If you are a person who sleeps on their side, then you are with the majority. Almost half of the population report sleeping this way opposed to the lesser loved positions of back and stomach, the latter being the most unhealthy position for sleeping.
It seems that if you seclude this sleeping position to your left side alone, the health benefits are astounding. Being healthy is the goal after all. Whether it’s eating organic food, exercising or finding the optimal sleeping position, we always want to go at it the correct way to reap the most benefits.
If you are suffering from digestive issues or back pain, then sleeping on your left side may be a natural aid to ease your symptoms. This practice first became popular in Ayurveda, a mind-body health system that originate in India thousands of years ago.
Take a look at all the positive things that can happen if you start sleeping on your left side.
Bye Bye Back Pain
Well, sleeping on your side might not get rid of your back pain completely, but it may ease your symptoms for the night. When you sleep on your side the pressure put on your spine is minimal compared to other positions.
Of course, if your back pain is from sleeping then it’s possible you have a bad mattress. With so many people sleeping on their sides, mattress manufacturers have created beds specifically for sleepers who prefer this position. If you suspect it’s time to replace your mattress, the side sleepers reviewed by TheSleepJudge.com might be just what you’re looking for.
Efficient Drainage Of Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system, which extracts and disposes of toxins in the body, is primarily on the left side of your body. Your thoracic duct is on your left side and the purified waste products in the lymph fluid is sent to the left side of your heart. If the lymph system gets congested, some believe it can cause problems like a backup of lymph fluid.
If you sleep on your right side, your lymphatic organs can become compressed, which can cause the backup we just mentioned. Sleeping on your left side puts your lymphatic organs in their natural position and increases production. When our lymphatic system is working well, we feel refreshed from a great night’s sleep because the toxins from the previous day have been taken care of.
When you sleep on your left side, waste from the day’s food can move easier to the large intestine from the small intestine due to the location of the ileocecal valve, or ICV. This is the link between our intestines and, when free from constriction, food waste is taken care of more efficiently.
Gravity also plays a role in this process by helping the food waste move along its route and finding its way to the descending colon, ready to be released when you wake up.
One of the most important organs in your body is on your left side. Yes, your heart. When you sleep on your left side, gravity helps us again by moving the lymph fluid toward the left side of your heart, where it dumps the purified waste.
Also, the largest artery in your body, the aorta, works better when we sleep on our left side. It starts at the top of your heart and curves to the left before bringing blood into the lower half of your body. This allows for better flow of oxygenated blood to your body while you sleep.
The vena cava, the largest vein in our bodies, is the structure that carries deoxygenated blood to the heart, which goes to the lungs and picks up oxygen. The lower portion of this vein, known as the inferior vena cava, is on the right side. Sleeping on your left allows the viscera to drop and our good friend gravity helps the inferior vena cava move blood.
The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology published a study that showed people with acid reflux symptoms found relief when sleeping on their left side. Sleeping on your right causes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax. The LES is the valve keeping stomach acid from entering the esophagus. Sleeping on your left side keeps the LES above the level of acid inside your stomach.
Sleeping is an important part of our day-to-day lives. Without it, we feel irritable, groggy, and less than ready to take on the day. When we do get our 8 hours, we can take on the world. Of course, when we sleep, we need to offer our bodies the best possible position so it can do the job it needs. This is your left side, which might be why it’s so popular. Either way, if you don’t sleep on your left side try it out and see if you feel a difference in your health and overall rest.