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Why Is It Better To Sleep On Your Left Side

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Is It Better To Sleep On Your Side Or Back

Is It Better To Sleep On Left Or Right Side?

Neither position is unhealthy. Back sleeping may be the best position to maintain spine alignment. We recommend side sleeping since it offers more health benefits, such as reducing pressure on the heart.

Side sleeping can also reduce snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and acid reflux symptoms. Back sleeping tends to aggravate these conditions thanks to the effects of gravity.

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. .

Best Mattress Type For A Side Sleeper

You may already have a preference for a kind of mattress whether its one thats soft or firm. When it comes to side sleeping, though, a mattress that falls somewhere in between these two spectrums works best.

A soft, cushiony mattress doesnt offer very much joint support. While you may find the softness comfortable on your shoulders and knees at the start of the night, you can wake up feeling achy in the morning. This is due to the fact that your joints are at risk of collapsing and sinking further into the mattress over the course of the night.

Pain may be warded off with a firmer mattress, but you dont want one thats too firm. An extremely hard mattress can be too uncomfortable to fall asleep on because it doesnt support your body shape and sleeping position.

The only way to know if a mattress is your best fit is to try it out.

You can test different types of mattresses at a traditional store, or order a trial version to test at home for a length of time. If you arent ready to buy a new mattress, another solution is to support a current soft mattress with plywood boards underneath.

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Dreams Related To Side Sleeping

Could which side you sleep on affect your dreams? Its suggested that if you sleep on one particular side and have nightmares, change sides. People who sleep on their right side have fewer nightmares than those who sleep on their left side. Back sleepers are also more prone to nightmares, but they may have a harder time remembering these dreams. If you sleep on your stomach, youre likely to have dreams that are more visual and intense.

Can Sleeping Posture Predict Your Personality

Top 9 Incredible Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left ...

That depends on what you consider “personality.” In the 70s and 80s, some researchers claimed they could use sleeping postures to predict if someone were impulsive, feminine, anxious, self-confident–even whether they could be hypnotized.

More recent studies have cast doubt on these theories. The research has been criticized for using “woefully small” numbers of sleepers. Many contradictions have been found between these studies as well.

A more recent attempt to associate personality traits to body positions during sleep came up empty-handed. It showed only a “very weak relationship between sleep positions and personality,” and, using predictions from earlier models, failed to reliably predict the participants’ personality traits.

But on the Other Hand…

Even if earlier studies are unreliable, there may be another way that our sleep postures say something about our personalities. Some sleeping positions are associated with well-rested sleepers. Maybe people who prefer them wake up less crabby and irritable, and are more alert during the day.

Here are some examples, using the Big Five personality traits. A group of 22,000 American and Japanese adults were measured over 10 years. The ones who slept poorly tended to become less conscientious over time. The ones who slept best were the most extroverted and the least neurotic.

So, at the end of the day, the best sleeping position for you may simply be the one that leaves you feeling your best the next day.

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Is Your Mattress Comfortable

Mattresses are made of a variety of materials. Some are softer or firmer. The type of material that a mattress is made out of affect your body temperature.

When it comes to the firmness of a mattress, you want one that is firm enough to support your spine, but also soft enough to conform to the shape of your body. People who suffer from back pain may be most comfortable on a mattress that is softer and more cushioning.

You can’t know for sure how your mattress will work out until you’ve been resting on it for a while. When shopping for a mattress, buy one from a store that will let you test it for several weeks and exchange it if it doesn’t work for you.

Supports A Healthy Spleen

The spleen, part of the lymphatic system, is also on the left. The spleen is much like a gigantic lymph node, except that in addition to filtering lymph, it also filters blood. When you lay on the left side, drainage back to the spleen is once again made easier by gravity.

Remember, the lymph system drains all the cells in the body via movement and muscular contractions, rather than being pumped by the heart. Helping the lymph to drain to the spleen and heart with gravity is a good thing!

