We all know that getting enough sleep is essential to our well-being. But it turns out that the position in which we sleep also matters. Studies show that sleeping on your left side affects your health and quality of sleep. The theory comes from Ayurveda, a holistic approach to health and medicine that originated in India.
So why is sleeping on the left side recommended? Because it is good for the digestion, the back and even the heart because of the position of the different organs in the body. Here are 10 good reasons why sleeping on your left side is good for your health:
For digestion purposes, sleeping on the left side is preferable to the right side. Why is this? It’s all about gravity. If you lie on your left side, it’s easier to move from the large intestine down to the colon. As a result, you are more likely to go to the toilet when you wake up. Since our stomach is on the left side of the body, sleeping on the left side also allows the stomach and pancreas to hang down more naturally.
In particular, this promotes the development of pancreatic enzymes and the digestive process
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that lying on your left side helps reduce acid reflux symptoms. Again, this is because our stomach is on the left side of our body. Conversely, lying on the right side can have opposite effects and therefore increase heartburn. Know that you can feel the benefits of this position by doing a simple test. If you have heartburn after a meal, lie on your left side for 10 minutes. The result will be immediate!
Doctors always recommend
that pregnant women sleep on their left side to improve circulation to the heart. Even if you are not pregnant (or a woman), sleeping on your left side can actually help your heart. Why is this? Because gravity once again facilitates lymphatic drainage and aortic circulation
Helps pregnant women sleep better
Sleeping on your left side does not only improve blood circulation for pregnant women. It also relieves the back, prevents the uterus from pressing on the liver and increases blood flow to the uterus, kidneys and fetus. For this reason, doctors recommend that pregnant women sleep as much as possible on their left side.
Strengthens the lymphatic system
According to Ayurvedic medicine, sleeping on the left side allows the body to better filter lymphatic fluid and waste products through the lymph nodes. Scientific studies have also found that sleeping on the left side helps the brain to better eliminate chemical waste products that accumulate during the day. On the contrary, sleeping on the right side decreases the efficiency of the lymphatic system.
Relieves back pain
People with chronic back pain may try to sleep on their left side. Why do they try to sleep on their left side? Because it relieves pressure on the spine. As a result, it reduces pain and automatically improves your chances of a good night’s sleep.
For a healthy heart
Isn’t it amazing? The position in which we sleep can influence the functioning of our heart. Since 80% of our heart is located on the left side of our chest, we promote blood flow from the cardiac system by sleeping on that exact side. Indeed, the lymph being better drained towards the heart, the latter will be freed from a heavy workload.
For a healthy spleen
Located on the left side of the body, the spleen is almost an integral part of the lymphatic system, helping the lymph to filter the blood and is also located on the left side of the body. Once again, drainage is facilitated between this system and the spleen when we sleep on our left shoulder due to the phenomenon of gravity.
For some people with heart disease, sleep apnea, glaucoma or carpal tunnel syndrome, sleeping on the left side is not necessarily recommended. If you’re not sure which sleeping position is best for you, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional.
How do I change my position?
If you are ready to make the change from right to left side, you will see that it is not so easy to get into this new habit. It may take some time to get used to sleeping on the left side. Fortunately, there are simple tips to make the transition smooth. For example, you can try putting a pillow behind your back to avoid switching sides while you sleep. You can also try changing sides of the bed. This way you will feel less of a change of direction. Also remember to choose a comfortable and soft mattress because sleeping on your side puts pressure on your hips and shoulders. Also make sure you have a mattress that keeps your spine straight. The combination of a comfortable bed and a good sleeping position will increase the chances of sleeping well and feeling good in the morning.