Chiropractors have know for years that sleeping on your back or side is best for your health.
Now research in the Journal of Neuroscience has shown that your sleeping position doesn't just impact how comfortable your rest is, it can also have impacts on your health. And this goes beyond just heartburn and snoring - it could help you avoid neurological diseases, like Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. According to the research, sleeping on your side, as opposed to sleeping on your back or stomach, may be a better position for your brain to clear out its waste while you sleep.
The researchers used an MRI to monitor the brain's lymphatic pathway, the system that takes out the trash from your brain. They found that this system works most efficiently when individuals sleep on their side. Brain waste can include beta-amyloid proteins, the proteins that make up the plaque associated with Alzheimer's disease, so the researchers believe sleep posture could be a factor in developing such neurological diseases. If you want to change your sleeping position, make sure you're set up with a good side-sleeping pillow. The main purpose of a pillow is to align the cervical spine (the part in your neck) so there is no flexion (bend) or tension (muscle tightness) in the neck during sleep.
Too plump or too thin, and your pillow can't do its job to keep your body aligned while you sleep. Your head shouldn't be tilted up or down when you're sleeping. While lying on your pillow ask your sleep partner or a friend to look at you lying down on your pillow to check if your spine's in alignment.What pillow is best for you? Ask us what pillow we use and recommend.
The developing world is seeing rapid urbanization, with more than half of the world's population now living in cities and this figure expected to reach 70% by 2050.
But with this progression comes an urban lifestyle - often meaning less physical activity and the consumption of a "Western" diet.
It has been shown with people around the world, that as incomes go up, they choose more calories and meat in their diet. The result? Potentially disastrous consequences on health and an increased risk of disease.
What is a Western diet?
The biggest features of a Western diet are overconsumption of over-refined sugars, highly refined and saturated fats, animal protein and a reduced intake of plant-based fibers. This translates to a diet high in fat, red meat, salt and sugars, and low in fiber. What impact can this diet have on your health? The effects of eating a Western diet includes chronic inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
How can your diet cause chronic inflammation? When you consume foods containing fructose and palmitic acid (typically found in candy bars), you can kick-start an immune reaction that confuses the body. Palmitic acid can be confused by the body with bacteria like E.Coli. The body then starts an immune attack against the supposed bacteria, which results in a chronic, low level of inflammation.
Distracting the immune system in this way means immune cells won't be as ready to attack when facing a real infection.
However, the effect is reversible.
Enjoying more fresh fruits and vegetables, while reducing refined sugars, saturated fats and animal protein will result in a reversal of many health challenges.