Tuesday, May 17, 2022
HomeHealthWhy Is Sleeping On Your Left Side Better

Why Is Sleeping On Your Left Side Better

- Advertisment -

What Sleeping Position Is Best For Breathing

This Is Why You Should Sleep On Your Left Side #Sleep #SleepPosition

Side sleeping is the best position for keeping the airways clear. Its often recommended for anyone with snoring or sleep apnea problems.

Back sleeping tends to cause airway blockage since when you lie down flat, gravity tends to press down on the soft tissues at the back of your throat. Stomach sleeping can reduce snoring and sleep apnea symptoms as well. However, this benefit isnt worth the risk to your back.

Tips For Side Sleepers Who Care About Their Health

Side sleepers should invest in a good, ergonomic or memory foam pillow that fits their collarbone structure and neck shape. They should also put a pillow between their knees to reduce hip pain, and hug a pillow while they sleep on their side, so theres a comfortable place to rest their arm. Since side sleeping can cause shoulder pain, pillow placement can help prevent this while you sleep.

Should You Sleep On Your Right Side Or Your Left Side

Joe Auer disclosure page

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.

Recommended Reading: Can Insomnia Cause Chest Pain

When You Can’t Sleep

Of course, there are bound to be times when you just can’t sleep. Instead of tossing and turning, worrying that you’re not asleep, and counting the hours until your alarm clock will go off, get up and do something: read a book, listen to music, watch TV, catch up on letters or email, or pursue some other activity you enjoy. Eventually, you’ll probably feel tired enough to get back to sleep.

And if possible, take short naps during the day to make up for lost sleep. It won’t be long before your baby will be setting the sleep rules in your house, so you might as well get used to sleeping in spurts!

The Benefits Of Side Sleeping

Why Sleeping on Your Right Side Might Be Hazardous to Your ...

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.

You May Like: What Side Is Better To Sleep On

Ever Feel Sleepy After A Big Meal

A common practice in Ayurveda is to rest on the left side after a meal.

Unlike a siesta, where the whole afternoon is taken off, Ayurveda suggests a short, 10-minute rest on the left side to help the body properly digest.

The stomach and the pancreas hang like slings on the left side. When you lie on the left side, the stomach and pancreas hang naturally, allowing for optimal and efficient digestion. The food is encouraged to move through the stomach naturally and the pancreatic enzymes are released as needed, rather than all at once, which might happen more easily than if you were on the right side with the pull of gravity.

If you lie on the right side, the stomach and pancreas will hang in a somewhat unnatural position, forcing them to empty their contents prematurely.

Meanwhile, the liver and gallbladder hang on the right side. Resting on the left side allows them to hang freely and secrete precious bile, with the help of gravity, into the digestive tract to emulsify fats and neutralize the acids of the stomach.

When the digestive process is encouraged in this way, it can often be a smoother and ultimately shorter digestive cycle that doesnt leave you feeling sapped throughout the entire afternoon. By taking a short rest on the left side, you may actually save yourself from more fatigue throughout the day!

Tips For Transitioning To A New Sleep Position

The inevitable transition period required to get used to a new sleep position can be difficult. Thats in large part because youll likely be getting some pretty lousy sleep while your body gets used to your new position. If youre determined to change the way you sleep, here are some tips to shorten the transition period and start your new life of sleeping bliss!

  • Block out all natural light in your room and banish electronic devices from your life for the two hours leading up to your bedtime.
  • Sleep on the opposite side of your bed from what you usually do. Your body may be less likely to revert automatically to your old position.
  • Dont skimp on extras like a high-quality pillow and stretchy mattress covers and sheets.

Be persistent and patient if you truly want to make a change to your sleeping habits. If your goal is to improve the quality of your sleep, it may be well worth it.

Recommended Reading: Does The Fitbit Versa Track Sleep

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. .

