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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

This Is Why You Should Sleep on Your Left Side (Backed by Science)

This Is Why You Should Sleep on Your Left Side (Backed by Science)

We all know that duration of sleep is critical for mental and physical wellbeing, but it turns out that sleep position may be another important factor in the quest for optimum health.

Specifically, a small body of research suggests that, for many people, sleeping on the left side may be the ticket to better health and better sleep. The theory stems from Ayurveda, a holistic approach to health and medicine that originated in India.

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So why all the fuss about sleeping on the left side? Turns out it may be good for our digestion, our backs, and even our hearts due to the positions of different organs. Here are six potential benefits that may be derived from catching some Zzzs while lying on your left side.

sleeping-on-the-left-side

    1. It bolsters the lymphatic system.

    According to Ayurvedic medicine, sleeping on your left side allows your body to better filter lymph fluid and waste via the lymph nodes as the left side of our body is the dominant lymphatic side. Western research has also found that sleeping on the left side can help the body process waste materials from the brain. In contrast, sleeping on your right side can decrease the lymphatic system’s efficiency.

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    2. It may improve digestion.

    When it comes to digestion, sleeping on the left side may be preferable to the right due to the simple matter of gravity. Specifically, lying on the left side allows food waste to easily move from the large intestine into the descending colon (meaning you’re more likely to have a bowel movement upon waking). Sleeping on the left side also allows the stomach and pancreas to hang naturally (our stomach lies on the left side of the body), which can keep the development of pancreatic enzymes and other digestive processes humming. (Need help visualizing this process? Consult the image above).

    3. It’s good for your heart.

    Doctors have long recommended that pregnant women sleep on their left side in order to improve circulation to the heart. Even if you’re not pregnant (or a woman), sleeping on the left side may help to take some pressure off the heart, as gravity can facilitate both lymph drainage toward and aortic circulation away from the heart. That said, it should be noted that there’s some debate over whether sleeping on the left or right side is best for heart health.

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    4. It’s ideal for pregnant women.

    Sleeping on the left side doesn’t only improve pregnant women’s circulation. It can also help to relieve pressure on the back, keep the uterus from squeezing the liver, and increase blood flow to the uterus, kidneys, and fetus. For this reason, doctors tend to recommend that pregnant women spend as much of their sleep time as possible on their left sides.

    5. It may reduce heartburn.

    A study published in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that lying on the left side can help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Again this is because our stomach lies on the left side. Conversely, lying on the right side may aggravate these symptoms. The effects are fairly immediate; if you’re struggling with heartburn after a meal, try taking a 10-minute lie-down on your left side.

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    6. It may relieve back pain.

    People who suffer from chronic back pain may benefit from switching to left-side sleeping. That’s because sleeping on your side can relieve pressure on the spine. Feeling more comfortable, in turn, will improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

    Note

    While all of these factors point to compelling reasons to start sleeping on your left side, it’s important to note that some people—including those with heart disease, sleep apnea, glaucoma, and carpal tunnel syndrome—may not benefit from side sleeping. If you’re unsure about what sleep positions may be best for you, it’s always a good idea to consult a medical professional.

    How to make the switch

    If you are ready to make the switch, you’ll find that it may take some time to build the new habit of sleeping on your left side. Implementing a few simple strategies can help ensure a smooth transition. For instance, you may want to experiment with putting a body pillow behind your back so that it’s harder for you to roll off of your left side during sleep. It can also be helpful to try sleeping on the opposite side of the bed than you normally do; that way your sleep orientation won’t feel much different (even if you’re sleeping on your opposite side).

    It will also be important to choose a mattress that’s ideal for side sleeping. Because sleeping on your side can put pressure on the hips and shoulders, it’s important to choose a softer mattress that will help relieve pressure in those areas. Also be sure to look for a mattress that allows the spine to rest in natural alignment. And of course, make sure that whatever mattress you choose feels comfortable to you. The combination of a comfy bed and a health-promoting sleeping position is sure to increase your chances of sleeping well and feeling great whenever you wake up.

