Typically, your sleeping position is a “whatever gets you there” kind of scenario. There are lots of common positions people assume as they drop off to sleep, including on their side, stomach, back, or curled up in the fetal position.
Some folks lay relatively still all night, and others toss and turn. It’s all okay as long as you aren’t waking up sore.
However, your sleep could be better than okay. It could be great. Your body is actually still pretty active during that time, filing away memories, digesting dinner, and recharging your batteries, plus, of course, taking in oxygen and circulating blood. As it turns out, the position you take during sleep makes a huge difference in how effective these processes are, and there IS a best position.
Sleeping on your left side is the gold standard in slumber positioning, and we’ve got 7 compelling reasons why that is. Not convinced? Stick with us as we count the ways.
Did your parents ever tell you that it is bad to eat before bed, that the food will just sit there all night and make you fat? It’s an oft-repeated tidbit, but it’s not true – digestion continues on whether you are awake or asleep.
And there is a reason that a bedtime or midnight snack is a thing. Our bodies are still busy during sleep and need some fuel to get the most out of that time.
Now, even though digestion will occur no matter how you sleep, you can help your body do the work with as little effort as possible by sleeping on your left side.
That’s because our stomachs sit to the left side of the abdomen, and when you lie on your left side, it allows food to pass into the large intestine more easily. It also keeps the stomach from lying on top of the pancreas, which supports the free flow of digestive enzymes.
From the very moment of its existence, the heart must beat without pause in order to sustain life. That’s a big job, and it can be impacted by a host of factors from diet to environmental air quality. It’s no wonder that heart disease is the leading killer of adults worldwide. To minimize your risk, make your heart’s job easier by sleeping on your left side.
It sounds like such a little thing, but when you sleep on your left side, you let gravity help the heart move blood. Your aorta carries blood from the heart to the rest of your body, and it arches to the left as it begins its route. When you lay so that it is pointed down, the heart has less work to get that blood moving.