Sleeping Positions: Why North Is Not The Best Direction
Have you ever scoffed at elders who told you not to sleep with your head placed to the north and other such things? Well, turns out they might just have had a point to make!
 
Sleeping Positions: Why North Is Not The Best Direction
 

Sadhguru looks at why Indians traditionally never slept with their heads pointing north, and explores a few other things that can help us sleep well and rest better.

Read in Hindi: किस दिशा में सिर रखकर सोना चाहिए?
తల ఎటువైపు పెట్టి నిద్రించకూడదు..?

Sadhguru: In India, you were told that you should not place your head to the north while sleeping. Why?

How your body is engineered

Your heart is not located half-way down, it is placed three-fourths of the way up because pumping blood up against gravity is more difficult than pumping it down. The blood vessels which go upward are a finer arrangement compared to those going down. As they go up into the brain, they are almost hair-like, to such a point that they cannot even take one extra drop. If one extra drop is pumped in, something will burst and you will have a hemorrhage.

Most people have hemorrhages in their brain. This does not incapacitate you in any major way, but small damages happen. You may become duller, which people are becoming. Your level of intelligence after the age of 35 drops in many ways unless you take enormous care to keep it up. You are managing because of your memory, not because of your intelligence.

Sleeping Positions: Why North Is Not The Best Direction

What happens when you put your head to the north?

If you have any kind of blood-related problem, let’s say anemia, what would a doctor prescribe? Iron. It is an important ingredient in your blood. You have heard of the magnetic fields on the planet. In many ways, the earth is engineered because of its magnetism. That’s how powerful the magnetic forces are on the planet.

If you place your head to the north and stay that way for 5 to 6 hours, the magnetic pull will cause pressure on your brain.

When the body is positioned horizontally, you can immediately make out that your pulse rate drops. The body makes this adjustment because if blood is pumped at the same level, too much will go into your head, causing damage. Now, if you place your head to the north and stay that way for 5 to 6 hours, the magnetic pull will cause pressure on your brain. If you are beyond a certain age and your blood vessels are weak, you could have hemorrhages and paralytic strokes. Or, if your system is sturdy and these things don’t happen to you, you could get up agitated because there is more circulation in the brain than there should be when you are sleeping. It is not that if you do this for one day, you will fall dead. But if you do this every day, you are asking for trouble. What kind of trouble depends on how strong your system is.

So, which is the best direction to sleep with your head pointing towards? East is the best direction. North-east is okay. West is alright. South, if you must. North, no. This is true as long as you are in the northern hemisphere – sleeping with your head towards any side except north is okay. In the southern hemisphere, don’t put your head to the south.

Click Image to Enlarge

Tips to Wake up Well

The right and wrong side of the bed!

Your heart is an important aspect of your physiology. The station that pumps life across the body – if this one thing doesn’t happen, nothing happens – starts from your left side. In India, the culture has always said that when you wake up, you must roll to your right side and then get out of bed. When your body is in a certain state of relaxation, its metabolic activity is low. When you get up, there is a certain surge of activity. So you need to roll over to your right side and get up because at a lower level of metabolic activity, if you suddenly roll to your left, you will put pressure upon your cardiac system.

Activate your body and brain

In the tradition, they also told you that before you get up in the morning, you must rub your hands together and place your palms upon your eyes. They said that if you do this, you will see God. It is not about seeing God.

Before you get up in the morning, you must rub your hands together and place your palms upon your eyes.

There is a heavy concentration of nerve endings in your hands. If you rub your palms together, all the nerve endings are activated and the system comes awake immediately. When you wake up in the morning and still feel sleepy and drowsy, just do this and see, everything comes awake. Instantly, a whole range of nerves connected with your eyes and other aspects of your senses come awake. Before you move your body, your body and brain should be active. You shouldn’t get up dumb, that’s the idea.

Editor's Note: Find out more about the wonderful intricacies of Indian culture in this collection of Sadhguru’s articles on the subject.

Indian Culture

 
 
 
 
  60 Comments
 
 
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3 years 11 months ago

Regarding Sleeping Positions, I am confused on what Sadhguru suggests. Does he mean that one must not sleep with their head facing Magnetic North (which is the Geographic South), Or Geographic North (which is the Magnetic South)? Because there was a study in 2001-2 showing that blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels were significantly higher in subjects that slept with their heads aligned with the Magnetic North (Geographic South) and therefore, that it is not good for a person to sleep with their head aligned with Antarctica basically. In fact, Subjects who slept facing Magnetic South (Geographic North) had alot lower HR,BP,Cortisol

1 year 4 months ago

Its clearly mentioned in the article for northern and southern hemispheres. Please read again.