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    Kenny Kline

    Entrepreneur

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    Last Updated on October 17, 2018

    How Setting Small Daily Goals Makes You Achieve Big Success

    How Setting Small Daily Goals Makes You Achieve Big Success

    Successful people “think” success all the time. That is why their goals are firmly lodged in their subconscious.

    While most believe that having a long-term goal is crucial to success, successful people understand that without small, daily goals, you will get demotivated easily; success will in turn become hard.

    In this article, we will look into the importance of setting daily goals and how to having daily goals that help you achieve success.

    How to “think” success with your subconscious

    The subconscious is brilliant at prioritizing. It listens to you and gauges from your thoughts what you think is the most important task. This means that what you think about most of the time is what the subconscious will think is the most important thing for you, and will try to find creative solutions.

    If you think about problems, the subconscious will try to find you more problems. If you think about solutions, goals and dreams, it will try to make them come true.

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    But the subconscious goes even further when trying to understand what you think is important; it “listens” to your feelings.

    Luckily, it has been proven that a positive thought is over 100 times as positive as a negative thought. This makes it a lot easier to drive positive emotions into your subconscious.

    How daily goals keep you positive

    It is enough to be positive and keep your thoughts on what you want — and you don’t have to go monitoring your thoughts all the time.

    It is enough to imbue your thoughts a few times a day with a powerful positive emotion when thinking about your goals. The more you can do it, the more powerful this exercise will be.

    For many, reading their goals or making plans become a chore, something that fills them with negative emotions. This ruins the full potential of these activities; filling yourself with positive emotions while thinking about your goals will make them a lot more powerful.

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    Over the last several years, I have been taught several exercises that can help you focus more on your goals and spend more time thinking about and feeling about them. What I want you to remember when doing these exercises is to have fun. Never see them as a chore, you are living your goals, it is something to enjoy.

    If you don’t feel uplifted at the thought of focusing on your goals, you might as well not do the exercise today. Do it tomorrow instead because it will do more harm than good if you are in the wrong mood when thinking about your goals.

    Why positive thoughts inspire you ideas

    In my business, I constantly need to come up with new ways to improve efficiency, new ideas to test and new subjects to teach. It takes a lot of creative work — and creative work has always been one of my weaker areas.

    Luckily, thanks to all my work with goal setting (and because of my focus on my goals), my subconscious knows these are the things I need the most help with and that they are very important to me.

    Every day I get new ideas of things I can try out, products I can create, seminar subjects I can offer, and so on.  All of them aren’t good but when you throw enough “mud against the wall”, something will stick. And that is what my subconscious does — it feeds me idea after idea.

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    How to set daily goals for yourself

    This method is used by countless thousands around the world and for everyone who has tried it, the effects have been incredible:

    1. Each morning, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down your 10 top goals. Don’t look at the day before, just think about what you want to most and write them down.
    2. Remember to write them in the positive present tense and remember to set a deadline for each goal. Just like we did when setting your long term and short term goals. (For example you could set the goal “I make 10,000 dollars per month by the December 31 next year.”)
    3. Do this for all 10 goals.

    In the beginning, writing down 10 goals might be difficult. Each day, they might look a bit different and some of the goals you write never come back again.

    If you forget a goal, it is because it wasn’t all that important and something more important has taken its place.

    What difference does it make?

    By starting your day setting your 10 top goals, you jump-start your creativity — which will motivate you for the rest of the day. You will have programmed yourself to focus on your goals and to move towards them and their completion.

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    What will happen to you?

    If you do this, you will start to realize what is important to you. You’ll see what goals keep surfacing and what goals vanish.

    You will know what you want and you will find yourself presented with opportunities that you haven’t noticed before.

    You will be more creative in finding ideas and chances to make your dreams reality.

    The bottom line

    Having goals on a daily basis can change your life for the better. It will help you keep moving faster and faster towards your goals and dreams.

    So now set your goals and make having daily goals your good habit:

    1. Buy a notebook and a pen at your local bookstore.
    2. Start writing down 10 goals every morning, without looking at the day before.
    3. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and capitalize on them.
    What’s next after setting your goals? While your routine is the key to achieving your goals, you can take these 6 simple steps to make progress towards achieving goals.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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