Majority of evenings we go to bed after having a meal averagely two to three hours before bedtime. And since digestion takes place for 3-4 hours to be complete, this implies that digestion still goes on in our sleep.
A sleeping position can hinder or improve the rate of digestion. A sleeping position can affect the glymphatic system- bodily system concerned with waste clearance- either positively or negatively. A poor sleeping position hinders the movement of toxins from the brain that facilitate digestion leading to constipation, heartburn or acid reflux.
It is recommended that adjusting your sleeping position is a simple remedy to try if you’re really keen on fixing your irregular sleeping patterns from indigestion!
1. Sleep on your left side
To the left, to the left! Sleeping on your left side could greatly improve coordination between your digestive system and gravity!
This is interesting right? Scientist found out that your small intestine moves waste towards the right side so it can make its way to the large intestine, then to the lower colon on the left side. This increases the chance of having your bowel movement when you wake up in the morning.
2. Sleep properly to the left by observing these guidelines
Elevate your head using a pillow
Researchers have found out that sleeping on your left side is not by itself enough for proper night time digestion. Get yourself a pillow to elevate your head to a comfortable height. This position reduces chances of getting a heartburn as the lower esophageal sphincter is kept above the level of gastric acid. If reflux occurs while sleeping in this position, the acid should go back down quickly to the stomach due to gravitational pull.
However, it is important to note that you need to keep your neck and spine in a neutral position. A would be ideal as it can give you both comfort and support.
3. Do not eat high meals THREE hours to sleep
To achieve a healthy sleep lifestyle, you need to familiarize with the three-hour rule. This lets your body digest food with in time, lets you sleep with ease so you do not wake up to a rumbling stomach and stomach ache. We are very sure you do not want to feel nauseous late at night altogether.
4. Put a pillow between the knees
If elevating your head still does not help, placing a pillow in between your knees might do the same job. When you bend your knees in this position, any discomfort felt could be a result of a misaligned spine or strained neck. If you put a pillow between your knees, it could aid the discomfort and keep your spine in a neutral position.
It is probably time for you to get some snooze now! Go on and try sleeping on your left side. It might make tonight’s sleep a little more digestive!