What side of the body do you usually sleep on? On your right or on your left? Or else are you are perhaps someone who sleeps on your back. We all know that the duration of sleep is critical for mental and physical wellbeing, but did you know that your sleeping position can have a direct impact on your health?

Majority of the population are side sleepers. In fact, according to surveys and studies, 74% prefer side sleeping. Although sleeping on your back is the ideal position for your spine, people who suffer from snoring and sleep apnea benefit a lot from side sleeping.

Is there a best side to sleep on? The answer is definitely yes! The benefits of side sleep can actually depend on which side you sleep. In this article, know all about which side sleeping position can be beneficial for you.


Sleep on Your Left Side for Better Health

Ayurveda emphasizes that sleeping on your left also called Vamkushi can be very beneficial for your overall health. In addition, science-backed studies also suggest that the left side sleeping position is good for better sleep quality, health and longevity benefits.

Doctors always tend to recommend pregnant ladies to sleep on their left side to bolster blood circulation. Turns out that not just pregnant women but also the general population can benefit a great deal by sleeping on your left side. This is because, when sleeping on the left side, you contribute to the health of many of your organs, and thereby make their work easier.

Advantages of Sleeping on the Left Side vs the Right Side


  1. Promotes Proper Lymphatic Drainage

Sleeping on the left side is the most natural. This side is the dominant part of the lymphatic system. 75% of the body’s lymph fluid drains into the thoracic duct, which then drains into the left side of the heart.

Along the way, lymph fluids carrying proteins, glucose, metabolites and waste products are cleansed and then drained. Your body will have more time to filter toxins, lymph fluid, and waste through the thoracic duct and out through the lymph nodes.

On the other hand, sleeping on the right side can lower the lymphatic system’s power. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that sleeping on the left side also help support the brain’s waste clearance system through tiny lymphatic vessels called glymphatics.

  1. Better Digestion

Both the stomach and pancreas are located towards the left side. You can favor better digestion by enabling them to hang naturally and function optimally. It is a better way to channelize the gastric juices and more easily promote the secretion of pancreatic enzymes.

Moreover, elimination of food waste also becomes easier since the undigested food and toxins naturally move little by little from the small intestine to the large intestine and finally into the colon.

If you are someone who likes taking naps after a heavy meal, then try to sleep on your left side for better digestion. Since it encourages better digestion with a smoother and shorter digestive cycle, it will leave you waking up with more energy. It can also aid in treating heartburns or acid reflux after a heavy meal.

If you lie on the right side, the stomach and pancreas will now hang in an unnatural position forcing them to empty contents prematurely. Also, the liver and gall bladder are located on the right side. Resting on the left takes off pressure from these organs and enable it to secrete bile in order to break down fats and neutralize the acids of the stomach.

  1. Heart Health

Over 80% of the heart is on the left side of the body. This will naturally facilitate a seamless blood flow towards the heart given the force of gravity. Another aspect to consider is that the Aorta leaves the heart making an arch to the left side in order to reach the abdomen.


  1. For the Health of your Spleen

The Spleen which is part of the lymphatic system is also on the left. It is a gigantic lymph node that filters blood and lymph fluid. And so, laying on the left side will promote drainage back to the spleen.

Remember that the lymph system drains all the cells in the body through movement and muscle contractions. So, helping the lymph to drain to the spleen with gravity is a good thing.

  1. Reduce Snoring

Sleeping on your side generally is beneficial for patients suffering from sleep apnea who are prone to breathlessness and snoring. No matter which side right or left,  It keeps your tongue and throat in a neutral position and thus keeps your airways clear.


Make the Change

If you usually sleep on your back, stomach or right side, you may want to break that habit and try sleeping on your left to see if it helps. It will take some time and practice, but you will be able to quickly adapt.

Invest in an ergonomic mattress and pillow to start with. Try propping a pillow up against your back to prevent you from rolling over. Another trick is to keep a dim light on your right side or try switching the side of the bed you sleep on.


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