Sleeping on your left side is often recommended by healthcare professionals. Why? Because sleeping on your left side can help alleviate snoring, prevent GERD symptoms, and reduce back pain. Here is why you should make a habit of sleeping on your left side every night.
1. Promotes better sleep
When you sleep on your left side, your body is able to relax more fully and enter a deeper state of sleep. This can leave you feeling rested and refreshed in the morning.
2. Better digestion
Sleeping on the left side allows gravity to do its job and move food more efficiently through your digestive system. This can help relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as gas and bloating.
3. Reduces heartburn and indigestion
Heartburn and indigestion are common problems that can be made worse by lying down flat on your back after eating. Lying on the left side can help to prevent these issues by keeping stomach acid where it belongs—in your stomach.
4. Relieves back pain
If you suffer from back pain, sleeping on the left side can help to take the pressure off of your spine and ease the pain
5. Alleviates snoring
Snoring occurs when the tissues in the back of your throat relax and block the airway. Sleeping on your side helps keep the airway open and can reduce or eliminate snoring altogether.
6. Relieves high blood pressure
Doctors believe sleeping on your left side is the best sleeping position for people with high blood pressure since it relieves the pressure on blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart.
7. It improves circulation
Sleeping on your left side allows blood to flow more easily through your body. This can help reduce the risk of blood clots, varicose veins, and other circulation problems.
8. Improves lymphatic drainage
The lymphatic system is responsible for the removal of toxins and waste from the body. When you sleep on your left side, gravity helps drain the lymphatic system more effectively, helping to detoxify the body.
9. It helps relieve sinusitis
If you suffer from sinus problems, lying on the left side can help to drain mucus from your sinuses more effectively and reduce congestion and pressure build-up during the night.
10. Reduces neck pain
If you spend a lot of time looking down at your phone or working at a desk, you may be familiar with neck pain. Lying on the left side can help take the pressure off of your neck and reduce pain.
11. Increases blood flow to the fetus
For pregnant women, sleeping on the left side increases blood flow to the fetus and promotes kidney function. It also helps to prevent compression of major arteries, which can lead to low blood pressure during pregnancy. This is why doctors often recommend that pregnant women sleep on their left sides as much as possible.
How do I train myself to sleep on my left side?
If you’re not used to sleeping on the left side, it can take some getting used to. Here are a few tips to help you make the transition.
- Use pillows to support your neck and back. When you first start sleeping on your left side, you may experience some discomfort. To alleviate this pain, use pillows to prop up your neck and back. This will put your spine in a neutral position and take the pressure off of your muscles.
- Place a pillow between your knees. This will help keep your hips aligned and prevent you from rolling onto your back during the night.
- Use a body pillow. A body pillow can provide full-body support and keep you from rolling over during the night. If you don’t have a body pillow, you can use two regular pillows—one placed under your head and the other placed between your knees.
The bottom line
There are many benefits to sleeping on your left side—from reducing back pain to improving circulation—so why not give it a try tonight? Your body (and mind) will thank you for it!