Science and Tech


Sleeping On This Side Could Give You Nightmares

In a 2004 study that recently resurfaced, researchers found that people who sleep on their left sides were 41 percent more likely to have nightmares.
Posted at 12:23 PM, Dec 21, 2015

There really is a "right" side to sleep on. But we've had this info for a while and just didn't know it. 

A 2004 study found people who slept on their left side had more nightmares. The research found about 41 percent of left-side sleepers had nightmares, compared to 14.6 percent of right-side sleepers.

So that's a weird statistic — and it's odd to be talking about a study from 11 years ago. But here's how that happened.

A writer for Van Winkle's recently noticed his girlfriend was having more bad dreams, and she was waking up on her left side. He looked into it, found that 2004 study published in Sleep and Hypnosis and wrote about it.

The study looked at 63 people. Forty-one were told to sleep on their right side, and 22 were told to sleep on their left. Then the people were interviewed about their dreams. 

Right-side sleepers weren't off the hook, however. They reported having poorer-quality sleep.

"Big takeaway: Left side, bad dreams. Nude, you're on your own," an ABC anchor said.

"I'll put a pair of socks on next time," another anchor replied.

So if you wake up from having a bad dream, consider just rolling over onto your other side.