The Amazing Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left Side Every Night
We have often heard that getting a good night’s sleep is important for our health. But we’ve never thought that they way we were sleeping might be having a significant effect on our health, too!
Amazingly, just as there are sleep positions that can be causing us pain, there is also one sleep position that experts say has a great many health benefits.
According to health expert Dr. John Douillard, “Emphasizing the left side for rest and sleep offers some time-tested wisdom for very real health and longevity benefits.”
I really had no idea that sleeping on my left side could have quite so many positive effects. And while I certainly may whirl during the night, I will be trying to fall asleep on my left starting tonight!
Here are the amazing benefits on sleeping on your left side, backed by science!
We’ve never thought that they way we were sleeping might be having a significant effect on our health, too!
“Emphasizing the left side for rest and sleep offers some time-tested wisdom for very real health and longevity benefits.”
1. IT BOLSTERS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM.
According to Ayurvedic tradition, sleeping on your left side bolsters the lymphatic system, allowing your body to better filter lymph fluid and waste via the lymph nodes. In this respect, your sleeping position makes a difference, because the left side of the body is the dominant lymphatic side. Furthermore, new research has found that sleeping on the left side can allow the body to clear waste chemicals from the brain more efficiently. In contrast, sleeping on your right side decreases the lymphatic system’s efficiency.
2. IT MAY IMPROVE DIGESTION.
The idea that sleeping on your left side may improve digestion simply stems from a matter of gravity. The theory is that lying on the left side allows food waste to move easily from the large intestine into the colon. Therefore, this means that you are more likely to have a bowel movement upon waking. This sleeping position also allows the stomach and pancreas to hang naturally, as both organs are predominantly located on the left side. It may also better channel the gastric juices and easily promote the secretion of pancreatic enzymes. It therefore enables digestion to work little by little instead of all at once, which is what tends to happen when we sleep on the right side.
3. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HEART.
Doctors have long recommended that pregnant women sleep on their left side in order to improve circulation to the heart. Even if you’re not pregnant (or a woman), sleeping on the left side may help to take some pressure off the heart, as gravity can facilitate both lymph drainage toward and aortic circulation away from the heart. That said, it should be noted that there’s some debate over whether sleeping on the left or right side is best for heart health.
4. IT’S IDEAL FOR PREGNANT WOMEN.
Sleeping on the left side doesn’t only improve pregnant women’s circulation. It can also help to relieve pressure on the back, keep the uterus from squeezing the liver, and increase blood flow to the uterus, kidneys, and fetus. For this reason, doctors tend to recommend that pregnant women spend as much of their sleep time as possible on their left sides.
5. IT MAY REDUCE HEARTBURN.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, lying on the left side can help reduce acid reflux symptoms. On the contrary, lying on the right side may aggravate the symptoms. So, if you’re struggling with heart burn, lie down on your left side for 10 minutes to alleviate the symptoms.
6. IT MAY RELIEVE BACK PAIN.
People who suffer from chronic back pain may benefit from switching to left-side sleeping. That’s because sleeping on your side can relieve pressure on the spine. Feeling more comfortable, in turn, will improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
Who does not benefit from this sleeping position?
For the most part, there are a number of beneficial reasons for sleeping on your left side. However some, particularly those with heart disease, sleep apnea, glaucoma and carpal tunnel syndrome, may not benefit from sleeping on one side.
If you’re unsure which sleeping position is best for you, consult with a medical professional.
Making the switch
If this is a sleeping position you are not used to, it might take some time to get into the new habit of sleeping on your left side. Here are a couple of tips to make the transition a little smoother:
- Place a body pillow behind your back so that it is harder for you to roll off of your left side while sleeping.
- Sleep on the opposite side of the bed than you normally do. That way, your sleep orientation won’t feel so different.
- Sleeping on your side can put pressure on your hips and shoulders, so opt for a softer mattress to relieve pressure in those areas.
- Without a doubt, the combination of a comfy bed and a health-promoting sleeping position will increase your chances of sleeping well.
9 Best Sleep Positions For Each Of These Health Problems
Sleeping is vital for every human being, and every person sleeps around 7-9 hours every night, or, on average, 25 years in his lifetime.
Yet, what is also crucial is to always sleep in a proper position in order to enjoy the benefits of sleep.
Sleeping positions have an impact on numerous aspects of health, like blood pressure, sinus infections, and various other health conditions. Therefore, it is important to learn how to rest in the right sleeping position, and not just to focus on the hours spent sleeping.
The following 9 sleeping positions can help you soothe some health issues, like:
1. High Blood Pressure
Before you try this or anything else at home note that you have to consult your doctor about the condition of your blood pressure.
The Ehime University School of Medicine has been researching how sleeping positions can affect blood pressure. Their report has come to the conclusion that if you sleep down on your face you will lower your blood pressure significantly.
2. Neck Pain
According to PainPhysicians an additional neck support will help you prevent and ease the pain in your neck. This simple method will really make a considerable difference. All you have to do is get a small towel, roll it up and put it under your neck when you go to bed. You can also put it beneath the pillowcase.
3. PMS Pain
If you are one of those women that suffer from extremely painful PMS-related symptoms, a particular sleeping position can soothe the pain. The sleeping position for this problem is just placing a pillow under the knees. This way you can prevent the arching of your spine and thus ease the pain.
Just like the problems with sinuses, the sleeping position can either relieve your headache or make it worse. According to the Hub’s Health Expert some of the daily headaches people experience often usually result from twisting the neck during sleeping. In order to prevent this, when you go to sleep surround your head with pillows. This will prevent the neck from twisting.
5. Sinus Issues
The sleeping position plays an essential role regarding sinus infections. The position you sleep in can either prevent or cause a sinus infection. The Harvard Medical School published an article that recommends sleeping with your head in an elevated position in order to stop the mucus from gathering in your sinus cavity.
6. Digestion issues
For better digestion, it is recommended to sleep on the left side due to the fact that our stomach is on the left side. Therefore, when you sleep on this side, gravity can act and improve the digestive process.
Heartburn can be extremely unpleasant, but WebMD claims that if you sleep on the left side, you can successfully soothe it.
8. Back Pain
If you want to alleviate back pain you should choose the best position for sleeping and that is by lying on your back and placing a pillow under the knees and a rolled-up towel under the curve of your back.
9. Shoulder Pain
Women’s Health Magazine says that in the case of shoulder pain, it is best to sleep on the side which is not painful, with the legs bent a bit, or you can grasp one pillow to your chest, and another one between your knees.
These sleeping positions can significantly improve your health and help you solve your health issues.
Sources and References: healthyfoodhouse.com, http://womandailytips.com, organicsolutionsportal.com