

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The reason for the impact of sleeping position on brain health is to do with a process known as glymphatic clearance, a waste disposal system that only activates when the body is asleep.

Studies in mice found those with poor glymphatic clearance had an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Furthermore, it was found how the mice slept impacted their glymphatic clearance.

This process was at its most efficient when the mice slept on their side and least effective when they were sleeping on their back or on their front.

If this translates into human sleeping positions, it could mean side sleepers have a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

However, there is a caveat to this theory.

The scientists can’t identify why this is the case in mice.

So far, it is believed to be to do with the impact of gravity, compression, and stretching of tissue.

As well as sleeping position, lifestyle factors can also impact glymphatic clearance.

Examples include omega-3, a vitamin long known to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

As well as omega-3, moderate alcohol consumption has been found to improve waste clearance in mice.

However, high consumption was found to worsen waste clearance, meaning the public shouldn’t use this as an excuse to binge drink.

As well as omega-3 and moderate alcohol consumption, exercise was also found to help.

Good sources of omega-3 include:
• Herring
• Pilchards
• Salmon
• Sardines
• Sprats
• Trout
• Mackerel
• Cod
• Haddock
• Plaice
• Pollock
• Coley
• Dab
• Flounder
• Red Mullet.

Omega-3 can also be found in supplements.

The NHS recommends at least one portion of oily fish a week and says: “You can safely eat as many portions of white fish per week as you like.”

With regard to oily fish such as salmon they caution: “Oily fish usually have higher levels of pollutants than other types of seafood. For this reason, there are maximum recommendations for the number of portions some groups should be eating each week.”

Meanwhile, 150 minutes per week of exercise is suggested as a minimum.

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