When people talk about sleep, they always seem to focus on how much of it you get. While getting in 8 hours is important for good health, how you sleep is just as important as how much you get. Believe it or not, one of the greatest things you can do for you health boils down to which side of your body you sleep on. The principles of Ayurveda, which have existed for centuries, dictate that sleeping on your left side has a wealth of medical benefits.
Sleeping on your left side improves digestion through the simple principle of gravity. Because of the position of the large intestine and eventually the colon, gravity draws waste through the digestive system naturally. Try sleeping on your left side for a couple of nights and you will notice the need to use the restroom almost immediately upon waking. This is the effect of gravity on digestion.
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Detoxes the Body
The left side of the body is the dominant side of our lymphatic system. Sleeping on your left side shifts all of the waste and toxins in the body to the strongest side of the system that filters those toxins out. Again, gravity is a major component.
Prevents Acid Reflux
The opening to the stomach lies on the left side our body, so if you lie on your right side, stomach acid can move into the digestive tract. Think of laying a jug of liquid on its side: if the opening is at the top, the fluid can’t leak out. Our stomach’s work the exact same way.
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One of the most compelling arguments to sleep on your left side is the benefit to your heart. Again, by utilizing gravity, you can take the strain off of your heart by allowing blood to flow more naturally. It’s a really simple principle: fluid is harder to push up than it is to flow down.