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July 9, 2012
We know that sleep is very important to our health however scientist really don’t know why we need sleep. Some of the most common medical advice doctors give their patients is to “get more sleep”. Since we sleep one third of our lives you would think we would know more about it. Finding the time to get a full 8 hours of sleep can be very difficult for some of us. However now scientist are considering the direction we sleep and how if effects the quality of our sleep. Can the direction you sleep really determine the kind of sleep you get?
Recent scientific studies are starting to reveal new research on the direction we sleep and how it directly effects the quality of sleep that we get. We are all familiar with the magnetic field that the earth has. (North, East, South, West) Scientist have theorized that we humans also have this internal compass. These same scientists can prove that some animals also have an internal magnetic compass. New research shows that some mammal species always graze and sleep facing north or south and that the earth’s magnetic field is probably polarizing and causing this. REM sleep is the final phase of our deepest sleep cycle that takes up 20-30% of our total sleep. A sleep study at Missouri University discovered that humans who sleep in an East-West direction have shorter REM sleep cycles than those people who sleep North-South. It is commonly known that getting more REM sleep helps a person feel healthier. This is because when in REM sleep your body is getting the best rest it can to repair the body from the previous day. The more REM sleep the more time the body has to recharge and you can wake up feeling great in the morning.
Other cultures have been pay attention to the direction that we sleep far before American scientists started looking into the issue. The Indian Ayurvedic tradition believes that sleep positions decide the kind of energy we want coming into our life, with sleeping facing the East and South being the most beneficial. This would be contrary to the current research however, this does beg the question to be asked if the direction we sleep can improve the quality of our sleep. The Chinese Feng Shui “science” of placing objects in a space for optimal energy and health also has theories about sleep. In Feung Shui, the location of your bedroom in the house and the direction of your bedroom furniture is more important to the free flow of positive energy and so is critical to getting good sleep. However, in the case of Feung Shui, you might change the direction of your bed depending upon whether you wanted to improve your health, prosperity or your relationship since all of these are fixable by moving the furniture and getting a different energy flow. For now it’s too early to say that sleeping a certain way will help you get a truly better night sleep. More research in the field is surly to come and we will keep an eye open for any more research that is published.