How You Sleep Matters
A Stony Brook University study suggests how you sleep could reduce your chances of developing cognitive concerns later in life.1
The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, found that the way a persons body is positioned while they sleep could affect the brains waste clearance system, also known as the glymphatic system. While we sleep, toxic substances are flushed from the brain through tiny lymphatic vessels called glymphatics. The brain releases around three pounds of toxic chemicals and plaque each year.
The scientists used rodents to test how different sleep positions affect this process and found that lying on your side while you sleep may be the most efficient position for flushing toxic substances out from the brain through the glymphatics.
The study found that rodents sleeping in the lateral position cleared certain proteins about 25 percent more than when they slept on their backs or stomachs. These proteins may contribute to the build-up of brain plaque, strongly linked to age-related cognitive decline.
Further studies on humans still need to be done to confirm these findings. Fortunately, most people find sleeping on their side most comfortable.
Why Going To Bed On The Left Side Of Your Body Might Give You Better Sleep
So it turns out that sleeping on the left side of your body actually has more benefits than you can count on one hand! When you look at the composition of our bodies, youll notice that our organ composition is actually asymmetrical. The way we process energy and eliminate waste goes through this system. So, if we set up our bodies in a way that we sleep on the left side, we process all of this in a healthier way. Try it out at home! See if sleeping on your left side gives you any sort of improvement on your health. We will say that sleeping on your face does cause wear and tear on your facial structure by constantly applying pressure on your bones, but for that we recommend getting a beauty pillow, like this one from Nurse Jamie.
According to Healthline, there are a number of different ways that sleeping on the side helps your body. For one, it aids digestion. Two, when you sleep on the left side of your body, the stomach, and gastric juices remain lower than the esophagus, thus reducing heartburn and digestive issues. Another great thing that sleeping on the left side can do is boost your brain health. Apparently, you have waste in your brain too! Sleeping on your side may help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or other neurological diseases. Finally, sleeping on your side can reduce snoring or sleep apnea.
What Is The Best Sleeping Position For Restful Sleep
The best sleeping position is generally the one that promotes the best slumber. This varies from person-to-person based on personal preference and physical and medical factors. While some studies suggest that sleeping on ones side is preferred, as well see below, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Read on to learn more about the benefits and risks associated with various sleeping positions.
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What Sleep Positions During Pregnancy Should I Avoid
Sleeping on your back: This can cause problems with;backaches, breathing, the digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and cause a decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your growing abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels .; You can also develop sleep apnea as you put on weight.
Sleeping on your stomach: When you are farther along in your pregnancy, your breasts become more tender and your abdomen continues to grow, both making sleeping on your tummy uncomfortable. Using a donut-shaped pillow may help you sleep comfortably on your stomach.
Reasons for your discomfort may include:
During pregnancy, you may find yourself wrestling in bed trying to get comfortable before falling asleep.;When you are pregnant your body goes through a variety of changes causing your regular sleeping positions to no longer work for you.
- Increased size of the abdomen
- Back pain
Best Sleeping Position For Stuffy Nose
If youre coping with allergies or a stuffy nose, use pillows to prop up your upper back so youre in more of an upright position, without collapsing the spine. This positioning can enable your airways to stay open and may help drain your nose. Avoid lying flat on your back, as that may increase nasal congestion.
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Sleeping On The Right Mattress
Your preferred sleeping position affects what mattress will best keep your spine aligned and provide you with a good nights sleep. Some styles need more back support and others more pressure relief.
The best mattresses for a side sleeper should have a soft to medium feel. Conforming materials such as latex, memory foam, and poly-foam provide pressure relief for hips and shoulders. Side sleepers may wish to avoid an innerspring mattress and opt for a hybrid mattress if they want a bouncy bed.
The best mattress for back sleepers has a medium-firm to firm feel. Some back sleepers find that a medium mattress with extra lumbar support is perfectly comfortable.
A mattress for stomach sleeping must be firm to keep the stomach elevated and the spine in a neutral position. Look for a mattress with thin comfort layers to minimize sinkage.
Dont Sleep On Your Arm
Speaking of arms, one of the favorite positions of many side sleepers is the classic arm under pillow position. It may feel so right, but its oh-so-wrong. Sleeping on your arm can cause pain and numbness in the arm and shoulder, plus it can misalign your head and neck from your spine resulting in further discomfort.
