The Reasons You Should Sleep On Your Left Side
Note: Though healthy in general, left-side sleeping may not be suitable in some cases, like for those who have had heart troubles in the past.
People all over the world love sleep dearly. There is no denying that it is one of life’s sweetest pleasures.
It’s also well known that sleep is important for one’s overall health and well-being. You cannot expect to function normally and perform at your best potential without a good night’s sleep.
You might be great for awhile but as the years past you are more likely to be mentally disoriented, having low energy until you have had enough.
Not getting enough sleep at night can cause many diseases, some of which can be fatal. It is one of the biggest factors to heart disease.
Besides making sure that you have a good sleeping pattern, you can help your overall health by the way you sleep.
Research has shown that sleeping on the left side, as your grandmother may have often told you, is not merely an old wives’ tale but has actual health benefits.
Here are some reasons why you should sleep on your left side.
- Better Sleep During Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant can benefit more from sleeping on the left side as it will prevent the liver from putting too much pressure o the uterus and will help blood circulation, it will also improve blood flow to the fetus.
It can help relieve any back pain that they are suffering with. Therefore, a left-sided sleeping position may help a pregnant woman sleep well, which is undeniably a major challenge in pregnancy.
- Better Lymphatic Drainage
The lymphatic system is a web of tissues and organs that carry fluid called lymph throughout the body. Lymph fluid performs the crucial tasks of carrying infection-combating white blood cells through your system and ridding your body of toxins and other harmful substances.
The body’s lymphatic system is dominantly located on the left, and the left side is where the body transports and drains the larger portion of the lymph fluid.
The travel of lymph fluid carries proteins, metabolites and toxins, is purified by lymph nodes through this process and makes its way to the heart.
Scientific research still hasn’t concluded this quite yet, but alternative medicine systems like Ayurveda states that many illnesses that happen on the left side of the body are all from congestion in the lymphatic system.
The spleen is located on the left side of the body. This is one of the main organs in the lymphatic system. It doesn’t just purify the lymph fluid but it also purifies the blood.
When you sleep on your left side, gravity allows the drainage of blood and fluid through the spleen to be gradual and relaxed.
It is important to remember that the lymphatic system does not work in conjunction with the heart. It drains the body with the help of muscle contractions, and the pumping action of the heart has nothing to do with it.
Therefore, sleeping on the left allows you to aid the proper drainage and functioning of the lymphatic system inadvertently with the help of gravity.
- Better Elimination of Waste Products
The body gets rid of any toxins and waste through the intestines. The small intestine moves waste through the ilececal valve to the large intestine on the right side of the body.
The large intestine the moves this waste through the right side of the stomach, finally dropping it into the descending colon, which is located on the left side of the body.
When a person sleeps on the left side, it allows the food to move faster and easier through the small to the large intestine.
Furthermore, as the night progresses and you sleep on your left side, the waste from the large intestine dumps into the colon gradually and slowly.
This allows the colon to be full and ready to eliminate waste in the form of stools properly and easily the next morning.
4. Better Digestion
The stomach and the pancreas make the digestive enzymes in your body. When you assume the left-side sleeping position, the stomach and pancreas hang comfortably and have adequate space to carry out digestion.
In a case like this gravity pushes food through the stomach in a normal natter and the pancreatic enzymes release gradually as well.
When a person sleeps on the right side all of these organs are in a strange position and are squished, making the food and enzymes empty into the stomach all at one time, which can cause discomfort and disrupted digestion.
5. Heartburn Reduction
Sleeping on the left side can reduce the amount of acid reflux in the body and clean out any acid faster than if a person sleeps on their right side.
Sleeping in a bad position has been linked to stomach acid entering the esophagus, which is one of the main causes of heart burn or discomfort. This occurs because the stomach is all situated on the left side.
In fact, a 2000 study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that the right-side sleeping position causes higher acid levels and an increased incidence of acid reflux as compared to sleeping on the left side.
In most cases, you may notice the beneficial effects of the left-side sleeping position when you suffer frequent heartburn and acid reflux. If you experience heartburn after eating, you can even try lying down on your left side for a good 10 minutes for relief.
6. Back Pain Relief
This is just one of the benefits of sleeping on your side, whether right or left, but with all the benefits of sleeping on the left, you might as well assume a left position for your back pain, too.
People with chronic back pain must not and probably cannot comfortably sleep on their backs. Sleeping on your side releases pressure on the spine and reduces back pain.
7. Relieves Varicose Veins
Sleeping on your left side is also beneficial for those suffering from varicose veins, especially in the lower limbs.
It helps take pressure off a large vein called the inferior vena cava which is located on the right side of the body. This vein carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.