Benefits of Side Sleeping: Right vs. Left


We all have a preferred sleep position we’d prefer not to give up. However, some positions are actually more beneficial than others. For example, when you sleep on your back and stomach, you risk a variety of negative side effects.  Side sleeping is the most popular and most recommended sleep position for several reasons. If you’re not sure whether your sleeping position really matters, consider that you spend roughly one-third of your life asleep. Find out more about the best sleeping positions and how they benefit you.

Side Sleeping: The Facts

Sleeping on your back can increase snoring, sleep apnea, and acid reflux. In contrast, a stomach sleeper rarely snores, but that is just about the only benefit. Sleeping on your stomach wreaks havoc on your spine, especially on a soft mattress that allows your pelvis to sink. Your neck is also likely to feel kinked from extended pressure throughout the night. 

If you are a stomach or back sleeper, it’s recommended that you work on switching to side sleeping. This will help with spine support and alignment and will also alleviate many of the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. When you sleep on your side, your neck and spine can maintain a more neutral position. However, If you tend to have hip or shoulder pain, side sleeping may not be for you. 

Right-Side Sleeper vs. Left-Side Sleeper

A right-side sleeper and a left-side sleeper enjoy some of the same benefits, such as reduced snoring and improved back and neck pain. However, there are also key advantages to choosing one side over the other. So which is better? The generally supported view is that sleeping on your left side is superior to all other sleeping positions, especially for pregnant women.

Pros to Sleeping on Your Left Side

Below are some of the strongest arguments for sleeping on your left side vs. any other position.

  • Brain Detoxification - When lying on your left side, the brain is able to clean out dead cells and chemicals more efficiently. This means you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed.
  • Healthy Heart - Little to no pressure is on the blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart. This aids with blood pressure and oxygen delivery to vital organs.
  • Decreased Acid Reflux - Right-side sleepers are more susceptible to heartburn, while left-side sleepers experience a reduction in chronic acid reflux.
  • Aids Digestion - Lying on your left side assists waste in passing more easily to the large intestine.
  • Pregnancy Benefits - When sleeping on your left side, especially after 28 weeks gestation, the oxygen supply is more efficiently delivered to your developing fetus. It also helps the mother to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Cons of Sleeping on Your Left Side

    People with chronic heart disease or who have had a heart attack may be advised by their doctor to avoid sleeping on the left side. Sleeping on your left may negatively affect your sympathetic nervous system, which includes blood pressure and heart rate.

    Pros of Sleeping on Your Right Side

    When you lie on your right side, your heart is slightly higher in your body. This helps to lower your blood pressure, as well as your heart rate.

    Cons of Sleeping on Your Right Side

    When sleeping on your right side, you may have an increased risk of experiencing heartburn at night. The biggest disadvantage to sleeping on your right side, however, is not that it causes harm. It is simply that you are missing out on the many benefits (listed above) of sleeping on the left side.

    Pillow Cube

    The main takeaway is that no matter which side you choose, you need to make sure your spine and neck are properly aligned and supported, that you are comfortable, and that you are not experiencing pain or trouble breathing. One of the best ways to keep your head and neck supported while side sleeping is by using a Pillow Cube.

    A Pillow Cube has the perfect 90-degree shape for supporting your neck and head when side sleeping. Check out Pillow Cube for more information about how it can help you get a better night’s sleep, whether you’re a right side sleeper, a left side sleeper, or you want to become a side sleeper soon.