Why You Should Sleep On Your Left Side

When you’re trying to sleep, your sleeping position really doesn’t matter. People assume many common positions as they try to fall asleep, like on their side, stomach, back, or curled up in the fetal position.

Everyone sleeps differently and has different needs. Whether you toss and turn all night or lay relatively still, if you wake up without soreness, then it’s all okay.

You are not as asleep as you may think. Though your body is at rest, it is still doing important things. One of the most important things is taking in oxygen and circulating blood. Your body also continues to process memories, digest food, and recharge its batteries.  As it turns out, the position you take during sleep makes a huge difference. Double-checking this position will ensure you are getting the most from your sleep. And there’s the best position.

why you should sleep on your left side

In this article, we’ll tell you all about the benefits of sleeping on your left side. 

We’ve got a question for you. Why do you sleep on your left side? If you’re not convinced, we’ve got 7 reasons why this position is the gold standard. Ready to count ‘em? 

7. Improves Digestion

Ginger Improves Digestion

Did your parents tell you it is not okay to eat before bed because the food will just sit in your belly and make you fat? Although this tidbit is often repeated, it is not true – digestion continues regardless of whether you are awake or asleep.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but there’s a very good reason for that late-night snack. Our bodies are still hard at work during our sleep, and they need some fuel to give us the best rest possible. While sleeping, it’s important to sleep on your left side. That way, your body can do the work of digestion with as little effort as possible.
That’s because the stomach is on the left-hand side of the abdomen, and when we lie on our left side, it is easier for food to pass into the large intestine without piling up too much on top of the pancreas. This allows digestive enzymes to flow more freely.

6. Gives Your Heart a Break

Changes You Need To Make In Your Lifestyle To Boost Your Heart Health

Your heart’s gotta keep beatin’ and beatin’, day in and day out, just to keep you alive. One might think this is a simple or easy task, but many factors can affect its ability to do so. The most common is heart disease, the top killer of adults worldwide. To make your heart’s job easier, try sleeping on your left side.

It sounds like such a small thing, but sleep positioning can make a big difference in the function of your heart. The heart has to push blood to all of the body, and it does this by arching to the left side. When you lay down in a way that causes your aorta to point downwards, the heart doesn’t have as much work to do.

It’s true: sleep positioning makes a big difference for heart health.

5. Relieves Back Pain

Muscle Pain and Soreness Are Reduced

It’s that time of the day to wake up. But, you feel a little tweak when you move because you slept in an odd position. You may have even woken up with a stiff neck or sore back. If this is happening to you more often than not, try sleeping on your left side. This position will help alleviate any pain and stiffness in your back or neck.

Here’s a left-handed tip for you. Side sleeping can relieve stress and muscles on your back. When you sleep on the left, your circulation is improved, which reduces inflammation in your muscles. When you sleep on the left side, less pressure is put on your spine, which means your muscles can take a break and relax.

4. Supports the Lymphatic System

4. Supports the Lymphatic System

Yikes! Blockages in the lymphatic system can have serious effects on our health. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph, and these vessels are key in the transportation of fluid throughout the body and also in our immune function. Lymph can carry away toxins and other waste products, so if there is a blockage anywhere in the system, it can lead to poor health.

One theory of how sleeping on the left side helps the body is that it allows lymph fluid to drain more easily to the thoracic duct. This theory is supported by the fact that gravity sometimes assists bodily functions, such as when it allows the lymphatic fluid to drain to the thoracic duct.

3. Less Heartburn

Regurgitation & Heartburn

Ugh, heartburn can be awful. It’s a common digestive problem that can result from eating before bed or lying down for too long. Scientists recently found that it’s also related to what side of the bed you sleep on, so you might want to try sleeping on your left side.

There is a high possibility that the reason why acid in our stomachs burns when we lie on our right side is because the lower esophageal sphincter is too relaxed and can let acidic fluid through. It’s possible that the reason it does not happen when we are on our left side is that the junction of the stomach and esophagus is higher than the level of acidic fluid.

2. Critical for Pregnant Women

2. Critical for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a miracle and a difficult journey. When you are pregnant, your body is supplying blood for two growing bodies. This means that you will need more blood to keep up with the job. On top of this, the expanding uterus and an infant puts pressure on the spine and other organs.

Lying on the left side is best for the mom and baby’s circulation because it keeps blood flowing freely. The position also protects the liver from being squeezed too much, and it takes the pressure off of the mom’s spine, which can be important in later stages of pregnancy. Lying on the left side provides the best blood flow for both bodies.

1. Prevents Snoring

snoring prevent

If you or your spouse snore, try sleeping on the left side of the bed. This position forces the tongue to stay in the mouth and will keep the throat and airways open. Left-sided sleeping won’t be a cure-all for snoring, but it does help reduce the severity of the problem. If you snore or your partner does, sleep on the left side of the bed.

When you sleep, the muscles in your mouth, throat, and tongue relax. The majority of people who snore do so because those relaxed muscles are partially blocking their airway. This commonly results in a vibration caused by the air that is pulled through the mouth.

Bottom Line

Uh-oh. You’re not used to sleeping on your left side! It can take a little bit of time to get used to it. Try using a pillow to prevent rolling over, or move to the other side of the bed if you share it with your partner. This will force your brain to decide which side is “right,” and you’ll be more likely to stick with the new habit of sleeping on your left side.

However, you accomplish it, sleeping on your left side is better than sleeping on your right side. It has many benefits and may just be the key to the kind of sleep you’ve been missing.