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Back Sleeping Is Best

Only eight percent of people sleep on their backs. If youre naturally one of them, count your lucky sheep. Back sleeping is the best option for pain management, as it allows your body to rest in a neutral position, which is great for reducing aches. It also cuts down on heartburn, as it keeps your head elevated above your chest.

For a back sleeper, Harris recommends resting your head on a pillow thats thickor thinenough to keep your skull exactly level with your body. But, she warns, even with a perfect pillow, this position is not great for snorers. Back sleeping can cause sleep apnea or exacerbate existing cases of the disorder. So if youre prone to this problem, or find yourself suddenly suffering from new symptoms while lying on your back, then this isnt the pose for you.

BruceBlaus/Wikimedia Commons

Digestion Benefits And Left

Why you Should Sleep on Your Left Side

Many people believe that sleeping on the left side is the best option for digestion. However, whether a person chooses to sleep on their front, side, or back, it is imperative that they get themselves in the correct position, have supportive pillows, and a firm mattress.

  • Gut health: There is no medical evidence to support that sleeping on one side is more beneficial than the other. However, the location of the stomach is a clue. The stomachs natural position is on the left side, where it can digest food more effectively. Gravity helps the waste travel from the small intestine to the large intestine.
  • Help with heartburn: People who experience heartburn should sleep on their left side, as right-side sleeping relaxes connecting muscles between the stomach and the esophagus. When these muscles contract, they help control the acid reflux process. Research from the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology has shown a higher likelihood of acid reflux from sleeping on the right side.

The National Sleep Foundation have carried out polls since 1991 to identify peoples sleeping habits in the United States. In 2020, they highlighted that significant numbers of people in America feel sleepy about 3 days per week, which often impacts on their daily lives.

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Benefits Of Sleeping On The Left Side

curling up on one side in bed sets up the body for better sleep and excellent overall health. But, sleep experts specifically tout left-side sleeping as the better of the two. The good news is that the majority of side sleepers primarily lie on the left.

Let us take a look at a few merits available from sleeping primarily on your left side.

Left Side Sleeping Tips

  • Purchase a high-quality mattress- Make sure its firm because, over time, it will get softer. A bed is a sound investment in your health and well-being, so do your research.
  • Sleep on your left side-Keep sleeping on your left side unless you have heart issues, then sleep on your right side. When you wake up at night, be sure to move to the left side sleeping to experience the best health benefits.
  • Darken your room and set the thermostat-Keeping your room dark helps you sleep better. Also, make sure the room temperature isnt too hot or too cold.
  • Choose an excellent, supportive pillow- Pillows are an essential part of getting a good nights sleep. Do diligent research on what type of pillow is best for you.
  • Create a sleep routine Sleep routines help your body clock work well. Go to bed at a routine time and get up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Turn off the electronics-Electronic interfere with your sleep, so turn them off at least one hour before allowing your body to wind down.

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Benefits Of Sleeping On The Back

  • Even weight distribution: Sleeping on the back takes pressure off the hips and shoulders.
  • Stable spine position: The head, neck, and spine can rest in a neutral position.
  • Better pain management: A person is less likely to experience pain.
  • Better acid reflux management: Facing the ceiling wards off acid reflux.
  • Reduces grinding of teeth: A person is less likely to clench their jaw or grind their teeth while asleep.
  • Helps maintain a youthful appearance: It reduces pressure on the face, resulting in fewer facial wrinkles.

What About Sleeping On Your Right Side

Incredible Reasons Why You Should Start Sleeping on Your ...

There remains some controversy about whether sleeping on your left or right side is better for your heart. Some sleep experts think that sleeping on your right side could compress your vena cava. This is the vein that feeds into the right side of your heart.

However, at this time theres no evidence that sleeping on your right side increases your risk of developing heart failure, and it seems to be safe.

A found that the majority of participants with a heart muscle disease called consecutive dilated cardiomyopathy preferred to sleep on their right side rather than their left.

Also, a 2019 review of studies found no difference in the health of pregnant people or their unborn babies when sleeping on their left or right sides. Early in your pregnancy, try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses.

