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Talk about things that don’t tend to come up in conversation. The orientation in which a person prefers to sleep is likely to top the list of least interesting things about them. Regardless of your favorite snoozing position, a regular schedule of high-quality, restful sleep will do wonders for your health and wellbeing. There may, however, be one position that packs a slightly bigger beneficial punch. Sleeping on your left side lends a hand in several natural processes by supporting the organs responsible for carrying them out. If you’re not married to a single sleeping position, you might consider giving your left side a try to give your body an extra boost. But if it doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself up. Preferring one option over all the others is natural.
According to author John Douillard, side sleeping is the most efficient position for the lymph system to flush toxins out of the brain. Since the lymphatic system drains into the thoracic duct on the left side of the body, sleeping on this side specifically may help the body rid itself of harmful substances. It also gives the heart a hand by putting gravity to work in blood circulation. According to Ayurveda, lying on your left side aids in digestion by allowing the stomach and pancreas to hang in the optimal position. Holistic health advisor Dr. Jessica Peatross, MD, echoes these benefits and also points out that left-side sleeping decreases acid reflux and increases blood flow to the spleen.
If you think left-side sleeping sounds good, there’s a strong chance you’re already doing it. According to the Better Sleep Council, nearly half of all Americans still sleep the way we did as infants. With 47% of us sleeping curled up on one side, the fetal position is considered the most common sleep position. Women are more likely than men to snooze in this position, and 37% of Americans say it’s the best option. Roughly half of those who favor fetal must inevitably be curling up on the left – right?
About 18% of Americans prefer to sleep on their backs – either with their arms at their sides (soldier position) or with their arms up near their heads (starfish position). Sleeping on your back, however, can exacerbate problems like lower back pain and sleep apnea. If you find back-sleeping to be the most comfortable option, there are some things you can do to minimize interruptions to your sleep. Try placing a soft pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees to support the natural curve of your spine.
Each of our bodies is different, and a sleep position that is comfortable for one person will feel completely wrong for another. There’s no one right way to sleep, just what works best for you. If you're having trouble sleeping or waking up with aches and pains, A Goodnight Sleepstore is an excellent place to look for the cure for what ails you. Our sleep experts can evaluate the unique aspects of how you snooze to get you the best possible night’s sleep.
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I purchased a twin mattress set from you on December 1. You were very knowledgeable and didn't try to "sell" me something I didn't need. I appreciate your discussing the various options available and the features of each. This was a very good experience (the best I have had in searching for a mattress!).
Judy D Rowe - Manager - Registration & Continuing Education