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What Is The Best Sleep Position For Digestion

Oct 28, 2021 | Sleep

It’s possible that the way you sleep could be affecting how well you digest your food. There’s a growing body of knowledge regarding how sleep affects digestion, as well as some promising strategies for a good night’s slumber and a healthy stomach. In this article, we will discuss the best sleep position for digestion.

The Best Sleep Position For Digestion

1. Side Sleeping

People with chronic backaches, insomnia, or acid reflux, as well as pregnant women, should lie on their sides. Your airways are left open, your head and neck are aligned, and your esophagus becomes elevated while you rest on your side. It all contributes to a comfortable environment that avoids snoring, insomnia, and acid reflux. Lying on one’s side is one of the first lines of treatment for snoring and mild apnea.

Left side sleeping

Lying on your left side has the most expert and science-based health benefits. It may appear from the outside that our bodies are primarily symmetrical; however, our organ placement is very much asymmetrical internally.

Sleeping on your left side helps bolster the lymphatic system by helping the body filter substances that travel through the lymphatic fluid—allowing your body to better fight off infection and disease.

Sleeping on your left also allows gravity to aid with digestion, which can help with common stomach issues, such as gas and bloating.

Right side sleeping

When you sleep on your right side, it aids in the elimination of interstitial waste from the brain. This brain cleanse lowers your chances of getting Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

According to some specialists, sleeping on your right side may strain your vena cava(the most prominent vein in the human body). It’s the vein that leads to your heart’s right side.

However, no research shows lying on your right side increases your risk of heart failure at this time, and it appears to be safe.

Pros

  • Sleeping on your side can help with digestion.
  • Side sleeping helps your body remove toxins from the brain and may even reduce the risk of neurological disease, as shown in a 2015 study.
  • Sleeping on your side reduces snoring and lowers the risk of obstructive apnea.

Cons

  • Lying on one’s side can disrupt blood flow and put a strain on the lungs and stomach.
  • Numbness can be caused by resting on one arm, and a person with shoulder problems may have difficulty reclining on their side.

Pro Tips For Sleeping On Your Side

  1. Measure the length between the end of your shoulder and your neck, and pick out a pillow that fits your collarbone structure, allowing your neck to stay aligned with your spine as you lay on your side.
  2. Place a firm pillow between your knees, supporting your hips and lower back.
  3. Snuggle a pillow between your arms to help rest your top arm.

2. Back sleeping

For most people who deal with chronic back pain and discomfort, sleeping on your back often times proves to be the most comfortable sleeping position. When you lie on your back, your weight is equally distributed, providing your hips and shoulders a break. Overall, resting on your back provides the most therapeutic effects. Your muscles are more relaxed because your spine is naturally aligned —relaxation results in reduced inflammation, which can lead to less pain.

Pros

  • Reduce the severity of heartburn. The best position for preventing nighttime heartburn is to lie on your back with your head and chest slightly elevated.
  • Get rid of acid reflux. This position may also be the most effective for preventing acid reflux. Position your stomach below your esophagus to prevent food and acid from creeping up your digestive track as you sleep.
  • Sleeping on your back can prevent neck pain. It can be challenging to keep your neck aligned with the rest of your spine if you lie on your side. When you sleep on your back, you can keep your neck in a neutral posture all night with pillow support.

Cons

  • It causes back pain. When in a supine position (lying face up), some people have lower back pain. While your neck and shoulders may remain aligned, your lower back is more likely to sink and arch.
  • It causes apnea. Back sleeping is also known to exacerbate sleep apnea.

Pro Tips For Sleeping On Your Back

  1. Protect your back by tucking a pillow under your knees, putting your spine in a neutral position.
  2. Choose a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck, and keeps your spine in alignment. Avoid a pillow height that tilts your chin close to your chest.
  3. Elevate your sleeping position with extra pillows to help ease the effects of heartburn or a stuffy nose.

3. Sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping on your stomach can aid digestion and prevent heartburn by allowing food to move through to the intestines without being obstructed, allowing for further digestion.

Also, lying on your stomach can help with sleep apnea and snoring,

However, sleeping on your stomach has proven to be uncomfortable on your neck and back for many people. It can result in restless nights and pain throughout the day. If you’re pregnant, pay special attention to your sleeping position and avoid lying on your stomach if at all possible.

Pros

  • It helps prevent sleep apnea. Sleeping on your stomach has been shown to help with mild sleep apnea. It is not a substitute for doctor-prescribed therapy.
  • It helps reduce heartburn. When you have acid reflux or chronic heartburn, lying on your belly can help you feel better.
  • It can stop you from snoring. Lying on your stomach can help you with this. Because you’re not constricting your airway, you’re allowing it to flow freely into and out of your lungs, which helps with snoring.

Cons

  • It places strain on your spine. Lying on your belly is terrible for your back. According to one scientific study group, it puts a lot of pressure and stress on your spine. The reason behind this is because the majority of your weight is distributed in the center of your body, making it harder to sustain a neutral spine position when sleeping. It also causes tingling and numbness, which are very unpleasant sensations.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can cause neck problems. You must turn your head to the side unless you know how to breathe through a pillow. This persistent strain on your neck causes postural issues. This sleep position can give you a sore feeling the next day and potentially long-term chronic pain issues in your neck and upper back.

Pro Tips For Sleeping On Your Stomach

  1. Try not to place your arms under your pillow or under your head, as this can cause chronic joint pain in your shoulders.
  2. Place your arms in a goalpost position or at your sides if possible.
  3. Change head positions often to avoid neck pain and stiffness.

Tips To Help Digestion Before Going To Bed

1. Avoid eating large meals before bed

Try to avoid heavy meals and eat just enough to sustain yourself until morning. When you don’t have much digestive work to do at night, your body will redirect its energy to resting/repairing your muscles and brain, allowing you to be more productive the next day. Also, rather than eating late at night, try eating a bigger meal first thing in the morning. Helping keep you fueled all day long, allowing your body to do most of its digestive work when you are up and active and moving around, aiding your digestion even further.

2. Eat three hours before bedtime

Food intake causes the body to release insulin, which affects a person’s internal body clock and causes them to become more awake. Try eating dinner three hours before bedtime to enable the stomach to digest adequately and focus on preparing for sleep. When a person lies down, their stomach contents might rise into the esophagus, causing chest discomfort —allowing three hours of digestion before bedtime can help you avoid these issues altogether. Also, tiny amounts of complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, or a small portion of protein will help you go asleep faster by satiating hunger pains.

3. Stick with the Water

While you may believe that drinking alcohol before bedtime helps you sleep, it can have the opposite effect, and it is best to avoid it if possible. As well as caffeine drinks and hot beverages, these types of beverages might make you feel more alert while also disrupting your sleep. Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and fizzy juice are all caffeine-containing beverages that are best to avoid if you want to get a good night’s sleep.

Final Thoughts

Eating is essential, since it gives us energy and allows us to live a healthy lifestyle and sleeping peacefully throughout the night is a must for everyone. Getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep each night plays a large role in helping keep us healthy as well.

This tranquility mustn’t be disturbed by our late-night eating habits. Fine tuning our eating schedule, avoiding foods that can mess with our circadian rhythm, and finding the right sleep position has proven to help many people get a better nights sleep.

Whether you like to sleep on your side, back, or stomach, each sleeping position has advantages and disadvantages. While many experts suggest sleeping on your left side, the best sleep position for digestion, it is honesty very subjective and varies from person to person.

It is essential to weigh your options and make the right decision for your individual needs. You will be surprised how making a few small changes to your nightly routine can have a profound effect on your sleep.

We hope this article has helped you decide what sleep position is best for you, please feel free to share this with your community and sleep awesomely, my friends.

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