What is the Best Way to Sleep?
You’ll be surprised to know that there is not much agreement among medical doctors, chiropractors, and alternative medicine practitioners.
Approximately half of them believe the sleeping on the back is better. The other half adverts of the side sleeping.
One chiropractor’s website—expresschiropractickeller.com—states pretty firmly that, for a bunch of reasons, back-sleeping is the way to go. Another site—livestrong.com—says the American Chiropractic Association approves sleeping either on your side or on your back. Says the American Chiropractic Association itself—masschiro.org—“The healthiest sleeping position is on your side.”
One wellness site recommends left-side sleeping to reduce heartburn, snoring, digestion, heart health, and spleen health. Others claim back sleeping helps to prevent neck and back pain, reduces acid reflux, and minimizes wrinkles.
The experts will give pros and cons to each position. However, they do agree on one thing: No stomach sleeping!
Dr. John Douillard says in this clip that sleeping on your left side is highly beneficial. While sleeping on your right side, he says, can aggravate digestion problems, sleeping on your back could be downright dangerous if you suffer from asthma or sleep apnea.
If you have these medical conditions, follow his advice. If you have any respiratory problems you should not sleep on your back.
The doctor’s main argument for sleeping on your left side is that it aids digestion. The doctor in this video actually makes a pretty good case for how to deal with symptoms. But not with causes. Example: He says, near the video’s end, “I’ve seen studies that show people lying on the left side after meal will get less heartburn and will need less anti- acids.”
My reply: Eat raw foods and you’ll never have to lie on your side to lessen heartburn. Just don’t eat for several hours before bedtime—an aspect of my Quantum Eating method—and make your last meal raw. No need, then, to worry about heartburn, acid reflux, digestion issues, any of it.
Sleeping on your side or on your tummy is bad news for your breasts. You ever see those women with the deep creases between their breasts and numerous small lines in their decollete area? Side-sleeping is what does that. You don’t want your breasts hanging down or sideways for hours when you sleep. None of that will happen if you sleep on your back, as I’ve done. For my entire life, in fact.
But sleep on my side and…yuck! What I see in the mirror, the few times I have slept on my side, is scary. Don’t believe me? If you’re over 45 and over—I’m 58—you likely know what I’m talking about. Swelling. Puffiness.
Now, why’s that? Answer: gravity. All your body fluids shift toward your down side, as you sleep.
Sleep on your back and you’ll not have to worry about eye bags, puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines around your eyes.
A few points of advice…
- One small pillow, please. Just one—unless you need more to counter acid reflux. More than one pillow can cause forward neck flexion, a common cause of headaches. If you’re still finding back-sleeping awkward, try a cervical orthopaedic pillow.
- Face the ceiling. Not exciting, but, then, sleep’s not supposed to be. The point: Don’t turn your head to either side.
- Arms at your sides. Or across your tummy. Not hands-behind-head, please. You don’t want aching and numbness.
But what if you have asthma? Now, I’m not a doctor, but I do know the internet has numerous stories about how people have cured their breathing problems with raw foods. Advice: Read them and see if you can learn from their experience and address the problem head on.
How you sleep—the position you sleep in—powerfully affects not only how you’ll feel in the morning, but how you’ll look for the rest of your life.