8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left Side

health benefits of sleeping on your left side

5. Prevents Liver Congestion

The liver plays an essential role in neutralizing and eliminating toxins from the body. This organ is on the right side of the body and sleeping on your right side can cause liver congestion to more easily back up into the right side of the body and cause health issues. 

Sleeping on your left side will better support liver functions and prevent indigestion, bloating elevated cholesterol, and even depression as per Ayurveda.

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6.  Encourages Proper Digestion

Sleeping on left side after a meal is a common practice in Ayurveda. Lying on left allows -the stomach and pancreas which make digestive enzymes – naturally hang on the left side of the body allowing optimal and efficient digestion. 

Thanks to the pull of gravity, food move slowly through the stomach and pancreatic enzymes are released as needed. This doesn’t happen so easily when you sleep on the right, because digestive organs are positioned in somewhat unnatural positions, forcing them to empty their contents prematurely. 

Also, resting on the left allows the liver and gallbladder to hang freely and with the pull of gravity secret precious bile into the digestive tract to emulsify fats and neutralize the stomach acids. This process smoothens and shortens the digestive cycle and prevents any feelings of fatigue, according to Ayurveda.  

7. Helps The Gut To Get Rid Of Waste Products

Your gut wants you to sleep on the left side every night because the ileocecal valve i.e. ICV which is the junction of the large intestine and small intestine is located on the lower abdomen. This valve helps in transferring the waste from the small intestine to our large intestine and can ease the elimination of waste products. And prevent bad bacteria from taking over your gut. 

Sleeping on left side forces gravity to encourage food waste to move more easily from the small intestine which dumps waste through the ICV on the right side of the body into the beginning of the large intestine. During the night as you continue to sleep on the left, waste easily moves through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dumps into the descending colon facilitating easy bowel movement in the morning. 

Sleeping on the left helps waste easily moves through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dumps into the descending colon

8. Reduces Heartburn At Night

In one study, participants sleeping on the right side reported increased cases of heartburn also known as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or Acid Reflux), when compared to sleeping on left side. 

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or Acid Reflux)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease anatomy illustration

Those sleeping on left side could avoid GERD because, in this position, the stomach is placed below the cardiac sphincter that connects the esophagus to the stomach. So, the gastric juices in the stomach won’t flow back into the esophagus and will prevent nighttime acid reflux. 

sleeping on the left side will prevent nighttime acid reflux.

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There are so many health benefits of sleeping on left side. Surprised to know? Are you ready to try this sleeping position tonight?  Try it and let us know in the comments below. 


References:

  • Rhyner, H.H., 1998. Ayurveda: The gentle health system (Vol. 18). Motilal Banarsidass Publ..
  • Svoboda, R., 1980. The hidden secret of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic Press.
  • Mattress, P.C., Mattress, P.J., Topper, P.Q., Topper, V.G., Pillow, P.C., Pillow, P.C., Pillow, P.H. and Pillow, P.L., How Sleeping on Your Side can Improve Your Health.
  • Proulx, A., 2020. Stomach Sleeping Guide. [online] PandaZzz. Available at: <https://pandazzz.com/blogs/news/stomach-sleeping-guide> [Accessed 13 May 2021].
  • Skarpsno, E.S., Mork, P.J., Nilsen, T.I.L. and Holtermann, A., 2017. Sleep positions and nocturnal body movements based on free-living accelerometer recordings: association with demographics, lifestyle, and insomnia symptoms. Nature and science of sleep, 9, p.267.
  • Cronin, R.S., Chelimo, C., Mitchell, E.A., Okesene-Gafa, K., Thompson, J.M., Taylor, R.S., Hutchison, B.L. and McCowan, L.M., 2017. Survey of maternal sleep practices in late pregnancy in a multi-ethnic sample in South Auckland, New Zealand. BMC pregnancy and childbirth17(1), pp.1-7.
  • Lee, H., Xie, L., Yu, M., Kang, H., Feng, T., Deane, R., Logan, J., Nedergaard, M. and Benveniste, H., 2015. The effect of body posture on brain glymphatic transport. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(31), pp.11034-11044.
  • Louveau, A., Smirnov, I., Keyes, T.J., Eccles, J.D., Rouhani, S.J., Peske, J.D., Derecki, N.C., Castle, D., Mandell, J.W., Lee, K.S. and Harris, T.H., 2015. Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels. Nature, 523(7560), pp.337-341.

How Sleeping on Your Left Side Affects Your Health
health benefits of sleeping on your left side pin

5 thoughts on “8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left Side”

    1. Could you help me out. I believe this article says sleeping on your left side is beneficial, however the pictures show the opposite and it’s very confusing. Thought you may shed some light on this for me. Thank you Jami

  1. I think this is not really accurate. What studies or tests did you depend on?
    The contrary is the right thing which is sleeping on your right side.
    Try it and you’ll notice a big difference.
    Thanks.

  2. It also helps to reduce bloating by relieving gas. err… makes it easier to burp.

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