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Sleep Posture: Confucius Says Very Important

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posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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Hey there,
I have always had a respect for the simplistic every day wisdom that emerged from the ancient Eastern/Asian philosophical disciplines.

So many simplistic physiological/ biological things that I wish I was taught as a youngster seemed to have been given consideration to in the historical Asian discipline.

Things like proper breathing techniques , walking mechanics, body posture, foot health, massage, eating do's and don'ts, drinking, sleeping, all that are more conducive to optimal bodily function and longevity.

I guess this comes from a preventative approach to medicine rather than a western prescriptive approach. An Asian quote says :"The good doctor cures his patient before he gets sick" Many texts were devoted to simple things common people can do to preserve their health.

Cheng Man Ching, renowned tai chi master wrote a short essay on sleep taken from the Confucius belief:
"Confucius advised us not to sleep like a corpse nor talk in bed. When you sleep like a corpse-on your backwith outstretched arms- your internal organs' chi dissipates. Illness resulting from witherd chi are generally incurable. When errant thoughts wander your mind while trying to sleep you impair your chi and disrupt your sleep. The healthy way to sleep is on your right side, because the right lung has an extra layer of muscle to support your weigh, and curled in the fetal position that collects your chi. When you sleep on your left side, your heart abdstomach are affected by your body weight and you'll not sleep well no matter how long you stay in bed.
Sleeping is an important part of life; we spend a third of our life in bed! Pay closer attention to how you sleep at night, for it profoundly influences what you do during the day." Cheng Man ching: Essays on Man and Culture '97
Do you have any tips for longevity in health?
Please share
[edit on 22-1-2010 by sparrowstail]

[edit on 22-1-2010 by sparrowstail]


[edit on 22-1-2010 by sparrowstail]




posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 07:57 AM
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That's awesome.

I naturally was already sleeping on my Right side, curled into a fetal position.

It just is super comfortable. And I fall asleep in mere minutes.


Apparently Confucius says truth!



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:05 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Cool, many of us will intuitively figure this stuff out especially children. Watch a baby breath while sleeping, their stomach rises and falls regulating their breath so as to allow for optimum lung capacity.

It's only after we grow up and our head gets filled with stress, anxiety, laziness, and other garbage that we grow further from our natural state.
I wish we were born with a best practice handbook.


[edit on 22-1-2010 by sparrowstail]



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:25 AM
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This is interesting! I always curl up on my right side right before I really doze off. This summer, I had an (perforated) appendicitis and had too much pain the first days to lie on my right side, and that really annoyed me. Tried the left side but it just didn't do the trick. The third day I took the pain for granted and finally got some sleep again
Felt really great as well.

Of course I have to be skeptical (it's the kind of bananas I am), I'm not sure one would have to use the concept of chi to explain this effect when those arguments of a muscle layer and larger volume of the right lung (+ absence of heart) already make a lot of sense. Then again, maybe chi is just the word to describe the positive effects.

Thanks for the post



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by scraze
 


I knew I would take some flak for the chi reference however I wanted to remain true to the source, plus I have to admit I am a believer in the concept of chi and its cultivation ( I have personally experienced it and felt it) , but I don't feel its my place to tout it here.

It seems there is always a polarity with Asian wisdom that is the practical logical and then the esoteric or spiritual.
thanks for your comments though

Respect



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by sparrowstail
 


Interesting. In the Koran it says to sleep on your right side, too.



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by ForAiur
 


Did not know that.

thanks



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:21 AM
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very good info - Ive always debated which side I should sleep on...I usually start with sleeping on my left side but within 10 minutes I naturally turn to my right side and fall asleep...

I sometimes wondered whether it made a difference as to being left or right handed in the way you slept....



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by booda
I sometimes wondered whether it made a difference as to being left or right handed in the way you slept....


Those with full-blown situs inversus should probably sleep on their left side since everything is mirrored.



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:50 AM
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This is somewhat funny to me because it is basically true, but his reasons are incorrect. When you sleep your muscle tone relaxes, and gravity pulls on parts of your body affecting your breathing. Sleep Labs have long tracked body positions due to their effect on the patients ability to breath. Your chemoreceptor do not react as rapidly while you sleep causing your oxygen levels to be somewhat decreased regardless of your body position. Body position adds to this situation though, because as the body relaxes further with increasingly deeper stages of sleep, there is greater chance for occlusion of the airway to occur (Sleep Apnea). On some folks sleeping supine also adds layers of body tissue on top of the lungs making it more difficult for them to pump efficiently. Though not as big an issue, sleeping on your left side is less efficient then your right because you heart is located on the left side and lung capacity is affected more when you lay on that lung. None of this has anything to do with Chi, even though technically accurate.