Some doctors recommend that pregnant people sleep on their left side. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ and it also makes your hearts job easier because it keeps the fetus weight from applying pressure to the large vein that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs to improve blood flow to the fetus.

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What Is The Best Sleeping Position

A good sleeping position is an important factor for a healthy nights sleep, as an incorrect sleeping position may cause back pain, neck problems and even headaches. This article provides information about the various sleeping positions and the impact on the body. The best sleeping position for everyone? This does not exist because sleeping remains a personal matter.

Should You Sleep On Your Right Side Or Your Left Side

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The average person spends about one-third of their life sleeping so ones sleeping position really does matter. Eighty percent of the population will have back problems at some point in lives oftentimes caused or aggravated by the way they sleep, Dr. Hooman Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon, told Medical Daily.

So, whats the best position for sleep? The short answer: It depends. Experts all agree that sleeping on ones stomach is not ideal because that position does not support the natural curve of the spine. But there are benefits and drawbacks to sleeping on ones back, left side and right side.

George Rudy/Shutterstock

The National Sleep Foundation says that the best sleep position is on ones back. Sleeping on ones back allows the head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position, their website explains. This means that theres no extra pressure on those areas, so people are less likely to experience pain. Sleeping facing the ceiling also ideal for warding off acid reflux.

However, the Foundation reports that only 8 percent of people sleep on their backs. Furthermore, sleeping on ones back is not recommended if people snore or have sleep apnea.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women sleep on their side. According to their website, sleeping on ones left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and the baby.

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Ideal For Pregnant Women

Sleeping on your left side helps improve pregnant womens circulation. Also, it can help in relieving pressure on your back, therefore, keeping the uterus from squeezing the liver, and increasing blood flow to the kidneys, uterus, and fetus.

Doctors also recommend for pregnant women to spend as much of their sleep time as possible on their left sides.

How You Sleep Matters

This Is Why You Should Sleep on Your Left Side

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.

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Why Does Sleeping On My Left Side Feel More Natural

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

I always sleep on my left side because it feels more natural to me. How did my body arrive at this decision? Might it be anything to do with being right-handed? I gather we drive on the left because gentlemen used to ride their horses on the left because this allowed them to have their favoured right arm holding their sword. Might something similar be happening to my body? Do right-handed people tend to sleep on their left side and left-handed people sleep on their right?

Peter Hanson, Whitestone, Exeter

The Benefits Of Side Sleeping

When it comes to the heart, side sleeping wins out because it decreases the risk of acid reflux, snoring, and its best for the heart. Side sleeping is the most common sleep position among humans and animals. This one position has three basic variations:

  • Fetal Position: As the name suggests, this position mimics the position of a fetus the knees tucked towards the chest with the hands pulled in. The slight curve of the spine in this position relieves pressure and stress on the back.
  • Yearner Position: The yearner sleepers on one side with the legs straight and arms extended straight forward as though reaching for someone.
  • Log Position: The log sleeper lies on their side with legs relatively straight and arms straight at the sides.

While these are the most common side positions, many people are combo sleepers who switch to a different side or even back or stomach position during the night. The best mattress for side sleepers cushions and supports the curves of the body evenly. They need pressure relief at the shoulders and hips with plenty of support for the head and feet.

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Pro Tips For Sleeping On Your Side

Many of us actually already favor side sleeping. A 2017 study deduced we spend more than half of our time in bed in a side or fetal position. If youre a side sleeper, you likely do a little flip-flopping during the night. Thats fine. Just try to start out on your left side to pamper your gut.

Directions for side sleeping

Measure the length between your neck and the end of your shoulder, Fish says. Find a pillow that supports this height so that your head and neck can stay aligned with your spine.

  • Find a pillow that fits your collarbone structure.
  • Place a firm pillow between your knees to stack your hips and support your lower back.
  • Make sure the pillow is firm enough to avoid collapse.
  • Hug a pillow as well so that you have a comfortable place to rest your top arm.
  • Keep your arms parallel to each other and at or below your face.
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