Do you have a preferred side of the bed? Do you stick with the same side whether you’re at home or in a hotel? Or do you choose based on the bed you’re in? Maybe you’re kind enough to simply go with whatever your sleeping partner prefers. As sleep experts we know that some folks are pretty free and easy when it comes to choosing a side of the bed while others among us are as territorial as wolves, reluctant to budge from the side we’ve always slept on. Something that can lead to arguments when first moving in with a new partner.
So what does the side of the bed you choose to sleep on say about you? Is there a better side to sleep on for comfort and health? And when you’re part of a couple, which of you gets the final say on who’s side is who’s? Join us as we choose between left and right, help you find the most comfortable spot in the bed for you and, just maybe, a compromise with your partner too.
P.S.: after many a discussion we’ve concluded that the left hand side/right hand side refers to the side you’re on once you’re safely tucked up in bed.
Does it Matter Which Side You Sleep On?
Let’s be honest here, for most of us, the side we choose to sleep on isn’t all that important. Or is it…?
What does the side of the bed you sleep on say about you?
Believe it or not there’s been research into this stuff. Indeed, one survey, conducted by British Wool, discovered that right side sleepers take longer to fall asleep. In addition to dropping off more quickly, the same survey found that those of us who sleep on the left hand side have a better sense of humour as well (1). Even worse news for people who kip on the right? According to our pals at Sealy you righties are 10% less cheerful than left side sleepers and you’re more likely to hate your job too (2). Perhaps there is such a thing as getting up on the wrong side of the bed…
Sleep experts also think that people who prefer to sleep on the left hand side might be more likely to be in creative jobs (3). So if you’re in IT or work as an accountant maybe you’ll prefer sticking to the right.
Sleep traditions and customs
Could tradition play a part in the side of the bed we choose to sleep on? As many an internet discussion will tell you, in a heterosexual couple the man will often choose the side of the bed closest to the door, reinforcing the role of the husband as protector. It’s also the case that men are more likely than women to compromise and allow their partner to choose which side of the bed they prefer (4). Who said chivalry was dead?
Interestingly, getting out of the left hand side of the bed was considered by Ancient Romans to be unlucky(in keeping with their belief that the left hand side was linked to evil, the right to good). In the Chinese tradition of Feng Shui, however, the opposite is true. In this system of belief, the left hand side of the bed is linked to power, wealth and health.
What really counts when you’re choosing a side of the bed?
Putting aside tradition, superstition and the risk of an axe-wielding lunatic crashing through your bedroom door in the dead of night, what should really count when you’re deciding which side of the bed to sleep on? Really it all comes down to comfort. And if both you and your partner want the same side of the bed? A game of rock, paper, scissors could be your best solution.
On Which Side Should You Sleep? Things to Consider When Choosing Your Side of the Bed
If Feng Shui rules and Roman superstition aren’t real considerations for you, just what are the things you’ll want to bear in mind when choosing the side of the bed you want to sleep on?
Choosing a side of the bed for convenience
Whether sleeping alone or with another person, the side of the bed you opt to tuck into could be dependent on a number of factors. For example, if you often get up at night needing the loo you might choose the side of the bed that’s closest to the bathroom. If your bed is pushed up against the wall you might prefer to sleep on the other side, especially if you’re an early riser while your partner sleeps in. The location of power sockets and space for a bedside table might factor too.
Your sleeping position
How you sleep might inform the side of the bed you decide to sleep on, especially if you’re sharing a bed. If you sleep on you left hand side and prefer to face away from your partner - whether that’s because you want to spoon or because you can’t stand their morning breath -you’ll probably opt for the left hand side of the bed. If you’re a side sleeper but don’t like to face a door or window you might go for the side of the bed that lets you snooze comfortably with your back to the offending opening.
Who you’re sleeping with
If you’re sleeping with a partner you’ll probably, over time, fall into a routine sleeping position. Maybe you’ll snuggle up with legs intertwined or perhaps you’ll each retreat to your own sides. However you like to sleep together (or apart) there’s probably a side of the bed that’s right for each of you. If you’re both committed to the same side of the bed it can be tough to reach a compromise but there are solutions out there. Read on for our advice…
While the side of the bed you sleep on really won’t matter when it comes to keeping you well, there may be health issues at play that mean that you’d prefer to snuggle down on one side or the other. This can be particularly true if your comfort relies on you sleeping in a particular position – on your side, back or stomach.
