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Best Direction To Sleep; According To Science

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A good night’s sleep is what we need to rejuvenate our mind and body. However, everyone experiences nights when sleep becomes elusive, and we wake up feeling groggy the following day. Many factors can contribute to sleepless nights or even fragmented sleep, such as stress, sleep disorders, and even one too many glasses of wine. But if you are wondering why your sleep quality is poor lately, and you practice good sleep habits, perhaps it may have something to do with your sleeping direction.

What is Sleep Direction?

You’re probably scratching your head at the idea of sleep direction being a possible culprit for all the tossing and turning that you’ve been doing at night. However, based on Vastu Shastra, which is somewhat similar to Chinese Feng Shui, the direction where our head points when we sleep plays a role in sleep quality. Both of these principles are based on the flow of Universal energy. This is called Chi in Chinese and Prana in Hindu. Both ideologies deal with a human’s well-being that can only be obtained when we are in harmony with the Universal flow of energy and nature.

The goal of Vastu Shastra and Feng Shui is to bring balance to the five elements which are air, water, fire, earth, and space through proper positioning. This helps to create a peaceful and harmonious sanctuary. Knowing that we are radiating and receiving energy should prompt us to take the necessary steps to sleep while being properly oriented to gain back our lost energy.

Importance of Sleep

Importance of sleep

Aside from food, shelter, and water, sleep is one more vital part of our daily lives. A human spends about one-third of his life sleeping. Research has shown that sleeping prompts our subconscious to start repairing the body which is one of the usual recipes for bouncing back from an illness.[1]

People who become deprived of sleep, even for just a short time, risk compromising their health. Sleep deprivation affects our brain’s analytical ability and increases our chance of making poor choices. What’s more, sleep deficiency can leave us at high risk of getting into accidents, such as falling asleep at the wheel while driving.

When you manage to get a good night’s sleep, you’ll feel more energized in the morning which can lead to higher productivity levels at work, more positive personal relationships, and making smarter choices since your brain is functioning well. However, getting eight hours of sleep is not the only factor that you should take into account, because the quality of your sleep is vital too.

Both Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra deal with being surrounded by both positive and negative energy. Since we emit these energies, sleeping in the correct position may help recharge your energy and lead you to a more comfortable sleep. This is where understanding the best direction to sleep scientifically comes into play.

What is the Best Direction to Sleep?

Best direction to sleep

Finding the best direction to sleep depends on if you follow Vastu Shastra or Feng Shui. If you follow the Hindu practice of Vastu Shastra, you avoid sleeping with your head pointing North. For people living in the Northern hemisphere, any direction except facing North is advisable. Conversely, if your country is in the Southern hemisphere, any direction except facing South is going to help you sleep better at night.

What happens to your body when you are sleeping with your head pointing to the North? Blood flow can be affected due to the amount of iron in your blood, especially if you are taking iron supplements. According to Vastu Shastra, the magnetic force of the planet can affect the iron in your blood, putting too much pressure on your brain, subsequently affecting your sleep. Also, as you age, your blood vessels may weaken which can lead to inadequate blood blow. It’s believed that sleeping while you face north for too long may have some consequences to your health due to the Earth’s magnetic pull.

What You Need to Know About the Best Direction to Sleep

What do you need to know about sleep direction?

Who would have thought that the direction in which we sleep can influence our sleep quality? Now that we have gained some insight into the value of determining the right direction to sleep let’s find out more about sleep directions and their impact on our health.

1.       Sleeping with head to the North. Sleeping with your with head towards the North and your feet to the South is believed to be the worst possible sleeping position according to Vastu Shastra. It causes magnetic repulsion that can lead to increased pressure in the brain and trigger insomnia. This may arise because when explaining magnetic fields, the North pole is termed negative and the South Pole is termed positive. According to Vastu Shastra, this means that when we sleep with our head pointing toward the North magnetic pole, we are inviting negative energy. If you sleep facing north, there is a chance that your energy flows away from you because of the strong magnetic field of the planet. Children who sleep with their head northwards may have difficulty sleeping and may even experience nightmares. Other symptoms that you may experience include higher cholesterol levels, sleeplessness, and issues with your blood pressure.

