By Emilyn Gil
Sleep is probably life’s most interesting oddity. As kids we do everything possible to avoid it, as adults we can’t seem to get enough of it, and all of us spend about a third of our lives doing it.
As inviting and calming as sleep can be, it can also come with many challenges. Waking up with sore muscles or a stiff neck, sleeping straight through the alarm, and the notorious inability to sleep whether that be due to noisy kids, an overload of stress, or just plain sleep apnea.
Despite these challenges, we all know that it’s important to get around 7 to 8 hours of sleep. So there’s no question as to the best amount of time to sleep in order to get the most beneficial rest. But have you ever been told which is the best sleeping position?
Benefits Of Sleeping On The Left Side
An expert recently revealed that sleeping on the left side is more beneficial to the body than any other sleeping positions. John Douillard, who worked as a Ayurvedic Practitioner of 25 years, listed many reasons for why all sleepers should favor the left side after bedtime. (1)
1. Reduced Heart Burn
Research shows that those who suffer from heart burn (or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) were able to find the most relief when sleeping on the left side. This is due to the positioning of your internal organs, and especially the stomach. When you sleep on your left side, your stomach acid is pulled by gravity into the pit of your stomach rather than up into your esophagus, which means no heart burn. (2)
2. Best For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are constantly warned that sleeping on the back, in supine position, is dangerous for the baby and can result in a still birth. What is less often told is that, while sleeping on either side is preferable to sleeping on the back, the left side is actually best during pregnancy. This is because sleeping on the left side improves maternal hemodynamics, or blood flow to the uterus. (3)
3. No More Snoring
Most of the time those who snore can sleep quite soundly. Taking into account your sleeping position may, however, be helping those who sleep with or near you! Sleeping on your back pushes your muscles to the back of your throat causing more airway collapse, and thus more snoring. Although there isn’t much research to show that sleeping on the left or right side is better, side sleeping has proven to decrease snoring as opposed to sleeping on your back or stomach. (4, 2)
Make The Most Of Your Beauty Sleep
Whether you are a light sleeper, deep sleeper, active sleeper, or stationary sleeper, you know that sleep is precious, and you have to make the most of those 8 hours. Sleeping on your left side has proven to be most beneficial, especially for those who suffer from heart burn, who are pregnant, or who tend to snore during the night hours. In addition to training yourself to sleep on your left side as much as possible, there are other things you can do to make your sleep effective for your body and mind. The most important thing is that you find the best routine that works for you and to stick to it.