The Best Sleeping Position for Glymphatic Flow in the Brain

What can we do to prevent the decline in glymphatic brain filtration as we age?

If you missed the previous video, see How Much Sleep Is Needed for Glymphatic Flow (Brain Cleaning)? ( ).

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-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Dave McKinnon

  • @andrewpawley8883 says:

    I love this channel!

  • @manumaster1990 says:


  • @LindaR423 says:

    “On your flank to not draw a blank.” Love it. 😄

  • @RXP91 says:

    As someone who has struggled to sleep in the past I’m glad i picked up endurance sports as a hobby.

  • @lorah3005 says:


  • @bshef3424 says:

    ….righty tighty! (yes!)

  • @atfarmerbrown says:

    Sleeping on your back increases the likelihood of OSA (obstruction) and could easily be a confounder.

  • @Praisethesunson says:

    I sleep like a bat and keep waking up with tremendous headaches. So this video was super useful for me.

  • @WiseMindNutrition says:

    Super interesting! Many people tend to snore while sleeping on their backs, perhaps there is a link between oxygenation and sleep quality as well?
    Love this research coming out – hopefully we will find more of the missing pieces to find real solutions

  • @inu3112 says:

    The hilarity of people being able to sleep in one position at night blows my mind. I catch myself doing acrobatics some nights

    • @ShhheilaASMR says:

      Me too

    • @trampoline5020 says:

      I bought a smart watch, thinking id find out why i exercise more asleep than awake. Result… 38percent deep sleep on a 6.45hrs night average. Would be great to have a wide study of us acrobats…I m pretty sure that they underestimate our numbers.

  • @secretariatgirl4249 says:

    For a long time, I’ve been reading it’s the left side…heart side! So, I start that way…but after my mid-sleep bathroom break, I seem to wake up on my right side!

  • @tens3482 says:

    What about an elevated head position, with something like a wedge pillow? Couldn’t gravity help the glymphatic flow drainage process?

  • @nozroc7312 says:

    Thank you Dr. Greger!!!

  • @billwest2968 says:

    I sleep on my back. Why can’t I just turn my head to the side that wouldn’t work just as well.

  • @Deva-no3dn says:

    Sleeping on your back with your head and shoulders raised up on a triangular shaped pillow is an excellent sleep position and helps to fight against glaucoma which occurs from sleeping on your side due to pressure on your eyes. Snoring occurs less on your back, allows sinuses to drain, helps align your spine and keeps one from getting headaches. If everything is draining well by sleeping on your back on an incline then it’ll help your brain drain as well. Not buying this article.

  • @0000asdfasdf0000 says:

    yes thank you for this video! finally someone has scientifically parsed through the data and explained it. bless your soul Dr. Gregor.

  • @christinemarie2264 says:

    I used to sleep on my left side (left side faces the door) until I would wake up with terrible pain in my arm. I moved to the couch but I would frequently get a stiff neck. After a couple years on the couch and some yoga, I trained myself to sleep on my back. I can try my side again, but I fear the pain in my arm.

  • @MechLeander says:

    But what if you dont use a pillow? I’ve noticed then my overnight HRV increases if I sleep on my back.

  • @worldreformmedia6593 says:

    so, in the other book, greger recommends trendellenburg for fat burning, will that sleeping position give you extra dementia?

  • @weirdunclebob says:

    I used to snore a lot and suffered from sleep apnoea. About 15 years ago, I read somewhere on the web that sleeping on your side could help against this so I started sleeping on my side. I haven’t woken myself up by snoring or sleep apnoea since. Easy fix!

    I used to be groggy first thing after waking and get tired in the afternoon. I read a study in New Scientist a few decades ago that recommended between 6 and 7 hours sleep a night so I started having only about 6 to 6 ½ hours sleep. Since then I’ve been waking up feeling great and rarely feel tired through the day. If I do feel sleepy in the arvo, I have a siesta (if I’m able to!) which sorts that out. 🙂

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