2.       Sleeping with head to the East. The east-west direction is believed to be the best direction to sleep according to Hindu practice because both memory and concentration are enhanced. Not only does this position attract positivity, but it also aids you in becoming healthy. There have been scientific studies [2] that show that people who sleep in this direction have shorter REM sleep cycles as well as eye movements compared to those that sleep in the north-south direction. This means that you’ll be experiencing fewer dreams but more sound sleep. According to Vastu Shastra, sleeping with your head pointing to the East is the best direction to sleep.

3.       Sleeping with head to the West. Sleeping with your head pointing towards the West is another favorable sleeping direction. It is believed that this position can attract fame and prosperity.

4.       Sleeping with head to South. If you are located in the Northern hemisphere, then this sleeping direction is a good one for you as well. Your sleep quality may improve, and you may attract plenty of positivity as well. However, if you are in the Southern hemisphere, you might want to avoid this position.

Based on the Vastu Shastra, these sleeping directions help provide more positive energy to people while boosting one’s blood circulation.

Best Direction to Sleep- Feng Shui

Best Direction to Sleep Feng Shui

Feng Shui also pertains to specific positioning to gain the most energy.  So, if you are planning on moving your mattress and your bed in your bedroom, consider these directions:

  • West. With Feng Shui, a bed facing west promotes contentment and a good night’s sleep. However, it can also promote low motivation and laziness. This is a good position for those who already have a solid career.
  • Southwest. For people who tend to feel restless, placing your bed in the southwest position will help calm you down. This is also a good position for sleeping because it makes you feel at peace.
  • East. If you follow Feng Shui, the best direction to sleep scientifically is East. When you place your mattress in this direction, you may notice that you feel more ambitious and lots of energy.
  • Southeast. This position may enhance creativity and a more active life.

Positions to Avoid – Feng Shui

With Feng Shui, there are also sleep directions that you should avoid if you want to get a restful sleep.

  • North. Contrary to what some call the “death position,” sleeping facing the North can promote calmness and tranquility. However, it’s believed that it can also increase various sleep disorders such as insomnia.
  • Northeast. Sleeping in this direction may trigger nightmares and put you “on edge” as it can enhance strong emotions that may affect your sleep.
  • South. According to Feng Shui, sleeping with your bed positioned towards the South is not conducive for sleeping since the energy around it is quite high. You may find it difficult to fall asleep.

Does Sleep Direction Really Matter?

Does Sleep Position Really Matter

A recent scientific study[3] shows that the direction in which we sleep can affect our quality of sleep. Most people are already familiar with the magnetic field that surrounds the planet and scientists have hypothesized that we have an internal compass that points us to these fields. For example, there are studies that show that some cow and deer herds tend to graze or sleep in a North-South axis. [4]

Scientists have also determined that those who are sleeping in the east-west position have shorter REM sleep cycles which can affect the quality of sleep.[5] Take note that we need REM sleep since it is here where most processes happen such as muscle repair, accessing, and storing information.

Chinese and Hindu cultures have been paying attention to sleep direction for centuries. They believe that sleep direction plays a critical role in one’s energy levels while sleeping in the direction of east and south is the most favorable. In Feng Shui, the location of your bedroom, and the position where your bed is pointing can contribute to a good night’s sleep. However, in this tradition, you can change the position of your bed depending on what you need at the moment.

It is hard to say that the best direction to sleep scientifically has already been unlocked as there are still various studies that need to be conducted. Nevertheless, trying out different sleep directions and observing the quality of your sleep may help you get an idea of what’s good for you and your overall health.

Resources:

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/10/cover-sleep.aspx
https://medicine.missouri.edu/neurology/research.html
https://medicine.missouri.edu/neurology/research.html
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2008/08/25/google-earth-shows-that-cow-and-deer-herds-align-like-compass-needles/
https://medicine.missouri.edu/neurology/research.html

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Sleep trainer working in New York City in a voluntary orthopaedic practise. Also an independent medical writer and designer.
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Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

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Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by healh experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

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Take a Sleep Quiz

Find out if a memory foam, hybrid, or latex mattress is the right mattress choice for you.

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians