Sleeping on Your Left Side May Affect Your Health
7 minute read
Everybody is different—we have different tastes, styles, favorite colors, and hobbies. We also sleep in different positions.
Typically, we choose to sleep in whatever position feels comfortable. People that sleep on their left side, however, may be at an advantage.
Sleeping on your left side promotes better health, so even if you think you found the perfect sleeping position, perhaps you should consider switching things up.
Why Left Is Better
There are a number of reasons why sleeping on your left side is considered better for your health.
| Related: Better Sleep Means Better Joint Health |
The reasons discussed below should have you convinced in no time to switch positions and get a better night’s sleep.
Drainage of Your Lymphatic System
Your lymphatic system is charged with expelling toxins and waste from your body. The drainage of these toxins from your body occurs through the thoracic duct, which is located on your left side.
This system also collects proteins that have escaped from their cells, so sleeping on your left can bring those wayward proteins to their correct destination. Sleeping on your left can also speed up the elimination of waste and toxins by allowing gravity to push the process along.
| Related: Dangerous Chemicals Found in Mac & Cheese |
A clogged lymphatic system can cause serious health problems, so it is important to support its function when you can. You should be aware of the signs of a clogged lymphatic system. These include:
♦ Skin conditions
♦ Excess weight
♦ Chronic fatigue
♦ Sinus infections
♦ Digestive disorders
If you experience any of these regularly, consider changing your sleeping position to help cleanse your lymphatic system and restore it to optimal function.
Enhanced Spleen Function
Not many people know what the function of the spleen is or where it is located. Your spleen is situated to your left side and is part of the lymphatic system.
| Related: 9 Sleeping Positions to Improve Your Health |
Sleeping to your left can help the functions of this organ as gravity again enhances blood flow to the area and allows it to filter waste more efficiently. The spleen can store reserve blood and, as old blood cells pass through, it retains useful components such as iron, that can be used in new cell production.
Heartburn Prevention Help
If you regularly suffer from GERD or heartburn, switching to the left side for sleeping may help you. When you are in this position, your stomach is below the cardiac sphincter, which connects the esophagus and stomach.
While sleeping on your left, the contents of your stomach cannot flow back into the esophagus, which is what causes reflux and heartburn. GERD and acid reflux can also be treated by making dietary and lifestyle changes.
| Related: Daily Digestive Enzymes Help Reverse GERD Damage |
By not eating late at night, you allow your stomach time to empty, so there is nothing to flow back into the esophagus. Sleeping on the left is an additional measure to protect you from the pains of reflux when you are trying to sleep.
Avoiding Liver Congestion
Because your liver is located on your right side, sleeping on the right can cause this organ to become congested. Your liver is essential in the elimination of toxins from your body, so sleeping on the left help to support its functions.
Toxins can be neutralized by your liver before they are eliminated, thereby enhancing your health. A congested liver can cause poor digestion, abdominal bloating, indigestion, insomnia, fatigue, elevated cholesterol levels, and even depression.
Even when you are sleeping, your heart is still at work. The left side of your heart is responsible for pumping blood out to the rest of your body.
By sleeping on the left side, you help to ease the functioning of the heart, so it does not have to work any harder than necessary.
Improve Gut Health
Gut health depends on more than just proper digestion. It also requires efficient elimination of waste, and sleeping on your left supports this function.
The ileocecal valve is located where the large and small intestines meet and sleeping on your left allows gravity to assist the movement of waste from one to the other. You end up with regular bowel movements and a healthy gut.
By assisting in the evacuation of waste, a healthy gut environment is sustained, allowing for beneficial bacterial balance. Toxic bacterial strains thrive when waste is backed up, and this can cause digestive disorders as well as chronic inflammation and obesity.
Keeping things regular by sleeping on the left will prevent bad bacteria from taking over your gut.
Good for Pregnancy
Sleeping on the left side is optimal for pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. This position allows increased blood flow and protects the liver from the additional weight, therefore allowing it to work at optimal condition.
Sleeping on the left improves blood flow to the heart, kidneys, uterus, and fetus, making it the ideal position for pregnant women.
The Bottom Line
If you think it is time to change sleeping positions but are having trouble getting used to the left side, there are a few things you can try to help you get comfortable.
Try using a body pillow, placed to your right side to prevent you from rolling onto your back. You can also place a pillow on your left side between your knees and shoulders, like you are giving it a hug.
Change is not always easy, but it may be necessary if you notice any of these health concerns. A good night’s sleep is not only important for giving your brain and body time to rest and recharge, it can also boost your health.
Sleeping on your left side delivers beneficial support to your resting body, so it just might be time to roll over and try something new.