Ayurveda and vastu shastra
There is a lack of convincing scientific evidence to say that you should face your bed in a “particular” way or direction. However, as per the ancient Chinese practice, feng shui, you should face your headboard toward the south. The practice also recommends keeping your bed away from doors and windows.
Ayurveda suggests sleeping on your left side so that you breathe properly and the body functions well.
Vastu shastra is the traditional Indian system of architecture. Sleeping with your head pointing north draws energy out of the body, disturbing body-mind-spirit integration. Sleeping with the head facing north and feet toward the south is the worst sleeping position. It is based on the belief that our body is polar, and it needs to face toward the south to attract opposite poles during sleep.
While many of the beliefs in both feng shui and vastu shastra are anecdotal, clinical research on the same is lacking. However, it would not harm you to sleep in the way the practices recommend. Ultimately, it is your personal choice to face your bed the way you prefer. More than the direction of the bed, it is important to have good sleep hygiene for a good night’s sleep.
Which sleeping position is the healthiest?
Most doctors recommend fetal and log positions to be the healthiest positions to sleep in. When your back is straight, it is generally a good sleeping position. The two positions allow you to sleep with a straight spine
- Fetal position: Fetal position is the most popular sleeping position. Sleeping in the fetal position allows your spine to rest in its natural alignment. Per research, this position might also help prevent neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
- Log position: Log position is when you sleep on your side but with both arms down, close to your body. Nearly 15 percent of people sleep like this. To make it better, try placing a soft pillow or folded blanket between your knees. This will ease the pressure on your hips.
We usually prefer to sleep in the most comfortable position. However, not all things that are comforting turn out to be healthy. Some sleeping positions that may not be healthy include the following
- Freefall position: The freefall position is lying on your stomach, that is, in the direction of gravity. Your arms are tucked under your pillow or on either side of your head. Sleeping in the freefall position can lead to low back, neck pain and sleep apnea attacks. If you find difficulty sleeping in positions other than freefall, at least use a soft pillow under your forehead and sleep facing the mattress. This can prevent neck pain and keep your airway open.
- Soldier position: Soldier position is when you sleep on your back, that is, facing the ceiling. This position is known for causing snoring and can give rise to back pain. For people with sleep apnea, this is the worst position. Try sleeping in the fetal or the log position. If you find difficulty leaving the soldier position, try placing a pillow or folded blanket under the knees.
- Starfish position: Starfish is the soldier position with the legs spread out sideways. Like the soldier position, the starfish position is also not a suitable sleeping position for people with sleep apnea. To make it better, place a pillow under your knees before you doze off.
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