Most of us are probably aware of the importance of sleep, but did you know that your sleeping position has a big impact on your health, too?
People tend to sleep in four basic positions: on their right side, on their left side, on their backs, or in a fetal position. Each position has benefits and drawbacks, but most people tend to get used to a position based on personal comfort.
Sleeping on your left side, however, is the one position whose benefits are touted by both holistic medicine and Western medical science. Check out below to learn the health benefits of sleeping on your left side.
Relieves Heartburn and Acid Reflux
If you suffer frequent heartburn, then it’s a good idea to lie on your left side while catching some sleep. In this position, your stomach will be situated below the cardiac sphincter that connects your esophagus to your stomach. The left-side sleeping position prevents stomach contents from coming back up into the esophagus.
Sleeping on the left side offers heartburn/acid reflux relief. This is especially true after a really rich or spicy meal.
Boosts Your Immune System
Experts say that the thoracic duct (which is the largest lymphatic vessel of the lymphatic system) is situated on our left side. The left side of the body is believed to be the dominant side for the lymphatic system (vital for immune function), and sleeping on the left side can help the body process waste materials more effectively. Since the lymphatic system also provides transportation of fats, proteins, and other important substances to your tissues, lying on your left side allows your cells to get these nutrients much faster.
The junction between the small intestine and the large intestine is situated in the left side of your body, in the area called the ileocecal valve. When you sleep on your left side, the gravitational forces make it easier for the waste products to move from the small intestine to the large intestine. This allows the colon to eliminate waste from your body more quickly.
Improves Heart Health
Sleeping on the left side can also provide additional drainage for the lymphatic system via gravity, taking a little of the workload off your heart and improving overall heart health. The left side of the heart receives blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body. Therefore, a left-sided sleeping position may help your heart to do its job more easily and efficiently. When you sleep on your left side, gravity facilitates the function of your circulatory system, especially your aorta and inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries de-oxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart and lies on the right side of your spine.
Helps Your Spleen
The spleen is the largest organ in the lymphatic system and is also located on the left side of your body. When you sleep on your left side, your spleen works more efficiently. The main reason for this is gravity. It promotes the flow of blood to the spleen, allowing it to filter out impurities more quickly.