The Millstone Times July 2021


Why is Side Sleeping Beneficial? By, Surabhi Ashok If you devote a lot of time to being healthy in everyday life, note the position you go to bed in. Believe it or not, the side of the body you end up sleeping on can have vast effects on your health. For instance, most experts point to the benefits of left side sleeping. The organs inside the human body are placed asymmetrically, meaning that resting positions affect the way waste is processed and directed. Gravity, when sleeping on the left side, takes waste through the ascending colon, into the transverse colon, and finally the descending colon, aiding in digestion and waste elimination. The position also allows the stomach and pancreas to hang in their natural place on the left side of the body, which in turn helps digestive processes like pancreatic enzymes to be as effective as possible. This premise comes from Ayurvedic principles. Left side sleeping also reduces heartburn. This theory outlines the reason: the stomach and its gastric juices stay lower than the esophagus. In compar- ison, right side sleeping may actually provoke symptoms such as acid reflux, which is when stomach acid irritates the food pipe. However, both left and right side sleeping can be beneficial in terms of circulation to the heart. In addition, side sleeping, both left and right, comes with an increase in brain health. The body is able to clear interstitial waste from the brain, which is essentially proteins and other debris that cloud the organ. With a higher functioning brain cleanse, the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. also decreases. Side sleeping may be helpful for people who suffer from back pain because it relieves pressure on the spine. However, be aware that this change may result in the development of shoulder pain instead. Finally, side sleeping can also reduce snoring or sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Sleeping on your side can prevent your tongue from blocking your airpipe, which in turn prevents ragged breaths. Sleep apnea can also cause tiredness, so side sleeping may allevi- ate this feeling as well. Ask your doctor what sleeping positions work best for you. Note that pregnant women should sleep on their left sides as much as possible because of the resulting improved circulation, increased blood flow, re- duction of pressure on their backs, and prevention of the uterus squeezing the liver. To make the switch of sleeping on your side, you may want to put a body pillow behind your back and find a softer mattress. Some people even have a pillow available to hug to rest their top arm. If you are having a harder time staying in this position throughout the night, try sleeping on the opposite side of the bed so it won’t feel off. Ultimately, side sleeping, especially on the left side, can greatly improve your health in digestion, the heart, the brain, and overall welfare with a decrease in tiredness. Source: |

28 The Millstone Times

July 2021

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator