Is it healthier to sleep on your right side?

People who have heart failure, a condition in which the heart no longer pumps blood effectively, should avoid sleeping on their left side.

The left side of the body is where the heart really beats. If you sleep on this side, greater weight will be placed on your heart because of the position of your body. Is there a risk to the heart as a result of this? Does sleeping on your left side restrict the function of the heart and make it grow smaller? And is it possible that sleeping on the right side might be more beneficial for the heart?

More effort poses no threat to a healthy heart

Although it is true that sleeping on your left side puts a little more strain on the heart. When a person is laying down, more blood flows into the chest cavity from the legs and belly. The heart needs to pump more blood into systemic circulation in this position. And this is true regardless of which side of the body the person is resting on. 

When you lay on your left side, the blood flow into the left atrium is considerably restricted as compared to when you sleep on your right side. Therefore, the heart must work a little bit harder than it would if you were lying on the right. 

However, a heart that is strong and healthy will be able to handle this stress without any issues. Our heart adapts to the increased amount of labor. Even though the pressures are shifting, the heart continues to pump in its usual manner. 

In any event, you shouldn’t just sleep on your right side for the sake of keeping your heart healthy. Because it would be the same as giving up sports because you believe it would be better for the heart.

Cardiac patients avoid sleeping on the left side

It is believed that a patient with heart disease sleeping on their left or right side throughout the night may have a significant impact on their condition. If you go to a hospital at night and look around the cardiology ward, you will see that all of the patients are sleeping on their backs or on the right side of their bodies. 

People who have heart failure, a condition in which the heart no longer pumps blood effectively, should avoid sleeping on their left side. These patients often remark to their doctors, without being prompted, that they are unable to sleep on their left side. Then, they begin to experience symptoms such as chest tightness, rapid heartbeat, or an overall feeling of unwellness.

How it works?

A diseased heart is unable to pump the increased amount of blood that enters the atrium at the same rate as healthy people. This results in an accumulation of blood in the lungs. Because the heart is unable to pump this blood fast enough, the pressure rises in the arteries. The body then makes an effort to increase the output of the heart, but this is difficult to do in a patient who is already sick. As a consequence, you will have palpitations and shortness of breath. On the other hand, sleeping on your right side leads to alleviation for the heart that isn’t functioning properly.

Anyone who has a hard time sleeping on their left side due to the fact that they have palpitations and shortness of breath should think about making an appointment with a medical professional. It’s possible that these are the warning signs of coronary artery disease.

By Bertie Atkinson

Bertie Atkinson is a history writer at Malevus. He writes about diverse subjects in history, from ancient civilizations to world wars. In his free time, he enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and playing chess.