On average we sleep about eight hours every night, which means that we actually spend a third of our lives in bed. Sleep is incredibly important for our health and if we don’t get enough of it, our bodies get out of balance. But according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, the amount of sleep we get isn’t the only factor affecting our health. The study found that our sleeping position can also have a dramatic effect on our health.
Researchers determined that it’s healthier to sleep on your left side. The reasons are quite simple but still plausible. We’ve summarized five of them in this video.
1. Improves lymph drainage
The study showed that sleeping on your left side actually has a positive effect on the functioning of the lymphatic system. This system transports important nutrients and cleans the body by removing waste materials that are filtered out by the lymph nodes. Because these waste materials are drained into the left side of the body before being expelled, sleeping on that side helps to improve that drainage.
2. Better for the heart
Sleeping on your left side makes it easier for your heart to pump blood through your body. This is because the main artery (the aorta) bends to the left. When we sleep on our right side, the blood has to be pumped “uphill.” But when we sleep on our left side, the flow of blood is improved.
3. Improves digestion
When we sleep on our right side, we enable the flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. This is called “acid reflux” and you might know it by its more common name: heartburn! But when we sleep on our left side, stomach acid can’t flow into the esophagus because it comes out of the right side of the stomach. If you have digestive problems, you should definitely try to sleep on your left side.
4. Works with our natural anatomy
The stomach and the pancreas are located on the left side of the body. When we sleep on our right side, the body has to work against the force of gravity. This puts pressure on the stomach and the pancreas, which inhibits proper functioning.
5. Relieves the spleen
the spleen is also located on the left side of the body. This organ is responsible for cleaning our blood. The waste materials transported by the lymphatic system are taken to the spleen where they can be expelled from the body more quickly. Sleeping on our left side allows this important organ to function effectively.
If you’re still not convinced, try sleeping on your left side for a few nights and you might just notice yourself feeling a bit healthier. It can’t hurt to try!