Sleep is one of the essential things for our well-being. All our body organs need enough quality sleep and rest in order to function properly. However, did you know that the position we sleep in can be of vital importance as the sleep itself?
One theory from Indian medicine, Ayurveda, claims that health and sleep can be improved only by changing our sleeping habits: switching to left-side sleeping.
This kind of sleeping can be good for our heart, can resolve our back pain, and improve our digestion – all this because of the position of different organs in our body when we sleep on the left side.
Here is a list of 6 benefits of sleeping on the left side:
- It strengthens the lymphatic system
Ayurvedic medicine assures that sleeping on your left side helps your body filtrate lymph fluid and waste through the lymph nodes because the left side of our body is connected to the lymphic systems.
Western medicine research even said that sleeping on the left side can also help our body in the processing waste from our brain. Sleeping on the right side, however, can decrease the efficiency of the lymphatic system.
- It improves digestion
Sleeping on the left side can improve digestion because of gravity. Namely, when you are sleeping on your left side, your body position helps food waste to move easier. This means that when you wake up you will most likely have a bowel movement.
Moreover, your stomach and pancreas are placed naturally in this position; which can help developing pancreatic enzymes, and can lead to a more active digestive processes.
- It is good for the heart
Doctors advise pregnant women to sleep on the left side in order to better their heart circulation. However, even if you are not a pregnant woman, you can still sleep on this side to get the benefits.
Sleeping on the left side can actually take pressure off your heart due to gravity; which makes both lymph drainage and aortic circulation easier.
However, there is still an active debate of whether it is better to sleep on the left or on the right side, for keeping your heart healthy.
- It is perfect for pregnant women
Doctors recommend that pregnant women should sleep on their left side because it improves circulation, relieves back pressure, prevents the uterus from pressing the liver, and can increase the blood flow to the kidneys, the uterus, and the fetus.
- It reduces heartburn
The Journal of Clinical Castroenterology published a study that said lying on the left side can lower acid reflux symptoms. This is again because of the position of our stomach – which is left.
By this logic, lying on your right side can make these symptoms worse. So, if you have trouble with heartburn after a meal – try lying for 10 minutes on your left side.
- It relieves back pain
People with chronic back pain should definitely try this way of sleeping because it relieves the pressure on the spine.
Moreover, as you begin getting more and more comfortable; the quality of your sleep will improve drastically.
Although these factors may be more than enough to get you to sleep on your left side; some may not benefit for them, such as people with glaucoma, heart diseases, sleep apnea etc. Best is to consult with a doctor first.
How to make the switch
An existing habit is very difficult to break. If you don’t normally sleep on your left side this can be tricky, but you can try some strategies to help you make the change easily.
For instance, try putting a pillow next to your back so it will stop you from rolling off of the left side. Also, you can try to sleep on the opposite side of the bed in order to trick your mind and body that you haven’t switched position.
Finally, it is very important to choose a mattress that agrees with your way of sleeping. When sleeping on the side, the pressure on your shoulders and hips is higher, so you need to buy a soft mattress that will relieve the pressure in those areas.
The best combination for a good night sleep is comfy bed along with a sleeping position which agrees with you.