3 years ago

Going by that logic, if you sleep south, less blood flow to your brain can cause issues, if you sleep east or west, one side of your brain gets affected???

5 years 3 months ago

It is there, just click on Share which appears as a brown box on left side of screen.

2 years 8 months ago

I have also found this to be best. I tried it after reading Sadhguru's article some time back. I recommend to all: try it yourself and see if you perceive a difference. Part of real science is experimentation, so check it out yourself.

3 years 11 months ago

My apologies I reported the study completley backwards.When the head (i.e., the north pole) of the body is towards earth’s magnetic south pole (geographical North pole) then due to presence of magnetic material in the blood more blood flow will be towards upper side of the body implying that heart and brain will receive more blood. It will lead to increase in stoke volume and cardiac output and finally leading to increase in blood pressure. This results in disturbed sleep in North direction

1 year 4 months ago

Thank you so much...now i know the best way to sleep.????

5 years 3 months ago

Very useful information... Written simply

2 years 11 months ago

The best way to test is yourself. I have been sleeping on the north side for couple of years and having lot of health problems . Someone pointed that out to me that's why I landed up on this article . I have started sleeping on the south side . I am doing the test myself and will update here if I see real improvement in my health . Science or intution we will find out the truth

5 years 3 months ago

Science has it flaws, but its method is pretty solid - you form a hypothesis and design tests to prove or disprove it. If a theory cannot be proved or disproved, it falls outside of science into "faith". If however science can be applied, we have to be careful not to take words of wisdom, however wise they may be, on faith. For example, a statement such as "...you suddenly roll to your left, you will put pressure upon your cardiac system." - now this is a hypothesis that can be verified. Until it is scientifically verified, it is not very different from superstition. Same with the effect of magnetic forces. All superstitions probably had meaning and value when they were created, but not now. There is a tendency to alleviate superstition to "cultural wisdom" and therefore attempt to find modern explanations for these superstitions...which is fine, but only if it passes the Scientific Method.

2 years 5 months ago

What about me, I live near the Equator. Sleeping in what direction is ok?

3 years 7 months ago

But, can we explain why blood flow depend on magnetic south or north? When we have a piece of iron needle it doesn't have any directional preference for magnetic north or south of bar magnet, right?

1 year 2 months ago

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A good blog with exciting content, that is what I need.
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Cant find it.

5 years 3 months ago

I don't have words.....
Thanks SADHGURU

2 years 11 months ago

east ...east ...east is the best ... you can always find it easy as geographically and magnetically it is same. It is most recommended for best sleep without much science or hoax. ?

5 years 3 months ago

That isn't quite what the article says. Besides, it is extremely difficult to see how there could be a cumulative effect over the years. If there is no perceptible change in the blood flow, how is it going to add up at all... whether over a few hours or a few years. If there were a microscopic but observable change, I might be able to believe that it adds up over the years. I think this explanation by Sadhguru is entirely at odds with scientific data.

However, he has insisted on different occasions that people should not sleep with their heads pointing to the north. So I think it must be because he experiences something. Maybe he can perceive the problem caused by sleeping like that but cannot articulate
in the language of modern science.

2 years 5 months ago

That was an interesting comment Mr.Raj Rao. There has been thousands of years of evolution through mutation to create a human being, scientist have various theories for all the varieties of lives and mutation, but not even one have found how life did originate, nobody knows exactly "what and how" of the first cell happening. There are only theories, theories and theories, all experiments to create a single live cell out of proteins, vitamins, minerals have failed , so according to the comment the "We", "We live","We exists" is also superstition till date and for many thousand years to come, because science doesn't really know why the first life "cell". So the very science you are calling for, is also baseless in a way.

1 year 1 month ago

USA is in northern hemisphere. So, east is the best. Do not sleep towards the north.

5 years 3 months ago

Brilliant and natural.

2 years 11 months ago

I dont apply logic to mis-info

5 years 3 months ago

Fishes use magnetic field:
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/13/salmon-use-magnetic-…
Birds use magnetic field:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/27/science/study-sheds-light-on-how-pige…

Someday science may prove or disprove that Human beings are affected by it while sleeping. South is referred to as direction of pithru(dead beings) loga. It may have got something to do with that. It may be a good idea to get Sadhguru to elaborate on this.

