What position do you sleep in for optimal health?



I noticed this headline during my casual internet browse on a break earlier:

Sleeping on your right side could be harming your digestive health, expert warns (msn.com)

Keeping on your right side could be harming your digestive health.

This is hardly an in depth study; more tabloid page filler.
I’ll read it again…has anyone heard of anything like this in physiological studies?

All I’ve heard of (sleeping wise), is don’t eat too much cheese before sleeptime (bad dreams), and something similar for sleeping on your back. Nonsense, I regularly sleep star shaped on my back, rejoicing in the knowledge that sleep apnea has no say in my life anymore :wink:

(Chuck) #2

If people didn’t eat then go to bed it wouldn’t be an issue. I make sure it has been at least 4 hours since I ate before going to bed. My general rule is I don’t eat after 6pm and most days it is earlier than that. It prevents acid reflux and other discomforts. I do sleep on either my right or left side. My wife makes sure I don’t sleep on my back as if I do she doesn’t sleep.


I fall asleep on my right side and wake up on my left. I have no idea what happens in between, I am asleep. :slight_smile:


I don’t really deep sleep anyway…mental note, must turn off Youtube!
As long as I rest I’m OK, then my body will let me know when a deep sleep is due.

It’s soothing background noise.
I think I have this hanging over from when I had sleep apnea- I just don’t want to hear me breathing/pausing breathing, or that CPAP machine even though it was a quiet compressor.


I can relate to that.

My ex wife tried to selfishly sleep star shaped; now she’s my ex wife and I can sleep star shaped at will.


(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #6

I alternate sides, because (a) only one nostril is generally active at a time, and this is significant for someone with allergies; and (b) my shoulders and arms go numb if I sleep too long on one side or the other, which is the result of extensive arm surgery after the accident.

If our digestive tract were that sensitive to position, Homo sapiens would have died out long ago.

Moved to “Show me the garbage”.


Fair play!

I also can fit a thumb up one nostril, and hardly get a pinky finger up the other.
Teenage fighting I guess.

I agree, it is garbage because it doesn’t reflect a holistic sleep study.
However, i think even the tabloid article specifies GERD…and how you pysically sleep might help digestion.


GERD issues are not the issues of average people, the majority doesn’t have it. Hence, one can’t be drawing conclusions about the general population by looking at people with GERD.

(Robin) #9

I would like to see photographic proof of the thumb and pinkie demonstration.

(Alec) #10

This is hysterical… :joy::joy::joy:. If this isn’t an automatic bodily function that you really can’t do much about, I don’t know what is… you change sleep positions naturally without waking up many times a night. Unless you film yourself, you have no idea what position you sleep in. You might start and go to sleep in position A, but you have no idea what position you spend most of the night in.

Having said all the above, I know that when I lost a lot of weight through carnivore, and my big belly became a small belly, I started waking up facing up a lot more than on my side, which was almost exclusively the position when I had a big belly.


It’s pure tabloid filler lol!


Maybe slight exaggeration, but I do rely mainly on my left nostril for breathing as the throughput of right nostril is minimal.

(Karen) #13

I don’t sleep per say so i end up right side left side and on my back… generally switching regularly throughout the night. I quite often see my fitbit say i have had a ‘fair’ nights sleep but with all the red markers proving i have been very much awake… and all the times i confuse it in to thinking i am asleep as i lay very still for the most part, I don’t think it is very ‘fair’ atall !:angry:

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #14

I’m not sure what my preferred sleep position is, I normally sleep with a dog on my head and that seems to be her preferred sleep position :man_shrugging:


I see.

(Joey) #16

I’m no fan of “which is better” click-bait, but it is worth noting that our digestive tracts are not symmetrical. Things do twist and turn in different directions.

I have personally found that if I head to bed too soon after dinner that laying on one side (left side down) tends to feel better inside than on the other (right side down).

And on those evenings, laying on my back certainly feels different than on either side.

Of course this ignores whether nostrils/congestion changes the math. (In my fortunate case, they don’t.)

As for which is better for “optimal” health, that’s where I suspect all the quackery comes in. If you’re more comfortable on one side or the other, there’s your research. If not, perhaps you belong in the control group :wink:

(Robin) #17

The very best sleep is with your pet next to or on top of you.
My old dog decided he wanted to sleep in his own bed. Broke my heart.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #18

Oh no! :cry: Mind you, if I roll over and squash our little dog she soon goes to her own bed too :joy:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #19

I once read a very interesting study, the gist of which was that people’s impressions of how much they slept were often far off base. They did EEG’s of people while they slept, and a great many of the people who thought they were awake all night actually had brain scans indicating that they were mostly in a sleep state. And the opposite, too: many people who thought they slept through the night had EEG’s showing they were awake and conscious a lot of the time. After reading that study, I stopped worrying about it, lol!


Yes. I need Carly close, or I worry about her.