I’m a sleep expert – you can avoid major problems when you’re older if you start doing this right now

RESEARCHERS have a new understanding of why a night of good-quality sleep could be the secret to preventing Alzheimer’s and other degenerative neurological conditions.

A 2020 study finally revealed a much-theorized explanation behind sleep’s impact on brain resilience and Alzheimer’s.

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A full night’s sleep can prevent Alzheimer’s by ‘washing’ the brain

MRI technology showed that during sleep, electrical pulses in the brain are followed by a “pulse” of cerebrospinal fluid, neuroscientists in Massachusetts learned.

That fluid, which moves through the brain and spinal cord, “washes” the brain every 20 seconds, helping keep the tissue free of degenerative diseases.

A hallmark of the disease is the buildup of amyloid-beta proteins in the brain, which causes plaques.

The plaques then result in the loss of connections between nerve cells in the brain – and, ultimately, the death of those cells and a loss of brain tissue.

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Those with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of key chemicals in the brain that help transmit messages.

A lack of these chemicals means the brain is unable to process signals that control memory, speech and motor function.

Along with logging a full night of sleep, doing it in the right position can also help protect against neurological problems.

Researchers at Stony Brook University found sleeping on your side is the most efficient at removing brain waste.

“It is interesting that the lateral sleep position is already the most popular in human and most animals – even in the wild,” Dr Helene Benveniste said.

“It appears that we have adapted the lateral sleep position to most efficiently clear our brain of the metabolic waste products that built up while we are awake.”

“It is Alzheimer’s acknowledged that these sleep disturbances may accelerate memory loss in’s disease,” Dr. Benveniste added.

“Our finding brings new insight into this topic by showing it is also important what position you sleep in.”

Alzheimer’s is one form of the degenerative condition called dementia, a general term used to describe the deterioration of a person’s mental ability.

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It is an umbrella term, as there are many different types of the condition.

It causes problems with thinking, reasoning and memory – as these are the areas in the brain that become damaged by the disease.

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