2 years 5 months ago

I see both your comment and Mr.Raj Rao's comments to be having a different perspective about faith and science. I lean towards your perspective saying modern science has not proved our human existence. Darwin's theory of evolution is still a theory so far...spirituality and faith is undocumented science because printing technology started only in the 16th century... The only misconception we have about faith is .. that all faith is related to GOD which is what Sadguru is trying to disapprove that faith is nothing to with GOD , but it was a scientific invention 1000's of years ago. If we believe in darwin's theory of evolution, we need to believe faith as well !!

3 years 2 months ago

magnetic field lines are not completely horizontal w.r.t. ground plane. they are at a slight tilt downwards towards north. this may explain the preferance as going up or down also counts

1 year 1 month ago

Hey there this is kinda of off topic but I was
wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with
HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I
wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help
would be enormously appreciated!

5 years 3 months ago

I am not convinced by the explanation about blood flow. To quote Wikipedia:

"A 1991 study on humans of static field strengths up to 1 T found no effect on local blood flow. Contrary to the common belief, blood is not ferromagnetic, but weakly paramagnetic.This means that blood cells are not attracted by even strong magnetic
fields. If blood was ferromagnetic people would bleed to death or
explode inside the strong magnetic fields of MRIs." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnet_therapy)

The Earth's magnetic field ranges between 25 to 65 µT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_magnetic_field) and so I don't know if this explanation makes sense. That being said, I don't really know if there are subtle effects that can accumulate over a period of a few hours. It would be good to get an opinion from someone who has a better understanding of physics than me.

2 years 10 months ago

yes, yes, your head should face North and heels South if you are in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa if you are in Southern hemisphere, my understanding of this

5 years 3 months ago

They are only seven planets and lunar nodes, there other ones are useless because of they don't give a light as seven planets that rule over elements in the existence, so if you can't give enough light you can't really do anything in the world of elements.

2 years 5 months ago

Mr.Suresh, There is profound difference between science and mysticism. Science is ideally about material and matter in one way or the other, study is mainly based on matter behavior and observation. Mysticism is science beyond matter. There are serious scientist who practiced Material science and slowly they are pushed to a idea that matter is not really a matter, naturally they would take mysticism as next subject. But rest of the people want to argue, who wouldn't agree "I don't know","Knowledge is very very limited and incomplete", but more to disapprove a different angle upfront, rather than to learn or listen, it is necessary to mention that the logics they claim is also rooted in illogical.

3 years 2 months ago

Thanks for the information
I would like to know if the direction i face during meditation has any impact

1 year 1 month ago

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link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do similar
in favor of you.

5 years 3 months ago

:) I have been following this from childhood as thought by my grandma.. From now, thanks to our Sadhguru morning will be more brighter.

2 years 10 months ago

and by the way I practice this and get good REM sleep even during afternoon naps

5 years 3 months ago

This article is really interesting for me because of the fact that I am not Indian and many of the things I have read here are things that I have heard of and encountered for the first time but honestly I am in awe as to how Sadhguru explains about sleep and the body.

2 years 3 months ago

Raj Rao you are the kind of a person who is really numb. You think that life is all about "scientific proofs" and BS, while so called doctors are built by pharmaceutical industries who only run towards profit, create dependence and sell non-healing drugs that heavily damage the human body on the long run. Is this what "scientifically proven" is to you? Come on don't be a f... sheep.
You are human, please use your emotions they are the best guide overall. Compared to you a bird is much smarter, because it uses it's emotions to live.

3 years 1 month ago

This is so interesting! Never knew that rubbing hands together before getting up& then placing palms onto eyes will awaken you. Cool... Like stuff like this- the power of the universe is so cool.

1 year 1 month ago

Please read Srimad Bhagavad Gita As It is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Still Prabhupada to really understand this . Before we understand what we become after we die, we have understandwhat we are. Who am I ? Is the bigger question here.

5 years 3 months ago

Can Sadhguru please explain about Navagrahas? Why the last 2 planets and plutoids were left out? Is it because they are too far to have any effect? Also the Rahu and Kethu are defined as Lunar nodes, do they deserve to get planetary status?
Also why is moon given planetary status?