If you often sleep on your arm and suffer from your hands falling asleep or arm pain, the problem is probably your pillow. The truth is that your body wants to be aligned whether you know it or not. This is the healthiest way to sleep. If you have a flat pillow and your head sinks too far down, your natural reaction is to prop it up with your arm.
Unfortunately, your arm just doesnt do the trick. And, it can actually make things worse. If your arm hurts after sleeping, it might be time to get a new pillow. If your head is supported correctly, it will leave your arms free to show some love to your hugging pillow .
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When To Consider A Different Sleeping Position
If you find you cannot get comfortable sleeping on your side, you may want to switch to sleeping on your back instead. The back sleeping position offers many potential benefits, including back pain relief, especially when used in combination with side sleeping.
If you switch from side to back sleeping, a thinner pillow may help support your new sleep position. While side sleepers often sleep best with a higher loft pillow, back sleepers do better with a medium loft a pillow that is high enough to provide cushioning for the neck, but not too high that it causes their chin to tilt forward into the chest.
Additionally, while side sleeping offers a range of benefits, there are two key concerns that may be better served by another sleep position: wrinkles and shoulder pain.
If you are worried about wrinkles, be aware that sleeping on your side with your face pressed into the pillow can compress and stress your skin, leading to wrinkles. Sleeping on your back allows you to reduce this wrinkle-causing pressure.
Side sleeping can also lead to or exacerbate existing shoulder pain, since you are placing more pressure on the shoulder facing the mattress. To minimize your risk of shoulder pain, try alternating between sides. It may also help to focus on keeping your head and neck aligned evenly with both shoulders, and use a supportive mattress and pillow combination that does not let you sink too deeply into the mattress.
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It May Improve Digestion
When it comes to digestion, sleeping on the left side may be preferable to the right due to the simple matter of gravity. Specifically, lying on the left side allows food waste to easily move from the large intestine into the descending colon . Sleeping on the left side also allows the stomach and pancreas to hang naturally;, which can keep the development of pancreatic enzymes and other digestive processes humming. .
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Bolsters The Lymphatic System
As per Ayurvedic medicine, sleeping on your left side allows your body to better filter waste and lymph fluid via the lymph nodes because the left side of our body is the dominant lymphatic side.
Western research reported that sleeping on the left side can help your body process waste materials from the brain. In contrast, if you sleep on your right side, it can decrease the lymphatic systems efficiency.
How To Sleep On Your Side The Right Way
By Michelle Zhang, Wellness Writer
Jennifer Miller, PT, DPT
Side sleeping is the most popular sleep position. And yet, its easy to do it in a way that causes shoulder, hip, and back pain in the morning. Perhaps you fall asleep with your arms under your pillow, only to wake in the middle of the night because your arms have grown numb.
If youre a side sleeper, improving your position will allow you to better reap the benefits of your sleep positionhealthier heart, reduced snoring, and lowered chances of developing a neurodegenerative disease.
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Verify: Is It Healthier To Sleep On Your Left Side
GREENSBORO, North Carolina The next time you climb in bed, think about how you’re lying down — it could affect everything from your comfort to digestion!
Good Morning Show viewer Sara Barber from Liberty asked, “I read on Facebook you’re healthier if you sleep on your left side versus on your right side. Is there any way you can VERIFY this for me? Thank you!”
The National Sleep Foundation says back sleeping is the healthiest position, because it allows your head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. But, it’s not good for snorers or sleep apnea sufferers. Side sleep is best for sleep apnea, as it keeps the airways open and decreases acid reflux.
The idea that left-side sleep is better than right-side sleep stems from the ancient oriental medicine called Ayurveda. It credits anatomy for this conclusion. If one lies on his or her left side, the stomach and gastric juices are lower than the esophagus, allowing easier drainage.
Healthline says modern research supports this theory. Left-side sleeping aids in digestion, helping waste get ready to leave your body. A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology proved left-side sleep also decreases heart burn.
The post Barber saw is true — left-side sleeping is generally healthier than ride-side sleeping,;
Do you have a VERIFY inquiry? Reach out to Meghann Mollerus via Facebook:
Which Side Is Best To Sleep On Left Or Right
Getting enough sleep every day is essential in maintaining a healthy body, sound mind, and a good mood. However, your sleeping position plays a vital role in achieving a good nights sleep and in getting all these health benefits. In this blog, you will know which side is best to sleep on left or right?
