Benefits of Sleeping on the Left Side: Turning Left is Right

Left is the new right! Yes if you are wondering how turning left in bed can do you good, then read on to know the multiple benefits you enjoy by sleeping on the left side of your body.

Your lifestyle, age, body weight, mattress quality, temperature all affect your daily night’s sleep, but remember, the quality and quantity of your sleep is also substantially affected by the side you prefer while snoring off at night.

As per a recent study, a vast population of the world sleeps on its side. Though side sleeping is considered fairly healthy, it is also important to consider which side you prefer while sleeping. And if you were thinking that it has something to do with superstition or Feng Shui, then you are highly mistaken, for it is purely driven by science and emphasized on the basis of profound research. Sleeping on the left can be your new wellness mantra. How? Read on to know the truth behind this age old belief.

What happens when you sleep on your Left side?

Sleep is an essential part of our life and the best way to improve it is to make small adjustments in your sleep position. Research suggests that sleeping on your left side can improve your digestion, avoid heartburn and chances of reflux, whereas sleeping on the right side can worsen all these conditions. The stomach and pancreas hang on the left side of the body like sling bags. When you lie down on the left side of the body after a meal, these organs hang naturally, allowing for better digestion.

sleeping on left side

On the contrary, if your body rests on the right side, then the stomach and pancreas hang unnaturally against gravity, forcing the food content to empty prematurely. When you lie on the left, the entire lymphatic system works naturally facilitating smoother digestion and better relaxation to the body. Thus sleeping on the left side can reduce fatigue and make you feel fresh and relaxed faster.

Benefits of sleeping on the left side

Left side sleeping is recommended by various experts because of its various benefits. Let us see a few of them discussed below.

Prevents heartburn: Have you ever experienced those acidic burps after a heavy spicy meal, especially when you go straight to bed and rest on the right side of the body? Well it is nothing but the reflux of all that you have eaten rushing back through your esophagus, when your stomach hangs in the unnatural direction. The stomach and the pancreas are placed on the left.

When you sleep on the left side, all the digestive juices and enzymes of the stomach and pancreas fall into the pit, ameliorating the digestive process and allowing proper digestion. As opposite to this, when you sleep on the right, the reflux of food up against the walls of the esophagus cause heart burns.

Improves blood circulation: Sleeping on your left helps to relieve the pressure from the vena cava (or the largest vein in the body), which is predominantly located on the right side of the body and supplies blood to the right side of the heart. Often doctors suggest expecting mothers to sleep on the left side because it improves the blood circulation to the heart, uterus, kidneys and the fetus.

Clears the lymphatic system: The lymphatic system is mainly placed on the left side of the body. Most of the lymphatic fluid of the body drains into the thoracic duct which is located on the left side. The lymphatic system carries important fluids like proteins, glucose, metabolites and other elements that are first filtered by the lymphatic nodes on the left side. Thus sleeping on this side, just naturally facilitates this natural drainage.

Improves the health of the spleen: The spleen which forms an important organ of the lymphatic system is also situated on the left side of the body. Sleeping on the left side simply allows the easy and smooth flowing of natural lymphatic juices, following the natural gravity of the biological system.

Reduces snoring and sleep apnea: Studies suggests that sleeping on the left side of the body reduces the intensity of snoring and sleep apnea. Sleeping on the left opens airways by keeping your tongue and throat muscles in a neutral position, thereby reducing the night alarms that can disturb your partner.

Improves health of the heart: Sleeping on the left helps in maintaining the anatomical alignment of the body as well. The aorta leaves the heart making an arch on the left side before connecting with the abdomen. Sleeping on the left side exerts less pressure on the heart, allowing it to pump blood more easily and smoothly.

So are you ready to change sides?

Though it may sound easy, but it may not be initially comfortable to accommodate to the new side especially if you are accustomed to sleeping on the right. Changing sleeping habits overnight is never easy, but with a little practice and conscious efforts you can achieve it keeping in mind the larger benefits at hand.

First and foremost, when you hit the pillow, make a conscious effort to turn left. Other tips which you can try to trick your brain to naturally turn left is-placing a night light on the right side of the bed. This would naturally force you to turn towards the left, which shall be the darker side. You can also try keeping a big pillow between your knees and upper arm, giving you a feeling of a cuddle on the left.

With a few nights of practice, your body shall naturally adapt to turning left while sleeping and invariably blessing you with umpteen benefits. Remember a restful and calm sleep is the best gift you can give to our body. Then why not wrap it up with the added goodness of enhancing your inner body functions and overall organ efficiency by simply taking the right turn. Oops! In this case, the left turn!

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