Lifestyle Changes 3 MIN READ 387 VIEWS December 30, 2021

What is the Best Sleeping Position For Digestion?

Written By healthkart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Best sleeping position for digestion
Common Sleeping Positions
Best Sleeping Position for Digestion
Guide to Sleeping Posture for Digestion

Problems with digestion may be linked to chronic medical conditions (such as GERD) or they may be an occasional issue. It could be due to something spicy that you ate or a certain type of food may not suit your stomach. Either way, it may end up causing discomfort during the night. You must be aware that a good night’s sleep helps you heal many health issues. But bloating, stomach pain, heartburn, and many other issues lead to a disturbed sleep at night. Is there one best sleeping position for digestion

What are Some Common Sleeping Positions?

Although there is limited data, it is believed that most people sleep on their side. The other common sleeping positions are on the back and laying on the stomach. Of all these, sleeping on the stomach is generally associated with several negative health impacts. These may include back pain, strain on the neck, and tucking arms under the pillow may cause numbness in the arms.

Sleeping on your back is the second most common position. But it may not be the best sleeping position for digestion. This position makes the acid travel back up the throat, which could be an issue for those who deal with acid reflux. However, this position is still great for having even weight distribution and may reduce morning wrinkles.

Sleeping on your side is considered by many as the best sleeping position for better digestion. Let’s understand whether this has any basis in science. 

The Ideal Sleeping Position for Digestion

Sleeping specifically on the left side of your body may have some benefits. It has not been studied deeply, however, you may still find it helpful if you give it a try.

The left side sleeping position for digestion may work because of how the stomach itself is structured. When you lay on your left side, gravity assists the food and waste to pass from the small intestine to the large intestine and then to the colon. This final movement is supported by gravity when you lay on your left side. It is very probable that laying on your left may be the best sleeping position for digestion issues like heartburn and constipation. 

People who sleep on their right side have a higher chance of acid reflux. Another factor to consider is that right-side sleeping relaxes the muscles/connection between your stomach and oesophagus. This relaxation can increase the risk of heartburn.

A Simple Guide to Sleeping Posture for Digestion

Keep in mind that everyone’s body works a little differently. These tips may not work for all digestive issues or all people. Still, it may bring some relief so it doesn’t hurt to try it out:

  1. Lay on your left side and keep your head elevated. Ensure that your spine is in a neutral position, neither too high nor too low. Use a supportive yet comfortable pillow. One of the downsides of side sleeping is that you may experience wrinkles on your face with time, use a soft pillow covering to avoid this. 
  2. Keep a pillow, a rolled up-towel, or other similar supportive material between your knees. This ensures that your belly and lower spine do not bend or sink down. 
  3. Avoid big meals and spicy foods at least 3 hours before going to bed. Laying down to rest too soon after a meal can cause nausea, stomach pain, and heartburn. Stick to the 3-hour rule and allow your stomach enough time to digest your food. 


While it may seem like the best sleeping position for digestion is on the left side, your digestion issues may need medical attention. If you find yourself unable to sleep often, it is time to see a doctor as soon as you can. There are plenty of treatments and medications that work better than simply adjusting your sleeping position for digestion

However, this guide may still come in handy for those rare, occasional nights when you want to ease your digestive problems.

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