However, there are lifestyle changes you can make that may lower your overall risk of developing dementia.
One of these could be changing your sleeping position.
Yes, you read that right! Something as simple as your sleeping position could be a factor in reducing your risk of developing dementia.
Is there a Sleeping Position that Can Help with Dementia?
According to research at Stony Brook University, sleeping on your side in a lateral position has proven to be more effective in removing brain waste.
While you sleep, your glymphatic pathway, a neurological system that clears brain waste and other harmful chemicals, is the most efficient.
By sleeping in a lateral position, you further improve its efficiency, especially when compared to sleeping on the back or on your stomach.
Based on this finding, researchers have deduced that your sleeping position may, in fact, play a part in determining your chances of developing neurological diseases in the future.
Researchers now also suggest that body posture and sleeping position be considered when carrying out diagnostic procedures for diseases like dementia.
Does Sleeping Position Really Matter?
While the most common argument has changed to how much hours of sleep one should get on a daily basis, there is little emphasis on factors that affect your sleep quality.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to get eight hours of sleep a day, it is important that you take into account other factors like sleeping position which could be affecting the quality of your sleep.
Did you know that choosing the right sleeping position could also prevent back and shoulder pain, digestive troubles and even premature aging?
While every sleep position has its own pros and cons, some cons are worse than the others and should encourage you to consider changing your sleeping position.
There are side sleepers, stomach sleepers, back sleepers and even people who sleep in a combination of all three positions.
If you are a combination sleeper, you should go for a pillow that suits all sleeping positions and offers maximum comfort.
Four out of ten people sleep in the fetal position, making it the most popular sleeping style.
Sleeping on your back is definitely considered the most ideal sleeping position since it reduces acid reflux as well as back and neck pain.
However, one downside to sleeping on your back is that it increases snoring and may put you at a higher risk of developing neurological diseases in the long run.
Sleeping on the stomach may sound like the best and most comfortable position, but it may be the least desirable position in which to sleep.
Since your spine is unable to maintain its natural position, pressure on your joints, backs and shoulders is increased. Increased back pain, more wrinkles and sore joints is common when you sleep on your back.
Sleep position is another lifestyle factor that may contribute to the future development of dementia. Changing your sleep position now, even if dementia comes – and there are many more factors involved than just this one -, may give you better overall health in the long run.