What the ancient Indian science called Ayurveda has long known, recent studies are showing that sleeping on your left side leads to better rest along with a number of other important health benefits.
We all know that human beings need a specific amount of sleep per night, and the recommended amount, according to most experts, is at least 8 hours per night. Regardless, while some people can do with lesser amount of sleep and some definitely needing more, your position when you sleep can also be just as important as the duration of your sleep.
Here, we have listed 6 of the most important reasons why you should start sleeping on your left side (not on the right side of your body).
9 Reasons why you should sleep on the left side of your body:
1. Improves Overall Digestion
Many people think your stomach is located in the center of your body, but it is actually on the left side. Sleeping on your left side thereby helps waste to travel easier from our stomach to the intestines then to the colon. Sleep on your left side to promote easy bowel movements in the morning.
Sleeping on your right side, on the other hand, makes this entire digestive process more difficult, mainly because of the weight of the stomach being pulled down by gravity.
Likewise, some practitioners say that pancreatic enzymes are more effectively developed while sleeping on the left side.
2. Less Acid Reflux
Many foods can trigger heartburn and anyone who has ever had to sleep with a heartburn can tell you how uncomfortable this can be. If heartburn is an issue, sleeping on your left side can help calm your acid reflux so you can get a better night’s sleep.
In fact, it is believed that sleeping on your right side aggravates heartburn and can lead to indigestion as well. Since the stomach is located on the left side of our body, gravity is able to assist with digestion including alleviating heartburn.
3. Supports the Lymphatic Drainage
The lymphatic system drains the body of waste products. The left side does most of the work. For example, the lymph system drains into the left side of the heart and the thoracic duct of the lymphatic system is located on the left side of the body.
Again, this is for the most part because of being able to reduce the effect of gravity so body processes become generally easier for the lymphatic system.
Ayurveda medicine states that for this reason sleeping on your left side allows easier filtering of your lymph fluids.
4. Helps the Brain
Similar to the draining of the entire lymphatic system, sleeping on your left side has also been shown to assist in the removal of cranial waste from your body and improve brain activity during your waking hours.
5. Bile More Easily Secreted
The galbladder and liver are located on the right side of the body, however, when you sleep on your right side, bile can be more easily secreted with the help of gravity.
6. Supports Spleen Function
The spleen is part of the lymphatic system working to filter lymph and blood as well. And which side is the spleen located? Yes, you guessed it, it is located on the left side. Sleeping on your left side makes drainage to the spleen easier because of the help from gravity.
7. Better for the Heart
The heart is located on the left side of our body and location really does mean a lot when it comes to resting our organs. Sleeping on your left side helps take the pressure off your heart while you’re sleeping. It is also believed to improve blood circulation to the heart, but note, though, that there is an existing debate over this.
8. Relieves Back Pain
People suffering from back pain most of the time don’t have any other choice but to sleep on either their left side or right side, however sleeping on your left proves to be more beneficial for most. Sleeping on your stomach causes pressure build-up to your back, so side sleeping, specifically sleeping on your left side, not just relieves tension from your spine but also your lower back and stomach.
9. Promotes Better Sleep for Pregnant Women
For years, doctors have been advising pregnant women to avoid (as much as possible) sleeping on their right side, and instead sleep on their left side for several health-related reasons. First, it easily allows blood flow to the fetus; second, it helps relieve back pain; and third, sleeping on the left side, for pregnant women, takes pressure off of their uterus as well as liver. Finally, it improves blood circulation throughout the entire body.
**Note also that pregnant women are advised not to sleep on their back and never on their stomachs.
Despite Western Medicine deeming this theory of sleeping on your left side as a controversial topic, the Ayurveda ancient medicine upholds otherwise, and of course, it also has some scientific basis.
The location of the various organs and systems in our bodies prove that sleeping on our left side is best for providing our bodies better rest instead of giving it extra work while we are sleeping.