You’ve probably run across this topic on Facebook, or other social media sites, but I thought it might be a good idea to run it by you again; most people probably think this is trivial, and thus ignore it. WELL, IT’S NOT.
You can opt to sleep on your back and think you will prevent age lines on your face and support your spinal cord. This, however, is not recommended for people with breathing problems, sleep apnea, asthma and some other illnesses. You will most probably also snore.
However, sleeping on your left side is highly recommended, and backed by research.
Let’s take a closer look
A picture may help you visualize what I’m saying better.
- It Helps in Digestion
Sleeping on your left side relieves pressure on the liver. This stimulates bile production and flow. Thus, it increases nutrient absorption. Sleeping on your left side therefore reduces indigestion.
- Helps to Reduce Acid Reflux
Acid reflux or heartburn happens when stomach acid travels back up the digestive track, and the esophagus. Sleeping on your right side positions the stomach upside down. Sleeping on your left side, however, positions the stomach pit downwards which prevents the acid from traveling back up and causing reflux.
- Improves Circulation
The Vena Cava is your largest vein, and is located on the right side of your body. It transports blood to the right side of the heart. Sleeping on the left side alleviates pressure from the vena cava, thus boosting blood circulation within the body.
- Reduces Snoring and Improves Breathing
Sleeping on your left side helps reduce snoring. The tongue and throat are in a neutral position thus opening the airways. This promotes regular and unconstrained breathing, unlike sleeping on your back, which closes up the airways.
- Encourages Drainage of Toxins
The dominant lymphatic side of the body is the left. The thoracic duct is located on the left side of your body, and that is where the lymph fluids drain. Sleeping on your left side, therefore, encourages this drainage. It helps remove toxins and metabolic waste from the lymph nodes.
- It Is Beneficial For Pregnant Women
Besides boosting blood circulation, sleeping on the left side can also help relieve pressure on the back, keeping the uterus from squeezing the liver. This sleeping position also increases blood flow to the uterus, kidneys and the fetus.
If you are not a left side sleeper, how do you become one?
I’m one of the lucky few that got into the habit naturally. I like sleeping on the right side of the bed (left side when in the bed) and letting my arms and hands hang down the bedside. This is because I’m sort of a wild sleeper and don’t want to hit my wife as I toss and turn, as I have done on a few occasions.
If you are used to sleeping on the right, back or belly, switching to the left can be challenging. The trick is to engage in practices that draw you towards the left.
- Sleep with a long pillow tucked between your knees and running up towards your chest. This mimics hugging someone and helps you stay on the left side.
- Place a pillow below your back on the right side to prevent rolling over or turning.
- If you have a bedside lamp on the right side of the bed, keep it on; this will draw you to sleep on your left.
I’m sure you can come up with other tricks.
See you all next week.