The bottom line is that resting for 10 minutes on your left side after eating can improve digestion and immunity, plus increase your energy and memory. It may also improve symptoms associated with menopause and the menstrual cycle. Better yet, sleep on your left side for even better results. Here’s the scoop on it…
Do you ever feel tired after eating? Would you like to know something quick and easy to do that involves lying down that will likely aid your digestion and help your energy bounce back too?
Have you ever noticed that “things” seem to happen more on one side of your body than the other? For example, how rashes, aches and pains, tend to usually show up consistently on either your right side or your left? Even your vision is different in each eye, isn’t it?
I had the good fortune to meet Dr. John Douillard, DC, and his family of 8 on one of my teaching trips to Sivananda Yoga Center in the Bahamas. He spoke on the Ayurvedic aspects of digestion. Ayurvedic is the traditional medicine of India. He says that “According to Ayurveda, the left side of the body is completely different than the right side, and, while I know it sounds strange, emphasizing the left side for rest and sleep offers some time tested wisdom for very real health and longevity benefits.” Resting on your left side for 10 minutes after eating a meal will help your digestion and help your energy bounce back too.
“According to Ayurveda,” he says, “the left side of the body is completely different than the right side, and, while I know it sounds strange, emphasizing the left side for rest and sleep offers some time tested wisdom for very real health and longevity benefits.” Resting on your left side for 10 minutes after eating a meal will help your digestion and help your energy bounce back too. Get the facts here on why Erik Dalton, PhD recommends lying in the fetal position for hydration of the spinal discs for better back health.
Here are the reasons Dr. Douillard gives for sleeping on your left side and resting for 10 minutes after eating.
- Facilitate lymphatic drainage
- Makes it easier for the heart to pump “downhill”
- Better elimination
- Support healthy spleen function
- Encourages proper digestion
- Helps circulation back to the heart
- Helps bile flow more freely
- Brain health (may improve age-related cognitive decline – read more below)
- May improve menopause and menstrual cycle symptoms – click here
There’s some good anatomical logic to back these claims up. Watch this 5 minute video for his explanation.
Additionally, Douillard reports on a Stony Brook University study “that suggests that how you sleep could help reduce your chances of developing cognitive concerns later in life. (1)
The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, found that the way a person’s body is positioned while they sleep could affect the brain’s waste clearance system, aka the glymphatic system. While we sleep, toxins are flushed from the brain through tiny lymphatic vessels called glymphatics. The brain dumps around three pounds of toxins, chemicals, and plaque out of the brain each year.
Scientists used rodents to test how different sleep positions affect this process and found that lying on your side while you sleep may be the most efficient position for toxins to flush out from the brain through the glymphatics.
The study found that rodents who were in the lateral position cleared certain proteins about 25% better than when they were sleeping on their backs or stomach. These proteins may contribute to the build-up of brain plaque, which is strongly linked to age-related cognitive decline. Further studies on humans still need to be done to confirm these findings. Fortunately, most people find sleeping on their side most comfortable.”