This is what sleeping on the left side does for our brain, stomach & glymphatic health

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  • Post last modified:April 16, 2024
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You are currently viewing This is what sleeping on the left side does for our brain, stomach & glymphatic health

Being on our left side while we sleep is good for our brain, stomach, and venous health.

A lot of people like to sleep on their side. They might not know this, though, but it’s good for your health. In fact, there are good and bad effects that can happen to the body depending on how you sleep. In general, people should sleep in whatever way makes them feel the most at ease. Still, if they are having back pain, jaw pain, trouble digesting food, or other signs, they might want to change how they are lying in bed. To be more exact, they might want to think about lying on their left side.

Why sleeping on your left side is good for you

Lessen back pain—Sleeping on your stomach could put pressure on your spine and make it hurt. When you sleep on your side, your spine stays straight, and the stiffness in your lower back goes down.

Reduce snoring: When you sleep on your back, your tongue and soft palate move backward and partly block your airway. This makes you snore more. It also happens a lot to people who have sleep apnea. But sleeping on your side keeps your tongue forward and your mouth open.

It may help your digestion if you sleep on your left side. This can help with stomach problems like bloating, constipation, and heartburn. Since the stomach is on the left side of the body, lying on that side lets gravity help the digestion.[1]

Could be good for your brain – A lot of people don’t know that while you sleep, your brain gets rid of waste. Studies show that sleeping on your side helps the brain get rid of metabolic waste more efficiently by helping the glymphatic system, which is like our lymphatic system but in the brain. Animal tests show that this may help lower the chance of getting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other brain diseases. To go into more detail about these ideas, more study needs to be done on people.[2]

Boosts blood flow—During pregnancy, good circulation is very important so that blood can reach the baby. This is why women who are expecting should sleep in this pose.

How to Get Used to Lying Down

  • Pick out a good cushion and pillow.
  • Choose a pillow that fits the shape of your collarbones well.
  • Make sure the neck pillow is hard enough to hold it in place.
  • Most of the time, mattresses need to be softer so that the shoulders and hips don’t get too sore.
  • Use pillows to support and block things.
  • To help your hips and lower back, put a pillow between your knees.
  • You can also rest your upper arm on a pillow by hugging it.
  • Get body pillows to help you stay in place.
  • You can keep from rolling over by sewing a tennis ball to the back of a shirt.
  • First, sleep on the couch. Most couches are small, so you can only sleep on your side.
  • Bad Things About Sleeping on Your Side
  • This position might be good for you in many ways, but it’s not right for everyone, especially those whose beds or pillows make sleeping on their side uncomfortable. Some of these problems are:Having shoulder and hip pain

Shoulder, hip, and knee pain could get worse if you sleep on your side on a mattress that is too hard. On the other hand, mattresses that are too soft could throw off your back and hurt you.
Putting stress on the face
When people with glaucoma or a stuffy nose lie on their sides, they may feel painful or uncomfortable pressure in their mouths. It could also make a tight or stiff jaw feel worse.

What are the pros and cons of other sleeping positions?

In the end, everyone should sleep however makes them feel the most comfortable. But you should think about how the way you sleep might affect your body, for better or worse. You could also start your nights on your left side and let your body move into any position it wants. There are also health benefits to sleeping on your right side, so don’t worry if it’s not easy for you to change your habits. In the same way, sleeping on your stomach or back has pros and cons.


  • Laying on your back to sleep
  • Pros: It might help with: hip pain
  • Pain in the knees
  • Fibromyalgia and arthritis
  • Having a stuffy nose
  • Help for Bursitis
  • For back and neck support, put a pillow under your knees.
  • To ease the pain in your joints, spread your legs and arms apart.

Pick a pillow that supports your neck well, and stay away from the ones that tilt your chin toward your chest.
Putting extra pillows or a wedge pillow under your head can help ease heartburn, headaches, and stuffy noses.
Having a stomach sleep
Experts say that people who like this situation shouldn’t do it. Bill Fish, a qualified sleep science coach, says, “If you sleep on your stomach and wake up with back pain, there is probably a reason.” “Because most of your body weight is in your middle, your middle pushes into the sleep surface more. This puts stress on your spine in the wrong direction, which can lead to back and neck pain.”

Still, here are some ideas for people who can’t join their side:
Do not use a pillow at all or one that is flat.
Don’t tuck your arms under your pillow or head, as this could make your arms numb or your shoulder hurt.
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Avoid neck pain by moving your head from side to side.
If you have back pain, don’t lift one leg to the side with the knee bent.

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