By guest blogger Corinne, The Happy Body Coach.
Neuroscientists have recently discovered that there’s an optimal sleeping position to keep our brains healthy…
But first I’ll let you know about the many reasons why choosing to sleep in this optimal position is something you want to continue to strive for.
Did you know that during sleep:
🧠 Our immune systems are at their most active.
😴 Our healing systems are at their most powerful (if we’re lacking sleep, we can’t/won’t heal).
🧠 Our glymphatic system (the lymphatic/sewage system for our brain) is draining metabolic waste, inflammatory compounds, and any other unwanted ‘fuzz’ from our brains. Our glymphatic system only wakes when we sleep; it’s dormant during the day.
😴 Our cells regenerate.
🧠 Our cognitive elements restore and refresh.
😴 Our memories solidify.
🧠 We process emotions.
😴 Our appetite control centre is recalibrated (notice how we tend to be more hungry when sleep deprived?).
🧠 Growth hormone is released (compulsory for healing).
😴 Melatonin is released.
The third point down that list is possibly the most pertinent to this post.
Because it’s our glymphatics that are affected not just by how much we sleep, but HOW we sleep.
The dilation of our glymphatic canals increases by up to 60% when we sleep. This allows the brain's waste to be expelled faster and more efficiently. We can think of it like the cleaning maids are coming in - if we don’t sleep for long, or if we aren’t sleeping in the most optimal position, the maids can’t stay for long, and are pretty unproductive at what they do.
(As a side note, this is also why it can be important to get regular chiropractic checks. Because our glymphatic system utilises the cerebrospinal fluid within our spinal cavities to transport the waste out, if your spinal column isn’t correctly aligned, this can result in obstruction.)
But now, to the point you’ve been waiting for … What IS the best sleep position?
Recent neuroscience has reported that sleeping on our right hand side elicited the best, quickest and most efficient cleaning of our brain during sleep.
And why do we want our brain cleaned?
Does a fish tank with a sluggish filter keep its fish and seaweed contents vibrant and healthy…? Not for long!
For our brain to function clearly, for our moods and emotions to experience stability, for our memory and focus to be on par, and to reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Dementia or Parkinson’s, it is very wise to ensure we’re doing what we can to keep a well-drained brain.
Do you know what position you sleep in? I (Dionne) tend to turn from side to side so maybe my brain is getting cleaned for half the night!
I don't think my brain has had enough cleaning over the years though - all-nighters as a student; a mixture of early, late and night shifts while working; those looooong sleepless nights of being a mum during the baby and toddler years, mean I've learned to get by with not enough restorative sleep. Even as a child I didn't go to bed early. Well I did. But I'd read for hours under the covers!
Now I understand the importance of sleep, I'm doing my best to make sure I get more of it. Topical magnesium has been an important part of helping me, and many others, to benefit from a regular sleep pattern, with less disturbed, and longer periods of sleep. You can find out more about it on the Magnesium Oil product page, or in these blog posts - https://www.saltandoil.nz/post/have-you-tried-any-of-these-tips-for-a-good-night-s-sleep
And if you'd like to try some for yourself, please use code TRYMAG at checkout to get 20% off either Magnesium Oil spray. We currently deliver within New Zealand only.
If you like hearing about relax-y feel-good things, why not sign up to
It updates you on any new blogs and offers, and you'll automatically be
in the monthly draw to win free bath soaks for you and a friend.