Whenever we practice yoga or lifting weights, we pay close attention to ourselves to avoid any muscle stretches or injury. The same precaution should go to sleep too. The way we sleep matters a lot to our health. It affects every organ of our body, from the brain to our digestive system. We all know that chronic sleep deprivation makes us feel lethargic. But if you are consuming a full night’s sleep and yet waking up being inactive, you might need to reassess your sleeping position.
We all sleep in various positions. Some might sleep on sides; others might sleep on their stomach while the rest sleep straight and still all night. Everything is fine as long as you don’t get up being sluggish. But your sleep should be better than good. It should be rather great and relaxing.
During sleep, your mind and body still work. It digests dinner and aids in absorption, oxygenates your cells, your brain processes the day’s information, circulates blood around the body, etc. Therefore, your sleep position matters a lot because it directly impacts the effectiveness of these activities in your body.
Sleeping on the left side is the optimum position of sleep. Let’s have a look at the compelling benefits of sleeping on the left side.
1. Improves Digestion
We are often advised by our doctors and parents to avoid eating just before you go to bed. They claim that the body’s metabolism will slow down; however, it’s not the case. Digestion begins right after the food enters the mouth; hence even if you had food just before going to bed, do not worry because the stomach will continue to digest your food no matter how you sleep.
You’ll be surprised to know that there is a direct link between sleeping on the left side position with improved Digestion. Since our pancreas and stomach are located on the left side, sleeping on the left lets your body do little work. The pull of gravity causes the food to pass away easily through the stomach. Similarly, the removal of waste also becomes easier. All the undigested food and toxins move naturally from the small intestine to the large intestine, finally entering the colon from where it is excreted in the morning—therefore, sleeping on the left assists in overnight Digestion.
2. Improves your heart health
The heart is a vital organ of our body that functions 24/7, thereby pumping blood to every body part. After all, it’s the essential organ that keeps us alive.
Keeping your heart healthy is the most crucial thing to do if you want to live a happy and healthy life. You have to eat right, exercise well, manage your weight and cholesterol because a healthy heart leads to a healthy lifestyle.
It might sound weird to you, but sleeping on the left helps improve your heart health by taking some pressure off the heart. This happens because gravity facilitates lymph drainage and improves aortic circulation to all the parts of the body.
3. Relieves Back Pain
Did you ever sleep in an ill-suited posture and woken up with a twitch? Or do you experience back pain every morning? If so, then bad sleeping posture could be the reason. Sleeping in inappropriate positions puts pressure on your spine, causing the natural curve to flatten. People who suffer from chronic back pain may get some relief by switching to left-side sleeping. It’s because sleeping on the left side alleviates the pressure on the spine while also reducing inflammation of the stiffed muscles.
4. Assist in the Lymphatic Drainage
The lymphatic system is comprised of a network of vessels that carry a clear liquid called lymph. The system plays a prominent role in the movement of fluids throughout our bodies. It carries white blood cells and rids our body of toxins and other harmful substances.
Why sleeping on the left has an association with lymphatic drainage? It’s because the body’s lymphatic system is located on the left, and this position allows gravity to filter the waste naturally.
5. Less Heartburn
Heartburn and other discomforts while sleeping are normally caused when stomach acid enters the esophagus. This is more likely to happen if you are sleeping on your right side because this causes higher acid levels entering the esophagus.
Surprisingly, scientists have found that sleeping on the left could reduce this discomfort. It’s because when you sleep on the left, the junction of the esophagus and stomach is held higher than the stomach acid level.
6. Critical for Pregnant Women
Gynecologists often recommend an expected lady to sleep on their left side. It’s because sleeping on the left keeps the uterus far from the liver, situated on the right side of your body. Moreover, it also helps improve the circulation of the blood in the woman’s body and ensure the best supply of blood to the fetus.
A growing baby dilates the uterus, thereby putting pressure on the spine and other organs. Sleeping on the left will protect the liver against excessive pressure.
7. Prevents Snoring
If you or your partner have the bad habit of snoring all night long, sleeping on the left might help you with this. It’s because this position keeps the tongue and throat in a neutral direction while keeping the airways clear to assist you in breathing properly. Snoring occurs because, during sleep, the mouth, throat, and tongue relax and can block the airways; hence vibration is caused by the air that gets sucked through the clogged area.
It might take a few days before you get yourself adjusted to sleeping on the left side. You might be thinking of how easily I recommended you alter your sleep position, knowing that it’s difficult to adopt such a change so easily. But if you managed to change your position, believe me, you’ll surely be able to reap the phenomenal benefits of sleeping on the left.