Asian woman sleeping on her left sides in the clouds

Sleeping on Your Left Side: Benefits, Tips, and Who Should Try It

Written by: Christopher Garvey



Time to read 8 min

Did you know that changing how you sleep could bring you amazing benefits? Just by switching to your left side, you can wake up feeling refreshed and experience fewer back pains. That's not all! Your digestion can improve, and you might even have a quieter night's sleep. Sounds amazing, right?

In this article, we will uncover the incredible advantages of sleeping on your left side. It's a simple change that can make a big difference in your sleep quality. We'll also share expert tips to help you optimize your sleep position.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to improve your sleep and feel better every day. Imagine waking up energized and ready to take on the day! So, let's dive in and explore the benefits of sleeping on your left side.

Benefits of Sleeping on Your Left Side:

  • Back pain relief
  • Reduced risk of snoring and sleep apnea
  • Improved gut health
  • Improved brain health
  • Healthier pregnancy

Back Pain Relief:

Sleeping on your left side can be a real game-changer if you're dealing with back pain. But how does it work? Let's find out!

When you sleep on your left side, it helps maintain the natural shape of your spine. This means that your back stays in the right position, reducing strain and pressure on your discs. It's like giving your back a break!

Sleeping on your left side also helps your spine stretch out and recover from the day's activities. This can be super helpful if you have chronic back pain or discomfort.

According to a survey by the American Chiropractic Association, 80% of people experience back pain at some point in their lives, and proper sleep positioning, such as sleeping on the left side, can help alleviate back pain for many individuals. (1)

woman holding a stop snoring sign in front of her

Reduced Risk of Snoring and Sleep Apnea

When you sleep on your back, gravity can make your tongue and throat tissues relax, blocking the airway and causing snoring or sleep apnea episodes. But sleeping on your left side can keep these passages open and clear.

By positioning yourself on your left side, gravity actually helps you. It prevents the airway from collapsing, allowing air to flow smoothly and reducing the vibrations that cause snoring. This is especially good news for those who snore or have mild to moderate sleep apnea.

A survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that approximately 59% of adults snore, and sleeping on the left side can help reduce snoring intensity and frequency in many cases (2)

Improved Gut Health

Sleeping on your left side can help your digestion work more smoothly. When you're on your left side, gravity helps waste material move through your intestines, making digestion more efficient and promoting regular bowel movements.

Left side sleeping can also prevent or reduce symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. By positioning your stomach below the esophagus, it helps stop stomach acid from flowing back up, which means fewer episodes of acid reflux.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, sleeping on the left side can reduce the frequency of acid reflux episodes by up to 50% in individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). (3)

Having a healthier gut is not only important for digestion but also for overall well-being. By optimizing your sleep position and embracing left side sleeping, you can support a healthier gut and possibly reduce digestive discomfort.

Improved Brain health

Sleeping plays a crucial role in brain function and how we think. And guess what? The way you sleep can actually affect your brain. Sleeping on your left side has been linked to potential benefits for brain health.

One idea suggests that left side sleeping may help improve the circulation of cerebral spinal fluid and remove waste from the brain. This waste removal, including substances like beta-amyloid, is essential for keeping your brain healthy and reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

On top of that, sleeping on your left side might also help prevent brain congestion. This means that oxygen and nutrients can reach your brain more easily during sleep. With better circulation and more nutrients, your brain can work at its best and keep your mind sharp.

Healthier Pregnancy

Are you an expecting mother? Sleeping on your left side can provide numerous benefits for both you and your baby throughout the pregnancy journey. Let's explore why left side sleeping is highly recommended for pregnant individuals:

  1. Improved Blood Circulation: Sleeping on your left side helps enhance blood flow to the uterus, placenta, and your developing baby. This position allows for optimal circulation and nutrient delivery, promoting a healthier pregnancy.
  2. Reduced Pressure on Organs: As your baby grows, it can exert pressure on your organs, especially when you lie on your back. Sleeping on your left side helps relieve this pressure, preventing compression of major blood vessels, such as the inferior vena cava. This ensures proper blood flow and minimizes the risk of complications
  3. Enhanced Kidney Function: Left side sleeping can aid in better kidney function by promoting optimal blood flow and facilitating the removal of waste and excess fluids from your body. This can help reduce swelling and discomfort often experienced during pregnancy.
  4. Optimal Fetal Positioning: Sleeping on your left side encourages your baby to adopt an ideal position for birth, such as the anterior position (head down, facing your back). This positioning can facilitate a smoother and safer delivery process.