Sleeping In The Fetal Position

This Is Why You Should Sleep On Your Left Side Every Night

Side sleepers who curl inward with bent legs are sleeping in the fetal position. Sleeping in the fetal position has many of the same benefits as sleeping on the side. Research also has found that sleeping in the side position significantly reduces the frequency of sleep apnea breathing irregularities.

Unfortunately, sleeping in the fetal position may cause joint pain or stiffness;for some people. To reduce the risk of discomfort, curl in a relatively loose position or with a pillow between your knees.

Read Also: How Long Is A Sleep Cycle Nap

The Three Different Sleeping Positions

When sleeping everyone sleeps on either their back, front, or side. Each of these positions come with their own benefits and disadvantages that should be taken into considerations, especially if you are having any troubles with sleep. Changing positions is not the easiest of things to do, but with perseverance you will be able to train yourself to be comfortable and relax in an alternative orientation if you decide that you want to. The differences are as follows:

Cons Of Side Sleeping

While side sleeping will ease your sleep apnea symptoms and reduce the intensity of snoring, there are some side effects of side sleeping that you might want to hear about. Here are some of potentially common disadvantages that could occur from sleeping on your side:

  • Paresthesia
  • Potential Shoulder, Neck and Back Pain
  • More Facial Wrinkles
  • Sagging Breasts

You might be wondering what paresthesia is. Well, if you ever slept on your side you surely experienced it at least once. Paresthesia is when your arm goes completely numb due to a lack of blood flow or too much pressure place on a nerve. Whats interesting is that this condition always wakes us up, because the feeling of it is quite disruptive to our sleep. It looks like your brain cant sleep at the same time your arm falls asleep.

Recommended Reading: How To Sleep Better And Faster

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.

Back To Basics For Pain Relief

Why Sleeping On Your Right Side Might Be Hazardous To Your ...

There are plenty of positives from sleeping on your back, Fish says. First off, it is easier to keep your spine aligned.

In addition, a prone position can take pressure off the shoulder or jaw and reduce tension headaches resulting from those areas.

Sleeping on your back may also reduce discomfort by lessening compression and pain from old injuries or other chronic conditions.

Finding a comfortable position with any chronic pain condition can be a struggle. But starting out on your back with strategic, trial-and-error pillow support might help.

Pro tip for back sleeping

Sleep on a wedge pillow or elevate the head of your bed 6 inches. Lie with legs spread hip-width distance apart and your arms spread in a goalpost formation. Elevate your knees with a pillow.

Side sleeping is the safest choice if you snore or have sleep apnea. But an elevation method could help with these conditions if you prefer sleeping on your back. Talk to your doctor about whats best for you.

Don’t Miss: How Long Does It Take To Die Of Sleep Deprivation

Pro Tips For Sleeping On Your Back

Changing your sleep position isnt easy, as our bodies have grown accustomed to our sleep ritual for years, Fish says. But using a pillow in different ways can help jump-start the change.

Here are some pro tips to consider:

  • Protect your lower back by tucking a pillow under your knees. This puts your spine in a neutral and supported position.
  • Sleep with legs spread and arms out, like a goalie. This way, youll evenly distribute your weight and avoid placing pressure on your joints. This posture has the added benefit of keeping you in place if youre training yourself to sleep on your back.
  • Try pillows on either side of you to aid as reminders. For your head, choose a pillow that offers support for the natural curve of your neck and keeps your spine in alignment. Fish says the key is to avoid pillow heights that tilt your chin to your chest.
  • Get elevated. For people with heartburn who cant sleep on their side, use a wedge pillow or elevate the head of your bed 6 inches with bed risers. Elevation can also help prevent sinus buildup for when you have a stuffy nose disrupting your sleep. It can also alleviate facial pressure and headaches.
  • How To Sleep With Period Cramps

    The best sleeping position for period cramps is on your back. Place a pillow under your knees to relieve lower-back pressure and cramping. Stomach sleeping may be your jam, but when menstrual cramps hit, the face-down position puts added pressure on your uterus. Side sleeping in the fetal position applies even more pressure. And theres the added gravitational pull on your already sore breasts! Use pillows to support the angry girls upstairs.

