Does It Matter Which Side You Sleep On?
There are surprising links between sleep quality and sleep position. Let's take a look at sleep position trends and what experts recommend.
Sleeping Position BreakdownAccording to HealthAmbition, here's how Americans most commonly sleep:
- 63% sleep on their side
- 14% sleep on their back
- 16% sleep on their stomach
- 7% sleep in the fetal position
Of these, sleeping on one's side is considered to be the most healthy, but is there a difference between sleeping on your right or left side?
Left or Right: Which Side Sleeping Position is Best?
Experts have weighed in, and they have a verdict. Sleeping on your left side, they suggest, is healthier for your body and mind. There’s more to it, however, as a slew of factors make the left side a superior one. Let’s check it out.
The Left Side at Its Core
Sleeping on your back is viable, as is your stomach. That said, sleeping on your side is suggested to benefit your digestive health. At your core, your internal organs may become cramped as you sleep. Because your stomach is positioned slightly on your left side, however, it’ll experience less stress if the side is raised.
The Lymphatic System
Sleeping on your left side helps your body filter lymph fluid, too. Your left side is your dominant lymphatic side, and quite a bit of Western research backs left-side sleepers as efficient waste processors. Sleeping on your right side, meanwhile, can decrease your lymphatic system’s efficiency.
Good for the Heart
Some doctors order pregnant women to sleep on their left side, as it improves heart circulation. Even if you’re not pregnant, you should give your heart a break. Because gravity facilitates lymph drainage away from your heart, sleeping on your side can help aortic circulation.
Speaking of the heart, it’ll experience less heartburn if you’re a left-sided sleeper. Lying on your left side can reduce acid reflux symptoms—and this benefit “stacks” over time. So, if you’re frequently awakened by heartburn, consider leveling yourself out by becoming a left-sided sleeper.
Spinal Pressure Relief
Those suffering from chronic back pain may experience relief by sleeping on their left side. Lying on your left side relieves spinal pressure, giving your bones a break.
Sleeping on your left side doesn’t only aid in lymph fluid relief. It also helps your body filter toxins. These toxins are filtered through the lymph nodes and thoracic duct—which is relieved while your body is on its left side.
Will Your Body Become More Efficient?
Sleeping on your left side over time can become more efficient at toxin disposal via waste. Additionally, you’ll have far better sleep quality if you’re relieving spinal pressure—or if you suffer from heartburn. It might take time to become a left-side sleeper, but it’s entirely worth it. If you’re having trouble, don’t stress it! It takes time to form new habits, but they’ll be habits nonetheless.