Did you know that sleep on your side could save your health? Yup, it’s true. While it may not seem like a big deal, the side you sleep on, and how much sleep you get, can impact how your whole body works.
And guess what else? There’s a direct connection between sleep and vein health. Because, when you have varicose veins, studies show that symptoms such as leg cramps and itchiness are worst at night, making it harder for you to get enough rest. Want to get back on track with your sleep and learn your best positioning? From your vein health to your heart function and so much more, we’re guessing this post will get you switching up your sleep position.
Benefits of Sleeping on Your Side
Left or right, sleeping on your side is better for your body. First, it can help you avoid issues with heartburn or acid reflux. It can improve your digestion, since studies show that side sleeping helps food move seamlessly from your small to large intestine. And from there to your colon. Now, if you sleep on your left side, you get an added boost. This position keeps your stomach and pancreases in an ideal for producing the enzymes that encourage your best digestion.
Guess what else? Side sleeping can improve your night time breathing patterns. Which means you can say goodbye to snoring (or at least reduce this annoying habit.) And, if you suffer from chronic back pain, side sleeping can help. It’s a good way to relieve pressure on your spine. Which can translate to reduced aches and pains the next morning.
Sleep on Your Side to Boost Vein Health
Sleeping on your side can also help drain your body’s lymph fluid, meaning your risk of swelling (lymphedema) will also go down. This is especially true if you sleep on your left side, since that’s your dominant lymphatic-side. And left-side sleeping won’t just boost drainage. It can also improve your lymph nodes’ performance, strengthening your immune system and helping you fight off infections.
Plus, improved lymph drainage can help your heart. Because better draining near your heart means the organ doesn’t have to work as hard, so it’s under less pressure. And, side sleeping is very important for boosting your circulation. But if you’re pregnant, you should always sleep on your left side, not your right. Not only will this boost blood flow to your heart and your fetus, but it will also keep your uterus from pressing on your liver. Something that’s very important to the functioning of your internal organs.
As we mentioned, sleeping on your side can improve your circulation. And healthy circulation prevents blood from pooling in your veins, which can decrease your risk for spider veins. But that’s not all. When you sleep on your left side, you take pressure off your body’s largest vein, the Vena Cava, located on the right side of your body. This large vein, composed of two smaller, iliac veins, has a big job. It takes oxygen-poor blood from your legs, feet and stomach back to your heart. And if it can’t do that job, you will certainly see blood building up in your lower extremities. Which can cause your veins to swell and stretch, becoming visible beneath your skin. And possibly leaving you with varicose veins, a serious symptom of vein disease.
Want to take more steps to protect your vein health? Our Houston area vein specialists are here to help! Schedule a diagnostic ultrasound with one of our skilled technicians. We can identify any potential problems to help keep your veins working just the way they should!
Sources: American Cancer Society, KidsHealth, Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Inferior Vena Cava