The way you sleep can have a huge impact on your health. Each position has its own pluses and minuses that you should consider the next time you sleep.
Sleeping on your back with a pillow under your body might help with back pain but could also make sleep apnea worse.
Sleeping on your side could be better for dealing with sleep apnea, but might also hurt your spine.
And if you have a heart condition?
Science says you should probably not sleep on your left side. It’s believed that doing this could move your heart and change its electrical behavior.
It’s still not certain if this change is enough to be very damaging. But there are some serious studies done by well-known researches that support the idea of left-side sleeping being bad for your heart.
Researchers in 1997 first saw that side sleeping triggers noticeable changes to the heart’s electrical activity. The researchers discovered even greater amounts of this when the people were lying on their left side.
Then, in 2018, researchers saw that sleeping on the left side was linked with changes in ECG readings in healthy people. And using a special imaging technique, they discovered that sleeping on the left side caused the heart to move and turn. This movement was said to be the cause of the electrical activity changes.
Even though your heart’s electrical activity could be changed by left-side sleeping, there is no hard evidence that it increases the risk of contracting heart disease if you do not already have one.
But for everyone who does have a heart problem, it might be best to sleep on your back, or the ever-conformable right side.