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Do you suffer from frequent digestion issues? Tried western medicine and other home remedies yet havenâ€™t found a solution? Do you suffer from acid reflux while you sleep? If most of the answers are yes, then it is time to think about your sleeping position as it could be one of the reasons behind your stomach problems. Who knew sleeping wrong could be the reason for all your stomach issues. Very few know this fact though.
Digestion as a body process is very important as it helps your blood absorb all the proteins, iron, calcium, and other nutrients your body needs to function at 100 percent. If there is even a slight change in this process, it can hamper all the other processes causing a number of health conditions. Of course not sleeping well and enough can also create issues with how well you digest your food.
In the last few years, doctors have spoken about the various sleep positions that can help you. So letâ€™s discuss the best sleeping positions for digestion.
1. Sleeping On Your Left Side is the Best Position For Better Digestion
Various studies in the world over have suggested that sleeping towards your left side aids in better digestion. Sleeping on the left helps to remove adequate acids released in the stomach as the food gets digested, whilst sleeping towards the right could cause a heartburn condition due to the accumulation of acids in your stomach. Sleeping on the left offers a clear path for digestive remains to reach your intestine. The bodyâ€™s lymphatic system is dominant towards the left side.
Tip For Sleeping on Left
Lymph nodes carry proteins, glucose, and other waste products from the body. If you find it difficult to sleep on your left throughout the night, you can consider keeping a wedge or body pillow that might prevent you from turning over towards the right. So, sleeping on your left side is a good way to avoid heartburn and other digestive problems, making it an ideal position to sleep at night.
2. Elevated Head For Better Digestion
For better digestion think about adding a bath towel to raise your head a little. Raising the head will bring down the chances of heartburn, and will aid in better digestion. When you are sleeping, you may lie on our back or turn toward the sides, which is why using just a pillow might not be enough to provide adequate posture. Adding an extra pillow might cause excessive strain on the neck and might lead to neck issues. So, to avoid any additional problems, you can simply use a bath towel with the pillow to assist in better digestion as you sleep on your sides or on the back. It will serve the purpose of raising the head enough without hurting the neck and shoulder while aiding in better digestion.
Tip For Elevated Head
One of the best positions to have good digestion is to keep the head elevated from the body to about 4-6 inches. Sleeping in this posture helps in better digestion avoiding Heartburn or the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder also known as GERD. You can also try adding a wedge between the bed and mattress where you place your head to elevate it. Sleeping in this position uses gravity to decrease the discomfort associated with heartburn. It prevents acid in the stomach from entering the esophagus, which is the main culprit for heartburn.
3. Freefall Sleeping Position
Free Fall sleeping position is very effective to prevent heartburn. Lying face down when you sleep also helps in good digestion. The position is found to be good for proper rest and good sleep as well, apart from aiding in better digestion. Getting the right amount of rest is essential and important for a person suffering from digestion problems. This posture as its name suggests makes sleep easy and comfortable. It also assists in digestion preventing heartburn, as it allows the food to pass through to the intestines without any hindrance for further digestion. It also helps in getting rid of any gas. However, this sleeping position could cause strain in the neck area and back pain as the spine curve is not supported.
4. Sleeping With The Aid of Pillows
Placing pillows between the knees while sleeping is one of the best positions to help digestion. This is, in fact, a recommended sleeping posture for pregnant ladies as it is good for both the mother and fetus. People who prefer sleeping on their back can place a pillow underneath their hips to support the joints and have a pain free, relaxed sleep at night.
5. Sleeping Towards Right Side
Not everyone suffers from indigestion if they sleep on their right side, but most often that does happen. However, sleeping on your right side helps to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. So, if you suffer from heart problems sleeping on your right can help a lot. When you sleep on your right the weight of your stomach and intestine doesnâ€™t suppress the heart, which means the blood circulation is not affected. Low blood pressure and slow heart rate benefit people with heart problems and help them sleep better.
Besides the best sleeping positions for digestion, following some basic diet rules can help in better food digestion.
- You must refrain from eating at least two hours before you sleep. Eating right before you sleep can disturb your sleep patterns.
- Try eating light meals at night. Eating heavy, oily, and spicy food will cause heartburn and can keep you awake the entire night.
- Try going for a walk post a heavy dinner.
- In any case, if maintaining two hours gap between sleep and mealtime isnâ€™t possible, try a sleep position to prevent heartburn and other problems.
If your problems persist, then you should definitely see a doctor, to understand what could be the cause. If you are suffering from any health condition that causes heartburn and indigestion, then get your physician to recommend medication and suggest you the best sleeping position to prevent further issues. Sehat helps you research and choose the best gastroenterologist in bhubaneswar or the city you live in.