Some of the most serious chronic problems like heartburn and back pain can be caused by the wrong sleeping posture. Even though we all know how important it is to enjoy a good night’s sleep, It’s not just about what feels comfy. It should be more about what’s best for our bodies. In fact, to achieve the maximum benefit a good night’s sleep offers your body and mind, you might want to look for the optimal sleeping position.
When you sleep, your body is still hard at work recharging your energy levels, digesting food, filing memories, etc. For all of these and more, the ideal sleeping position is on your left side. Still, need more convincing?
Keep reading to find out 7 reasons why sleeping on your left side is the best position and why sleeping on your belly or on your right side is the bad choice you take ever!
7. It causes heartburn
Lying flat, on your right, or straight on your back can cause a problem called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or worsen this problem for anyone who’s experiencing it. This happens when acid and the contents from the stomach rise into the esophagus. The valve that prevents acid from going back out of the stomach area cannot control the reflux because of the gravity in these positions and the contents of the stomach are brought to the bottom of the esophagus, causing heartburn, distress, the taste of acid in the mouth, bad breath, and sometimes even chest pain.
It’s better to:
Sleep on your left side and add an incline at the top of your body. This has been proven to help people who experience GERD episodes feel relief by alleviating heartburn. In this sleeping position, the stomach is in the proper position that forces the food to stay in the stomach and not leak out into the upper area of the stomach and out of the esophagus valve.
6. Less Heartburn.
Heartburn is certainly not pleasant, and it can become worse when you eat right before bedtime as the reclined position makes it easier for stomach acid to make its way up the esophagus.
Scientists have found that sleeping on your left can minimize the effects of heartburn while sleeping on your right can make it worse.
This is probably due to the fact that your stomach sits on the left side of the abdomen. When you lay on your left side, the junction between the stomach and esophagus is situated higher than the level of stomach acid. On the opposite side, the esophagus sits lower than the acid, making it easier for it to creep down.
5. Improves Digestion.
You may have heard that eating right before bedtime is not a good idea because that food will just stay as is. This is certainly a myth because digestion occurs throughout the day, and probably only several hours after a meal. And even though it’s going to happen regardless of if you are asleep or awake, lying on your left side will ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
This is because of the position of our organs. The stomach is situated on the left side of the abdomen, and therefore food passes easily through the intestines in this position. You can also ensure that the pancreas, which produces digestive enzymes, is not suffocated by the stomach in this way.
4. It can cause chronic neck problems.
It is impossible to breathe properly when sleeping on your stomach if you don’t turn your neck to the side.This sleeping position might lead to the development of chronic neck problems, like herniated disks, because your head and spine are out of alignment and your neck is forced to twist. The series of bones in the spinal cord is protected by discs. A constant poor sleeping position can damage the gelatinous parts of those discs and lead to chronic pain.
It’s better to:
Sleeping on your back is the most natural position for your entire body. The doctor suggests this position to people undergoing chronic spinal pain from arthritis. It’s best to sleep with a small incline under your neck with a foam pillow. You can also try a pillow under each arm to fully relieve your neck from the weight and pressure.
3. Critical for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their left, especially in the third trimester, as this position allows for optimal circulation of blood and oxygen for mother and child. A growing fetus puts a lot of pressure on a woman’s internal organs like the liver and spine. Lying on the left side ensures that this is kept at a minimum and that there is good blood flow for both bodies.
It’s better to:
Doctors advise all pregnant women to try sleeping on their left side since this position increasesthe blood flow and provides the maximum oxygen levels for both mother and baby
2. It adds unnecessary pressure on your breasts and can cause problems.
As a woman, it is really important to know which position it’s best to avoid for healthy breasts. Experts say that with the prone position, you’re putting unnecessary pressure on your chest which might cause pain in some cases. On the other hand, sleeping on your side can cause sagging breasts over time, because gravity naturally pulls them downward.
It’s better to:
Try sleeping on your back. This will also help you keep your breasts relaxed, without adding any extra pressure on your chest.
1. Prevents Snoring
Snoring can put quite a strain on a relationship, and the other party losing sleep over it isn’t going to get them in a better mood! One thing you can do to keep your (or your partner’s) snoring at a minimum is to sleep on your left side.
Of course, this isn’t a fix-it-all solution, but it does help keep your tongue and throat in a more neutral position, thereby clearing the airways and minimizing snoring. And for someone with a snoring problem, sleeping on their back is the absolute worst position as it relaxes said tissues backward and partially obstructs the airways. Snoring is the resulting sound caused by the vibration that occurs when air is pulled through the crowded space.
Bonus: Tape a marble to your chest to stop yourself from sleeping on your stomach.
Use a sticky plaster or tape to attach the marble to your upper chest. When you roll onto your stomach, the marble will push into your chest and the uncomfortable sensation will wake you up. Continue to stick the marble to your chest until you no longer roll onto your stomach.
If the marble doesn’t wake you up, use a tennis ball instead.
Having a good night’s sleep is extremely important. What’s your favorite sleeping position? Do you have any specific habits that help you get the maximum amount of rest?