Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for our health, body, mind, and our mood, especially since we spend one-third of our lives asleep. Interesting to know that your preferred sleep position could be giving you back and neck pain, stomach troubles, or can even be aging you prematurely.
According to health expert Dr. John Douillard, “Emphasizing the left side for rest and sleep offers some time-tested wisdom for very real health and longevity benefits.”
According to Ayuvedic – an Indian traditional system of medicine – the left side of the body is totally different from the right, which is why we have often have pains on one side but not the other.
Ayurveda suggests that there are numerous reasons why you should practice sleeping on the left side:
1. Helps lymphatic drainage, which carries waste products away
“The left side of the body is the dominant lymphatic side. The majority of the body’s lymph fluid drains into the thoracic duct, located on the left side. “Lymph fluid carrying proteins, glucose and other metabolites and waste products is purified by lymph nodes and is then drained into the left side of the heart.
“Because of this, it is common in Ayurveda to deduce that left side ailments may be due to chronic lymphatic congestion.”
2. Makes it easier for the heart to pump downhill
“According the Ayurveda, congestion happens in the body according to a certain pattern, or priority system.
“In this priority system, the lymph is the body’s first detox system to congest, before the liver and blood become overwhelmed.
“Thus, early lymph issues may present more on the left side of the body and move to the right.”
3. Better waste elimination
“Sleeping on the left side allows gravity to encourage the food waste to move more easily from the small intestine into the large intestine through the ileocecal valve (ICV).
“With the help of gravity and a good night’s sleep on the left the side, the descending colon is full of waste to easily eliminate completely each morning.”
4. Support healthy spleen function
“The spleen is much like a gigantic lymph node, except that in addition to filtering lymph it also filters blood.
“When you lay on the left side, drainage back to the spleen is once again helped and made easier by gravity.”
5. Encourages proper digestion
“Ayurveda suggests a short, ten minute rest on the left side to help the body properly digest the food.
“The stomach and the pancreas hang on the left side. When you lie on the left side, the stomach and pancreas hang naturally, allowing for optimal and efficient digestion.”
6. Helps circulation back to the heart
“If you sleep on your left side, the lymph drainage toward the heart will again be helped by gravity, taking some of the workload off the heart as you sleep.”
7. Helps bile flow more freely
“The liver and gallbladder hang on the right side. Resting on the left side allows them to hang freely and secrete precious bile, with the help of gravity, into the digestive tract to emulsify fats and neutralize the acids of the stomach.”