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What Is A Supine Position
Often, side sleepers want to know if they should be sleeping in supine position for extra health benefits. The supine position is a fancy word for sleeping on your back with your face facing upwards. There are pros and cons to sleeping this way. For one, it helps to keep all of your internal organs aligned. Another benefit is that sleeping in supine position, that is, on your back, distributes your body weight over the mattress. This means that compared to sleeping on your side, no one part of your body will feel more pressure from the mattress than another.
One con is that your spine can curve out of alignment. Luckily, theres a simple solution to this: simply place a pillow under your legs to support proper sleep posture. However, if youre someone who snores, we recommend sleeping on your side or stomach. The reason is that snoring is the result of a mechanical blockage of your airway. In your sleep, the muscles of your tongue and throat relax. This is natural, but if youre sleeping on your back, these muscles might actually push onto your upper airway obstructing your air passages. This leads to the signature sound of snoring: audible vibrations in your nose and throat. So when it comes to which sleep position is right for you, try and fall asleep in the position that is more supportive for your health and wellbeing.
The Healthiest Way To Sleep
According to Ayurveda, its best to sleep on your left side. The left side of the body is completely different than the right side. While I know it may sound strange, there is both time-tested wisdom and exciting new science that emphasizes the left side for rest, sleep, and very real health and longevity benefits.
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The Best Way To Sleep On Your Side
Sleeping on your side is by far the most popular way of sleeping, but it isnt necessarily the healthiest way to sleep for your body. As mentioned earlier, theres a chance you will increase the pressure exerting on your joints, organs, and muscles, and this can result in aches, soreness, and pain the next day.
To prevent this you should ensure that you arent tucking too tightly if you sleep in the fetal positions, and its a good idea to place a pillow or two between your knees so your back doesnt twist overnight as your legs roll to lay on the mattress.
In terms of which side you sleep on, your left or your right, there is a general consensus that its far better to be sleeping on your left side. The main reason for this is because of the position it leaves your internal organs in. Those who sleep on their left, for example, are far less likely to experience troubles with heartburn, but those who sleep on their right side are likely to experience it more often.
Positioning Tips For Sleeping On Your Stomach
Always try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. But if you cant sleep any other way, try to incorporate these tips:
- Alternate the way you turn your head often to avoid neck stiffness.
- Dont hitch your leg up to one side with a bent knee. That will only wreak more havoc on your back.
- Be careful not to tuck your arms underneath your head and pillow. It could cause arm numbness, tingling, or pain, or anger your shoulder joints.
- Place arms in a goalpost position instead.
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Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left Or Right Side
While sleeping on your back has long been thought to be the ideal sleeping position, research is showing that side sleeping can have just as many benefits.
Another benefit to sleeping on your side is reduced snoring, a common symptom seen in obstructive sleep apnea. This serious condition creates disruptions in breathing, which can lead to long-term complications, such as:
- heart attack
- cognitive issues
Cognitive issues may be prevented with good sleep hygiene, but research is also showing that your overall brain health may benefit from sleeping on your side, too.
Finally, you may get better gut health if youre a side sleeper. This position helps your digestive system function better, which can ease gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, constipation, and bloating.
What Could Cause The Increased Risk Of Stillbirth
Sleep position in the third trimester is important because if you are on your back the combined weight of baby and womb puts pressure on other organs in your body.
Researchers do not know for certain what exactly is causing the increased risk of stillbirth, but we already know the following, which could play a part :
- When sleeping/lying on your back the baby and womb put pressure on the main blood vessels that supply the uterus and this can restrict blood flow/oxygen to the baby.
- Further recent studies have shown that when a woman lies on her back in late pregnancy the baby is less active and has changes in heart-rate patterns. This is thought to be due to lower oxygen levels in the baby when the mother lies on her back.
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If You Experience Heartburn
When people with GERD sleep on their left side, they experience fewer instances of heartburn than when they sleep on the right side or on their back. Not only are heartburn episodes more frequent on the right side, but they also last longer.
Pregnant people can also experience heartburn, since pregnancy causes the digestive system to move more slowly. Sleeping on the left side can relieve their heartburn, while also making it easier for their heart to pump blood to the fetus.