compassWhile we all understand that getting a good night sleep is really important, did you know that the magnetic direction in which we align ourselves for sleep (i.e. North, South, East, or West) can effect the sleep quality and quantity?  Believe it or not there are answers from Eastern medicine as well as the scientific community that may have you questioning your sleep direction.

Eastern Medicine practices have long believed that it is important to maintain a healthy sleep pattern for physical and mental well-being.  The Chinese Feng Shui system is a 3,000 year old practice of placing objects in a space for optimal health and energy.  Their belief is that that you need to pay attention to the direction of your bedroom and the furnishings to let positive energy flow freely.  The system also shares thoughts on changing the direction of your bed to improve prosperity, health, and relationships.  The Indian Ayurvedic tradition believes your sleep position determines the kind of energy you want coming into your life.  They believe you will get the maximum benefits by sleeping facing East and South, and possibly even becoming ill if you lie down contrary.

There are scientific explanations about the reason why direction matters in sleep.  Scientists have long suspected that humans, like many other animal species, have an innate magnetic compass with the negative pole at the feet and the positive pole at the head.  Compare that to the earth’s magnetic pole which runs north to south, and you can argue that if you place your head on the north side you will have two positive poles in the same direction and they will repel each other.  This will make it difficult to fall, and stay, asleep.  Furthermore, studies have shown that people that sleep in an east-west position have far shorter periods of REM sleep cycles compared with north-south sleepers.  As discussed previously, REM sleep is one of the most vital parts of the a sleep cycle.

So what is the best direction to sleep?  The winner is an East-South direction with your head in either east or south.  The one thing both science and eastern medicine agree on is avoiding sleeping with your head facing north.  So tonight go home and figure out which direction you sleep and see if it might need to be changed.  Please share your experiences with us if you do make a change!!