Why you should sleep on your left side?
Note: Though healthy in general, left-side sleeping may not be suitable in some cases, like for those who have had heart troubles in the past.
People the world over love sleep dearly. There is no denying that it is one of life’s sweetest pleasures.
It’s also well known that sleep is important for one’s overall health and well-being. You cannot expect to function normally and perform to the best of your potential without a good night’s sleep.
Yes, you may be able to get by for a while, but you will likely be mentally disoriented and low on energy, until you are able to take it no more.
Lack of sleep also causes a horde of diseases and possibly fatal conditions. It is one of the biggest factors associated with heart disease.
Along with maintaining a proper sleep pattern, you can give your health a boost by sleeping in a certain position.
Research has shown that sleeping on the left side, as your grandmother may have often told you, is not merely an old wives’ tale but has actual health benefits.
Here are some reasons why you should sleep on your left side.
1. It bolsters the lymphatic system.
Sleeping on your left side allows your body to better filter lymph fluid and waste via the lymph nodes as the left side of our body is the dominant lymphatic side. Western research has also found that sleeping on the left side can help the body process waste materials from the brain. In contrast, sleeping on your right side can decrease the lymphatic system’s efficiency.
2. For the health of our spleen
The spleen, as you will remember, is also on the left side of the body. This organ is also a basic part of the lymphatic system, being necessary to filter blood and execute an adequate lymphatic function. If we sleep on the left side of our body, we will help get our fluids directed to the spleen in a more simple way, favoring the natural sense of gravity in our body. Most of our lymphatic system performs its task on this side.
So now you know, for your health, it is always more advisable to sleep on the left side.
3. For the health of your heart
Surprised? Surely. This study tells us that over 80% of the heart is on the left side of the body and through the simple act of sleeping on the left side, we will benefit its health in a simple and natural way — mostly by means of the lymphatic system which drains easier in this position. Another aspect to consider is that the aorta leaves our heart making an arc to the left side in order to reach the abdomen. If we sleep on this side, on the left side, our heart will pump more easily and optimally, pumping the blood more readily.
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. Better Digestion
The stomach and the pancreas make the digestive enzymes in your body. When you assume the left-side sleeping position, the stomach and pancreas hang comfortably and have adequate space to carry out digestion. In this case also, gravity allows the food to move through the stomach in a gradual manner and the pancreatic enzymes to release gradually, as needed.
However, when you sleep on the right side, these organs hang in a slightly awkward and uncomfortable position that often makes the food and enzymes empty into the stomach all at once, causing discomfort and disrupted digestion.
6. Heartburn Reduction
Sleeping on the left side may also help reduce acid reflux in your body and may help clear out the existing acid more quickly than if you lie on your right side.
Sleeping in the wrong position can cause the stomach acid to enter the esophagus, thus causing heartburn and other discomfort. This, of course, happens because your stomach is situated on the left side of your body.
In fact, some studies found that the right-side sleeping position causes higher acid levels and an increased incidence of acid reflux as compared to sleeping on the left side.
In most cases, you may notice the beneficial effects of the left-side sleeping position when you suffer frequent heartburn and acid reflux. If you experience heartburn after eating, you can even try lying down on your left side for a good 10 minutes for relief.
7. Are you someone who takes naps?
If you are someone who always takes a nap or someone who feels obligated to do so after eating a lot, then remember to sleep on the left side. This will favor digestion. You will get up more alert and less tired, and without a bellyache. Try it and see how good you feel after a little nap on the left side.
8. Stops Snoring
We all know what it is like to stay up all night listening to someone snoring loudly. But the cure might just be simpler than previously thought.
According to Medical Daily, “Sleeping on your side is beneficial for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea, prone to general snoring.”
9. 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.
10. Relieves Varicose Veins
Sleeping on your left side is also beneficial for those suffering from varicose veins, especially in the lower limbs.
It helps take pressure off a large vein called the inferior vena cava which is located on the right side of the body. This vein carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.
While all of these factors point to compelling reasons to start sleeping on your left side, it’s important to note that some people—including those with heart disease, sleep apnea, glaucoma, and carpal tunnel syndrome—may not benefit from side sleeping. If you’re unsure about what sleep positions may be best for you, it’s always a good idea to consult a medical professional.
Compiled by Manizheh Soleimani Fard
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