After a long day at work, most of us slump into bed and greet sleep in whichever way it comes. While some find comfort on the stomach and stay there all night, others can never find comfort and wake up at the opposite end of the bed. Today, we’re going to let you in on a little secret sleeping on the left side is always best.
Don’t believe us? Here are seven reasons why it’s true!
1. Eases Back Pain
If you’ve ever woken with back or neck ache because of the way you slept the night before, you aren’t alone. For some, this has become a common occurrence and they simply deal with it. Why suffer when you can sleep on the left and ease some of the stress on your spine?
When there’s pressure on the back, it has to work hard to keep everything in position (even while sleeping!). In fact, sleeping on your left side can also boost circulation which, in turn, reduces inflammation around strained muscles.
2. Ends Snoring
As your partner will know, snoring can be frustrating, and it can actually put unnecessary strain on a relationship. We aren’t promising a magical cure here but sleeping on your left can leave the airways clear and the tongue and throat in a neutral position. Especially for those who sleep on their back, the tongue, mouth, and throat normally all relax and block the airway…hence the snoring.
3. Boost for Digestive System
‘Don’t eat before bed because the food will sit in the same place all night’ – this is something most of us heard as children. If you feel hungry late at night (perhaps you’re known to raid the fridge at midnight!), this is because the body is still active while we sleep; digestion doesn’t just stop until we wake again.
In relation to the abdomen, the stomach is slightly to the left. By lying on this side, the large intestine is open, and food can pass through normally (it also prevents the stomach from sitting on the pancreas).
4. Reduces Heartburn
Although it doesn’t cause weight gain, eating before bed can cause acid reflux and heartburn since the acid can travel up to the esophagus as we lie prone. By laying on the left side, the esophagus is elevated compared to the stomach acid and you shouldn’t experience discomfort. Sleep on the right and your night will get worse!
5. Helps Pregnant Women
As you’re well aware, your baby growing will place stress on organs and the spine. To ease this pressure and boost circulation, sleeping on the left can really help. Since you’re providing blood flow for two lives currently, this is important; the liver will also be relieved of pressure.
6. Rests the Heart
Responsible for beating continually for numerous decades, the heart has a huge job in the body, and it can be affected by air quality, diet, exercise, and more. Although it sounds simple, sleeping on the left will allow gravity to help the blood and its circulation in the body. At the very start of its journey, the blood passes through the aorta which actually slants to the left. Why not make the heart’s job easier once in a while?
7. Provides Lymphatic Support
As a network of vessels, the ‘lymphatic system’ moves lymph (a clear fluid) around the body. Since it also carries away waste products and toxins, you can sleep on the left and help the system to filter this waste. Just as we saw with the heart, gravity will aid the process as fluid drains through the thoracic duct.
Make one change tonight to help your body and sleep on your left side. If you struggle to get comfortable, try a pillow between the legs, swap sides with your partner, and don’t give up!
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