S y n o p s i s This is probably one of the most important interviews you will hear in a long time dealing with health benefits. You have heard me say that oftentimes the simplest strategies pay great dividends. Getting sensible sun exposure and grounding to the earth are two examples.
But what if I told you that sleeping on an incline is another? Have you ever wondered who told us that laying flat is the correct way to sleep? Who decided this was correct and why are we accepting this unqualified flat bed wisdom?
I've never though about it before. Have you? I sleep flat because my parents slept and their parents before them I guess. While few have heard of it, and sleeping on a horizontal surface is a well-established norm, raising the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches so that you're sleeping on a 5-degree incline may have a number of benefits, including:
Improving blood circulation Boosting metabolism Improving glymphatic drainage from the brain Improving immune system function Improving respiratory function Easing symptoms associated with Alzheimer's, diabetes, glaucoma, migraines, multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea, acid reflux, edema, varicose veins and more.
In reference to the image above: Inclined Bed of Queen Hetepheres I (2575-2528 B.C) : the queen would have slept on her side with her cheek resting on the headrest. A foot-rest, decorated with a gold and faience design of stylized plant motifs, both served as decoration and prevented her from slipping down (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).
The constant force of gravity has played a central part in the evolution of life on earth and is a major component of our physical environment. Man was designed or has evolved to function in the upright position in the earth gravitational environment. Microgravity induces a vast array of changes in our organism:
Bone Loss : bone mineral density decreases; Muscle Atrophy : skeletal muscles lose both mass and strength; Fluids Shift : bodily fluids shift from the lower to upper extremities causing health problems such as increased intracranial pressure (linked to migraine headaches and strokes), cognitive issues, and sensory problems such as impaired smell, taste, and vision (mimic age-related macular degeneration). Immunological effects : inhibited cell-mediated immunity, reactivation of latent viruses, and altered or decreased production/activation of almost all types of immune cells and proteins.