What’s the Best Direction to Sleep in?

4 Min Read | By Ellen Conning

Last Modified 13 March 2024   First Added 14 July 2023

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Join us as we delve into ancient wisdom and scientific insights to uncover the secrets behind optimal sleeping orientations. From the alignment of your bed to shifting positions, we’ll explore the factors that can enhance your sleep quality and leave you feeling rejuvenated each morning.

So, get ready to transform your sleep experience as we unveil the ultimate direction for your journey to dreamland!

What is the best direction to sleep in according to science?

When it comes to determining the best direction to sleep in, the science is limited. Some studies have been carried out, looking at factors like electromagnetic fields and orientation affecting sleep, but compared to other areas of sleep studies, it is not as expansive.Overall, results are currently unclear when it comes to compass directions. However, there is one area that scientists have a lot of data around – sleeping on the left and right. Studies from various medical institutions, including clinical trials from the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, lean towards the left.


The benefits of sleeping on your left include:

  • It can reduce heartburn and digestive pain – right-side sleeping can relax muscles that help connect the stomach and oesophagus, causing acid reflux.
  • It can reduce labour on the stomach – gravity helps with left-leaning sleep, as the stomach is usually on this side.
  • It can reduce snoring – generally, lying on the side keeps airways open, preventing snoring.

However, some experts say sleeping on the right can be ideal, as it can reduce pressure on your heart muscles, according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

What do Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra say?

Next, let’s go over what these two areas of philosophy say. Both Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra are very cultural perspectives on room design and layout, each with its focus. Feng Shui, a well-known Chinese art, embraces the power of energy and strategic placement to bring harmony and balance to your life.

On the flip side, we have Vastu Shastra, the Indian counterpart that’s all about achieving architectural balance through the lens of science. In fact, its name literally translates to the “science of architecture.”

The best sleep direction, according to Feng Shui:

For those in the know, this is related to your Kua number, an individual angle based on your date of birth. Depending on this calculation and which Kua number you fall under, you should put yourself in specific cardinal directions to optimise your sleep. This is known as the Commanding position, one that helps promote good chi and, in turn, gives calm, balance, and security while you rest.

The best sleep direction, according to Vastu Shastra:

According to the ancient wisdom of Vastu Shastra, snoozing with your head pointing south aligns your body’s magnetic energy with the Earth’s magnetic field. It’s like a cosmic dance of opposite poles attracting. When you flip the other way, you’ll have two similar poles facing each other, and that’s a recipe for potential headaches and high blood pressure.

How sleep positions influence your dreams

We’ve gone into detail about this before, but as we’re talking about directions, it makes sense to discuss it briefly. Dr Calvin Kai-Ching Yu of Hong Shu Yan University explored the connection between sleep positions and dream experiences. Dr Yu’s study revealed that those who slept face-down experienced vivid and positive dreams. It seems that when it comes to dreaming, it’s not about your personality but the position you choose to drift off in.

Can sleep positions cause nightmares?

This is where the studies get a bit strange. While there is no formal, single report that says that a specific direction or sleep position can influence nightmares, what can cause an impact is sleep apnea. This affliction more commonly impacts those who sleep on their backs, restricting their breathing and potentially triggering nightmares more easily.

While science tells us that it doesn’t really matter what direction you sleep in, there’s no harm in giving the ancient wisdom of Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra a whirl. Let your intuition guide you to a sleep position that feels like a fluffy cloud of comfort. And remember, the position you choose is also a factor, so if you’re a back sleeper, try a side nap and see how you feel. It may just be the best direction for your sleep.

Want to know more about sleeping positions? Read our article about the most common sleeping positions and their meanings.

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