Getting a good night’s sleep can become more difficult as we get older. Whether we just need less sleep or physical discomfort makes it harder for us to doze off or stay asleep, the time that we do spend in restful sleep can be pure bliss. After all, nothing feels better than waking up refreshed and invigorated. And now there’s one more benefit to chalk up to good sleeping – in particular, your sleep position – helping your brain eliminate buildup of harmful chemicals and the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
In a recently published study, researchers placed mice in various sleep positions and then scanned them with MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging). The images made it possible for the researchers to review the performance of the brains’ glymphatic pathways, which remove harmful waste. It was clear that the mice that were sleeping on their sides (called the lateral position) had the most efficient removal of metabolic waste buildup.
Maiken Nedergaard, a researcher at the University of Rochester, in New York, notes, “The study therefore adds further support to the concept that sleep subserves a distinct biological function of sleep and that is to ‘clean up’ the mess that accumulates while we are awake.” This is especially of interest for those with dementia associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological conditions, which are often linked to sleep disturbances.
Learn more about how sleep clears the brain here.
Find the Professional Dementia Care Kalamazoo Seniors Need
But, if sleep doesn’t come easily to you or your loved one, it can affect your life and how well you cope at home. You may find that you need assistance, and Home Sweet Home In-Home Care in Paw Paw and St. Joseph, Michigan can help. Our trained caregiving staff can help manage medications, assist with personal care, provide respite care, and much more. We provide home care services in Van Buren, Berrien, Cass or Kalamazoo counties. Contact us to see what services we can provide, giving you one less thing to keep you up at night. Call us at (269) 849-9252 or email us through our web form.