    If switching from stomach to back positions is too uncomfortable, try adding pillows to your stomach and the side of your head to recreate the sensation of sleeping face-down.

    Don’t Miss: What Side Is Better To Sleep On When Pregnant

    More Steps To Sleeping Better While Pregnant

    • Limit caffeine. Try not to drink coffee or caffeinated tea after 3 p.m.
    • Brink plenty of water. Drink lot of water through out the day, but limit intake a couple of hours before bedtime so you dont have to wake up and go to the bathroom.
    • Exercise for 30 minutes. Exercise helps you sleep better, but dont exercise within four hours of bedtime.
    • Relaxing activities. A warm bath, foot or shoulder massage will help you relax.
    • Peaceful bedroom. Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and cool at night will help to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.

    Want More Help?

    Which Side Is The Best To Sleep On: Left Or Right

    Is Sleeping On Your Left Side Healthier Than Sleeping On Your Right Side?

    Sleeping on your left side is thought to have the most benefits to your overall health. In this position, your organs are freer to get rid of toxins while you sleep. Still, either side can offer benefits in terms of sleep apnea and chronic lower back pain relief.

    You dont have to stick with one side the entire night. Feel free to start on your left side and see how your body feels.

    Its also normal to shift around while you sleep from side to side, or even onto your back. Sleeping on your stomach is the hardest on your spine and organs, so try to avoid this position if possible.

    Also Check: Why Do Depressed People Sleep So Much

    On Your Side With A Pillow Between Your Legs

    Sleeping on your left side might be the best way to keep your small and large intestines at ease, but if its uncomfortable, thats a problem too.

    Some digestive disorders are caused by inflammation. Sometimes, this inflammation is directly caused by something you ate, but it can also be triggered by a lack of sleep.

    When youre sleep deprived, the body secretes inflammatory cytokines, which then make you more inflamed and less likely to sleep. What a circle of fun.

    If sleeping on your left side causes pain or disrupts your sleep, that could cause poor digestion. One way to sleep peacefully and ease your troubled stomach is to sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. Pick whichever side feels more comfortable.

    The pillow between your legs allows your spine to stay aligned. Instead of your hips and lower back getting pulled out of line, the pillow gives just enough height to keep your lower half in comfortable alignment.

    You might also feel relief on your knees, since the weight no longer rests on the joint.

    To get into this position, lay on the side thats most comfortable. Then, put a regular-sized pillow right between your knees. You should feel a bit of relaxation in the hips and lower back.

    If your spine still feels like its out of alignment, try a larger or smaller pillow until you feel most comfortable.

    Perfect Mattress For Side Sleeping

    The perfect mattress for a side sleeper is the one that supports the curved areas on ones spine the neck and waist. When youre sleeping in a good posture, the quality of your sleep is improved because your muscles and ligaments get a chance to heal during sleep. The proper spinal alignment makes sleeping more comfortable which provide a better restorative period and makes you feel fresh in the morning.

    When you sleep on your side, our shoulders and hips are a lot under pressure, which is why you should find a mattress that will support your spine, while being gentle to your pressure points. If youre waking up with pain in your joints and shoulders, you might be needing a new mattress.

    Read Also: Can Nac Cause Insomnia

    Considerations For Choosing The Right Sleeping Position For You

    Choosing the right sleep position depends on a number of factors. These include personal preference, as well as physical and medical factors such as:

    • Age
    • Snoring
    • Pregnancy

    It is often challenging to change personal sleeping positions. Once we’re asleep, we may find we revert to what is familiar. The use of pillows and back supports;may help keep you in your new position during the night.

    - Advertisment -

    Most Popular

    - Advertisment -