What does sleep do for you? It re-energizes the body’s cells, aids in memory and new learning, and clears waste from the brain.
In our March Yoga Nidra session, we talked about the brain’s cleaning process, sleep positions and brain waves. Here’s a brief overview that provides links to relevant articles.
Research: Sleep and Brain Cleaning
During sleep, the brain cleans itself. By that, I mean it clears out harmful toxins that can build up during your waking hours. When our brain is “clean,” we are less likely to suffer from Brain Fog.
How do we know this? In studying the brains of mice, researchers noticed that when the mice slept, the brain cells actually shrank. This shrinking allowed for easier cleaning of the brain cells by washing, or cleaning, with their own cerebrospinal fluid. This cleaning process carries away waste products so you have a fresher brain in the morning.
Best Position to Sleep In
Did you know the best position to sleep in for the brain cleaning process to happen is on your side?
The article, “Brain Science Suggests This is the Best Position to Sleep in,” says that sleep experts, chiropractors and physical therapists recommend the following:
- Lie on your side, but not in the fetal position; however, some bending of the knees is fine.
- Use an ergonomic pillow under your head that is thick enough for your head to be supported.
- Place a small pillow between your legs to help your spine stay straight.
March Yoga Nidra Class Survey Results
For those that take my Yoga Nidra class, I always ask questions afterward. This helps me to know what is working or not working. This is a brief summary of what participants said.
- Half of those that responded have been to a Yoga Nidra class anywhere from 2 to 5 times. For 1/3 of the class, it was the first time.
- By far, the immediate benefits seen included feelings of calm/inner peace and a physical relaxation. One commented that she felt rested and rejuvenated, another was very sleepy & groggy, and another was distracted from her problems.
- On the days following the Nidra (when asked about residual benefits), 67% noted improved sleep and 41% noted a relief from anxiety, feelings of inner satisfaction and stress reduction.
- One person noted that she had diarrhea the next day. This could be indicative of several things. For instance, diarrhea can be triggered by stress in the gut or by eating something that didn’t agree with you.
I would be happy to discuss any health concerns one-on-one with you.
Are you ready to try a Yoga Nidra class? I hold classes once a month at the Sastun Center of Integrative Health. Check out the class schedule.