2 years 8 months ago

Every evening I return home so tired, I fall fast asleep at which ever convenient place I find on the floor; I wish I had time to calculate the direction for my head before sleeping for that 'quality sleep' Sadguru is talking about here??? My wife has been practicing the rubbing of palms first thing upon waking up in the morning for the last 30 years and believe me not even an iota of dumbness has changed in her over the years???

5 years 2 months ago

wow... what a science... such a logic even behind sleep... thank you sadhguru......

2 years 3 months ago

Gentleman, you have five sensory organs to make you petty worldly perceptions. Your useless organs cant experience X Rays. Similarly science is captured by your five sensory organs. Things beyond these organs cant be experienced by science too. Do not under estimate Indian Yogic system, ask your father. Can you explain how you were born? Or how your body is made? You cant. So learn to trust,

3 years ago

Do you mean "looking" to the north?

1 year ago

Just avoid north, rest all directions are fine.

5 years 3 months ago

he is not talking about effects in few hours ..but problems that can occur if one sleeps in that position for years and problems multiply if that is done after a certain age .

2 years 8 months ago

Your understanding is wrong. Our head can face east, west or south in northern hemisphere. East, west in southern hemisphere. Always avoid north facing. Avoid south facing only in southern hemisphere

4 years 9 months ago

Iron
in the blood is present as Hemoglobin which is diamagnetic. Thus even
if the effects of the earth's magnetic field causes a discernible
effect, it would repel the hemoglobin. Does if we sleep with our head
facing north, blood flow would actually be reduced to the brain.

Also
the earth's magnetic field is quite weak (your laptop's field is thousands of times stronger) and the diamagnetism exhibited
by our blood makes the effect extremely weak. The pressure produced by
our heart's pumping is orders of magnitude greater than the one produced
by the effect of earth's magnetism.

1 year 7 months ago

Will benefit a lot to the unknown and I am one. Thank you Sadguruji.

3 years ago

So the feet would be at the bottom of the bed, heels facing the north?
Is that what he means?

5 years 3 months ago

Pranams Sadguruji.
Good learning. Similarly there are many such things we do and Sadguruji has told us that in our culture Yoga is built as habit.Even during last Maha Shivarathri on Mar 10, Sadguruji explained that Sage Agastya Muni made Yoga as part of our lives. If Sadguriji can teach us such practices like for example, how we should sit for eating, how to hold one hand while other hand is eating........... We are very grateful to be in the era where Sadguruji is teaching us everything in its prestine form.
My gratitude to you Sdaguruji.

2 years 8 months ago

Naveen you are right. better to avoid facing North wherever we are

4 years 7 months ago

Interesting what you are saying. I really don't know, but I have experimented with sleeping with my head in all the directions and have noticed I get the soundest sleep when my head is toward the east. I have no idea why this would be, but I have noticed that my sleep is more agitated and I wake up more tired if my head is to the north. I shared this with a friend who said that her bed had been facing the north unconsciously and she was having lots of sleep issues. She began to sleep in the bed reversed (head to the south) and her disturbed sleep patterns went away. Whatever the reason, there does seem to be an effect. Also, I DO notice that my computer has an effect on my system. Before I practiced kriya I tried to limit my time to a couple hours a day.

3 years ago

As per the islamic teaching a muslim should not sleep pointing legs towards "QIBLA" I.e towards makkah. for instance, I cannot sleep with my head on west and my legs pointing towards east In India. The best position to sleep is on your right. Placing ur head on ur right hand arms. A person will never have any heart disease even if he is of age 90s

5 years 3 months ago

can you embed tweet and facebook share buttons in the articles? enables easy sharing.

2 years 8 months ago

I switched from head to North to a head to East orientation after reading this article. I was surprised at how much better I rested. Anecdotal, to be sure. But add enough "anecdotal" accounts and they become statistically significant. Thank you Sadhguru!

4 years ago

I studied that the energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can change from one form to another. If so, when we die to which form our energy transferred to? Any reply.

1 year 4 months ago

In the directions for sleeping, is east the best and west second best, irrespective of northern and Southern Hemisphere?

Please advise.

Thank you

3 years ago

Sadguru. What I think more important than staying fit with yoga is keeping oneself hygiene. Lot of people except muslims wash the hands a

5 years 3 months ago

I entirely agree. Being a brain surgeon myself, this explanation to my mind doesn't hold till we scientifically prove it.

2 years 8 months ago

So since we cannot observe or directly test the theorized entities known as "black holes", they are only a part of "faith"?