After a long day running in all directions to carry out the daily tasks that never end, we look forward to that moment when we can finally lie down and close the eyes to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Indeed, sleeping sufficient hours a night helps release our tensions, recharge our depleted batteries and preserve the health of our brain. However, the positions we take during sleep can influence the quality of our sleep and our health. Discover the amazing benefits of sleeping on the left side!
Each of us has a favorite sleeping position that makes us sleep peacefully and comfortably all night. Some prefer to sleep on their backs, others in the fetal position, while many like to sleep on the left or right side.
Putting aside the aspect of “comfort” of these different positions, it is important to know the effects of each on your health. Sleeping on the back, for example, is beneficial for people who suffer from back pain, but this position can be dangerous for those with asthma or sleep apnea, because it aggravates the risks associated with difficulties breathing. As for sleeping on the right side, it encourages heartburn and acid reflux, and reduces blood flow to the uterus in pregnant women.
The best position to adopt for enjoying good night’s sleep while preserving your health is the left side. Before discussing the specific benefits to this position briefly recall the benefits of having a sufficient number of hours of sleep.
Sleep health benefits
In addition to releasing muscle tension accumulated during the day and increasing your performance for the next day, sleeping an average of 8 hours a night, for a healthy adult, brings a multitude of benefits:
- Reduce stress and cortisol levels in the body
- Improves mood and enhance memory
- Strengthens the immune system
- Preserves heart’s health
- Prevents weight gain by reducing the secretion of ghrelin – hunger hormone
- Allows the brain to clean and to release toxins
- Improves the quality and appearance of the skin (less dark circles and bags under the eyes, etc.)
The benefits of sleep on the left side
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, sleeping in this position allows your body to maintain normal functioning during the sleep process, and maintain the health of internal organs.
For heart’s health
Sleeping on the left side, your heart takes a position that allows it to pump blood more easily, which promotes blood circulation and allows a better irrigation of all tissues and organs of the body.
For the digestive system
The stomach and pancreas, which are two essential organs in the process of digestion, are on the left side of our body. Thus, sleeping on this side, they are guaranteed a natural position and, thus, it ensures optimum operation. The stomach continues its smooth and natural contractions, and the pancreas secretes its effective enzymes that aid digestion. Moreover, taking advantage of good digestion, the body manages to absorb maximum nutrients from the food. On the contrary, sleeping on the right side tips the stomach and forces it to empty prematurely, causing indigestion and acid reflux.
For the lymphatic system
Our lymphatic system is operative to drain excess fluids from the body and facilitate their disposal. Since the majority of its organs are on the left side, sleeping on the same side facilitates lymphatic drainage, thanks to the natural force of gravity, and helps eliminate waste and toxins accumulated in the body.
By knowing all the benefits of this sleeping position, it would be a shame not to get started as soon as possible. To help you change your sleeping position, here are some tips to apply.
Some tips to start sleeping on the left side:
Change the sleep position you are taking for years and in which you feel comfortable can be difficult. But by applying these tips, you will succeed in no time:
On the right side of your bed, install a light source. When beginning to fall asleep, your body instinctively seeks to move away from the light and you will end automatically on the left side.
Put yourself on the left side and place some pillows on your back, to prevent you from turning during sleep.
Sleep on the other side of the bed, to encourage you to sleep on the other side of your body.