Scientists have spoken. What is the best side to sleep on?
Sleeping can be very difficult during these times of stress and anxiety. So when you do manage to fall asleep, it pays to get the best quality sleep possible.
Avoiding blue light and reading may be some of the “secrets” that will help you fall asleep more easily, but the position you sleep in can have a critical impact on the quality and health of your sleep.
Pillows can improve your sleeping position, better aligning your neck and back and reducing pressure on your spine. Also, switching sides can have health benefits. But which side is better to sleep on? left or right?
Advantages on the Left
The human stomach is located on the left side of the abdomen. So when you sleep on the left, your content is more likely to stay in place due to gravity. If you turn to your right side, the elevated position of your stomach can put you at risk for acid reflux, although this is not necessarily the case for everyone.
Note that acid reflux occurs when stomach contents back up into the esophagus, causing a burning and tight feeling, which in turn can cause discomfort and can lead to ulcer formation.
Giving your body some time to digest before bed is one way to reduce your risk of reflux.
Advantages on the Right
While the left side seems to be a good option for people with stomach problems, sleeping on the right side has been linked to easier breathing for people with obstructive sleep apnea. A 2011 study of a group of people with this condition compared left-side sleep versus right-side sleep and back sleep: “sleep position had a significant effect on apnea events and side sleep position right side reduced the frequency of obstructive respiratory events in patients with moderate and severe disease.
Another 2018 study that looked at echocardiography changes in sleeping positions found that heart failure patients prefer to sleep on the right side, possibly as a self-protective mechanism to improve heart function that a person is not even aware of.
As for the Invert?
There seem to be conflicting arguments when it comes to sleeping on the right and left sides. However, in the case of people who sleep on their faces, things are a little clearer.
Sleeping on your stomach causes more eye pressure (fluid pressure in the eye) than sleeping on your side, which can lead to glaucoma and vision problems.
Also, there is a possibility that it affects your skin and you get wrinkles on your face more easily when you are under stress. After all, sleep lines or sleep wrinkles are known, which are formed as a result of pillow tension.
At this point, it’s worth noting that, on average, we change our sleeping position 20 times during the night. This means that the more time we spend in one place, the more likely it is to affect our skin. Sleep wrinkles are formed in different places than those shown by facial expressions. Sleeping on your back may be the best way to avoid it, but lying down can cause difficulty breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea.
Either way, if you’re dealing with serious sleep issues, it’s a good idea to consult a specialist and follow their instructions.