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 10:19 AM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


Interesting, I do have a couple questions though. You stated that gravity pulls on the body parts. Wouldn't the effects of gravity and air pressure be more of a pushing down force on your body like what we see underwater say? If so when we're on our side it would seem the push effect would actually facilitate with the expansion of our lungs, instead of that weight being over top of our lungs if sleeping on our backs or stomach? I'm not much of a physicist I must say. I feel though that the chi aspect reference could be replaced with quality of blood circulation in and to the organs when posture is maximized.



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by sparrowstail
If so when we're on our side it would seem the push effect would actually facilitate with the expansion of our lungs, instead of that weight being over top of our lungs if sleeping on our backs or stomach?

Right, sleeping you your back is the worst position because the gravity pulls the throat tissue back into your airway, and chest/stomach tissue sits on your lungs as dead weight. Sleeping on your stomach is not as bad though because it pulls the tissue forward off your airway. Some people with mild sleep apnea are able to treat it through positional therapy, ie. Sleeping inclined, on their side, or on their stomach.

Positional therapy: Apneas tend to be worse when sleeping on the back (the supine position) as gravity makes it more likely for the tongue to fall back over the airway and/or for the airway muscles and other tissue (like the tonsils) to collapse and block the airway. Hence not sleeping on the back may reduce the number of apneas. To avoid the supine position, some people use homemade remedies, such as putting tennis balls in a tube sock and pinning the sock to the back of the nightshirt. Others purchase products such as a tube or cushion designed specifically to prevent supine sleeping. A number of companies have registered with the FDA pillows for snoring and mild sleep apnea; it is meant to position the neck so the airway is more likely to remain open. Positional alarms are also on the market: they are intended to prevent supine sleeping by making a noise when one begins to sleep on the back. However, they may disrupt sleep so much that the subsequent sleep fragmentation causes a concern.
One study found sleeping on the back but with the back elevated from the waist up may also reduce the collapsibility of the airway and therefore reduce the apneas. Foam wedges, not soft pillows that can actually push the chin towards the chest and worsen apnea, should be used.


It has frequently been observed that heart failure patients report discomfort when lying on their side. It has also been shown12 that heart failure patients avoid the left lateral decubitus position during sleep. Although the idea that the heart can affect regional lung distension is nothing new,3 and the differences between erect, prone, and supine positions have been extensively studied in healthy subjects.



posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 06:39 PM
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What do you guys think about pillows ?

I personaly use the thinest one I've got or none at all.

Being a bit board shouldered makes it an "interesting" experience every night...

Having had appendicitis operation I agree, as that was the only position in which I could fall asleep before the operation. So it kind of stuck with me since then.



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 06:52 AM
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reply to post by Simple Life
 


I like a soft pillow, prop my head up slightly, keep my neck in line with head and spine. I use pillow between my knees too keep weight off hips.



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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In one of the "Grow your own drugs" series J. Wong made a pillow stuffed with hops and levender leaves. Both of these help one to fall asleep and proly give off sweet earthly aroma.

I'v also heard good things about coffe bean and buckwheat pillows, tho had no experiences with them.

How about this? gizmodo.com...


[edit on 24-1-2010 by Simple Life]



posted on Jan, 25 2010 @ 06:06 AM
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You`d think Id heard, read and learned everything there is to know, but I didnt know about sleeping postures. Thanks.



posted on Jan, 25 2010 @ 07:12 AM
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reply to post by sparrowstail
 


I also naturally prefer to sleep on my right side in the fetal position. Although, I have the most vivid dreams if I sleep on my back. I just have a very difficult time falling asleep on my back. As I get tired, I really do become overwhelmed with the urge to turn to my side.



posted on Jan, 25 2010 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by Karlhungis
 


If you think of it as hot wet steaming bed sheet. If you spread the sheet out on the ground flat, it is going to cool and lose it's heat in a very short time, However if you wrap the sheet up in a ball like a banana on it's side then its going to retain the heat and steam much longer. This is how I see the body and its energy.



posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
reply to post by sparrowstail
 


I also naturally prefer to sleep on my right side in the fetal position. Although, I have the most vivid dreams if I sleep on my back. I just have a very difficult time falling asleep on my back. As I get tired, I really do become overwhelmed with the urge to turn to my side.


Me too. When I'm into recording my dreams I find it necessary to sleep on my back. It helps me sleep lightly enough to have some awareness of whats going on in my dreams. Usually I turn to my side with just a couple hours left before wake up time. I detest the claims that sleeping on your back is in someway detrimental due to airflow. All things with a purpose...



posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 03:33 PM
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Very interesting information. I have just made an account in order to get some advice on mattresses. I'm glad I found this thread in the process.

I sleep on my front. I wake up with aches every day. The problem is I can't actually fall asleep unless I am on my front. How frustrating is that?! If I try and sleep on my side I always wake suddenly just before I go in to REM sleep with my heart racing.





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