Which Side Should You Sleep On For Digestion and Other Health Questions
From snoring to indigestion, the position you sleep in may impact your comfort or exacerbate health issues.
Which side to sleep on when pregnant
During late pregnancy it can be hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. It’s also important to sleep in the right spot for safety. Experts say that in the third trimester of a pregnancy, sleeping on your side is proven to reduce the risk of stillbirth and other complications (5). In particular, lying on your left is thought to help your kidneys to clear waste products from your body and could, according to one small scale study, be better for your baby too (6). During your pregnancy you may wish to sleep on the side of the bed that makes side sleeping as comfortable as possible or on that side which makes it easier to get up for those inevitable late night toilet trips.
Which side should you sleep on for digestion?
If you’re prone to indigestion there’s a lot of things you can do to help make sleep more comfortable, including eating a lighter meal at night and leaving plenty of time between that last snack and your bedtime. Sleeping on your left side is, according to experts, better for digestion, allowing our intestines to do their thing while we sleep (7). Again, sleeping on the best side of the bed to allow you to comfortably sleep on your left may be useful if you’re plagued with digestive problems.
Which side should you sleep on with acid reflux?
Yep, you guessed it. Sleep and digestion experts tell us that you might want to roll onto your left if heartburn is a problem. Science says that when we lie on our left the stomach and those niggling gastric juices remain in a lower position than our oesophagus (8), making for what should be a more comfortable and restful night. Something to consider when deciding which side of the bed you’d prefer to be on.
Is sleeping on left side bad for heart conditions?
So is there any reason not to sleep on your left? Though research is limited, experts have seen ECG changes associated with left side sleeping (9). Though these tests have only been carried out on participants with healthy hearts, people with congestive heart failure have been known to complain of shortness of breath and discomfort when lying on their left side (10).
Which Side of the Bed Do You Sleep On? The Best Beds for Couples
Whether you’re committed to sleeping on a specific side or you’re willing to let your partner choose, when sleeping together it can be tough to agree on a bed you’re both comfortable in night after night. Here are some of our favourite bed types for couples who’ve reached an impasse…
Super king beds for spacious sleeping
Got plenty of bedroom space? Why not plump for a super king size bed? A whopping 180cm across, the super king bed gives you both room to stretch out and, for many, will solve the argument of who sleeps on which side – with this much space it rarely matters whether you’re on the left or right! A super king bed is especially appropriate for couples who prefer not to face each other at night, providing breathing space no matter which way you’re turned.
Twin beds for when you just can’t agree
If the argument over who gets which side is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding a comfortable compromise perhaps two single beds is the answer. A pair of twin beds means that you each get both sides plus there’s no duvet hogging, fidgeting or cold feet to fall out over. And if you eventually find yourselves getting lonely at night simply push those two 90cm singles together to make one lovely king size.
Adjustable beds for personalised comfort, together
Though often associated with the elderly, we think that adjustable beds are a great investment for most couples. Allowing you to individually adjust your side of the bed for improved comfort, adjustable beds can be particularly good for anyone with back or joint pain. Choose an electric bed like this if your arguments about which side of the bed you each get have more to do with comfort and morning aches than to do with stubbornness.
Zip and link mattresses for comfort for you both
Do you love a sinkingly soft mattress while your partner just has to have firm support? A zip and link mattress can give you each your ideal night’s sleep, whichever side of the bed you sleep on. These smart mattresses allow you to pull together two different mattress types on one bed so when you can’t agree there’s a solution. These are also a great option for houses with narrow corridors or staircases because they can be moved around in two pieces.
Enjoy a Great Night’s Sleep on Both Sides With Bensons for Beds
However you snooze, whether on the left, the right or slap bang in the middle of the bed, pay a visit to Bensons for Beds for everything you need for your best night’s sleep ever. Our wide range of bed frames and mattresses make it easy to shop and we have a dedicated and knowledgeable team on hand to offer advice and support too. Using our clever sleeppro® system we’ll help you find the ideal mattress comfort rating for you while our generous 40 night comfort guarantee means that you’re able to change your mind, quibble free, if your chosen bed just doesn't work out.
Visit your local Bensons for Beds store or book a free virtual video appointment with one of our personal shoppers to get started on your bed buying journey. You can also call us on 0808 144 6160 to place an order or get expert advice.