A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine reported that pregnant individuals who slept on their left side had a significantly lower risk of stillbirth compared to those who slept on their right side or back. (4)

By embracing left side sleeping, you can maximize the benefits for both you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.

comfortable bed with white linen and wooden tones

Tips for Sleeping on Your Left Side:

To make your left side sleeping experience comfortable and effective, here are some expert tips to consider:

  1. If you experience heartburn:
    1. Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime.
    2. Elevate the head of your bed or use a wedge pillow to help prevent acid reflux.
    3. Sleep on your left side consistently to promote better digestion and reduce the likelihood of heartburn.
  2. If you have heart failure:
    1. Consult with your healthcare provider for guidance on sleep positions that best suit your condition.
    2. They may recommend left side sleeping to relieve pressure on the heart and improve circulation.
  3. Pick a mattress that supports side sleeping:
    1. Look for a medium-firm mattress that provides adequate support while contouring to your body's curves.
    2. Memory foam or hybrid mattresses often work well for side sleepers.
  4. Get a pillow designed for side sleepers:
    1. Use a pillow specifically designed for side sleeping to maintain proper spinal alignment.
    2. These pillows offer the necessary support for your head, neck, and shoulders.
  5. Get into a symmetrical side sleeping position:
    1. Lie on your left side with your knees slightly bent.
    2. Place a pillow between your knees to align your hips and reduce stress on your lower back.


Sleeping on your left side offers numerous benefits for improved sleep and overall well-being. It can alleviate back pain, reduce snoring, improve gut health, enhance brain health, and support a healthier pregnancy. Follow the tips provided, consult a healthcare professional if needed, and optimize your sleep position for a better quality of rest. Start experiencing the benefits of left side sleeping tonight and unlock a world of better sleep and well-being.

Editorial Team:

Christopher Garvey Sleep Consultant and COO

Christopher Garvey

Meet Christopher Garvey, our professional sleep consultant! He's the lead writer for The Good Night Blog, where his tips and tricks help people sleep better and feel great. Christopher's insider knowledge and expertise are second to none, and his work is reviewed by our Medical Advisory Board to ensure that all advice is medically sound. With Christopher on your side, you can say goodbye to counting sheep and hello to sweet dreams!

Andres Salazar MD CMD

Andres Salazar, M.D.

Meet Dr. Andres Salazar, a board-certified Family Physician, Geriatrician, and certified Medical Director, leading a dedicated team of sleep consultants. Dr. Salazar and his team are deeply committed to your well-being and stay at the forefront of sleep science research. Their mission is to empower you to achieve your best self through enhanced sleep quality.



Which side is best to sleep on left or right?

Sleeping on your left side is generally considered the best for most people. It can help with digestion, heart health, and reduce snoring. But everyone is different, so it's good to talk to a doctor if you have any concerns.

Is sleeping on left side good for heart?

Yes, sleeping on your left side is generally considered good for the heart. When you sleep on your left side, it can help improve blood circulation and reduce pressure on the heart. This position allows for optimal blood flow to the heart, which can be beneficial for overall heart health. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific heart conditions or concerns.

Where do you put your arms when sleeping on your side?

When sleeping on your side, it's common to place your arms in a comfortable position that suits you best. Some people prefer to keep their arms down by their sides, while others may choose to hug a pillow or place one hand under their pillow. You can also experiment with different arm positions, such as placing one hand on your hip or crossing your arms in front of your chest, to find what feels most comfortable for you. The key is to ensure that your arms are relaxed and not causing any discomfort or strain during sleep.

What does sleeping on your left side do to your face?

Sleeping on your left side generally does not have a major effect on your face. However, it's worth mentioning that sleeping consistently on one side can lead to wrinkles over time. Using a silk or satin pillowcase may help reduce friction and potential wrinkles. Sleeping on your left side could temporarily cause facial puffiness due to fluid accumulation, but elevating your head or using a contour pillow can help. Sleeping on your left side may also promote lymphatic drainage, which can reduce facial swelling. Remember, individual experiences may vary, so it's best to consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Why can't I sleep on my left side?

If you find it challenging to sleep on your left side, there could be a few reasons. It might be due to discomfort or pain, such as shoulder discomfort or pressure in certain areas. Additionally, personal preference plays a role, as everyone has their own preferred sleep positions. Prioritize your comfort and speak with a healthcare professional if you have concerns or difficulties sleeping on your left side. They can provide personalized guidance based on your situation.