Sleeping facing north: fake myth or proven reality?

Woman sleeping

Traditions as old as Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra ensure that the geographical direction in which we sleep affects our health. Is this possible?

How many times have you heard that sleeping facing north is harmful? This belief, which assures that the cardinal point towards which we sleep can affect our wellbeing, is so widespread throughout the world that no matter where you are reading this, you have surely heard it. And at that moment you probably wondered what the reason is and if it really happens that way. Let's take a look at it (plus other easier solutions for a good night's rest like our Eye Mask).

The origin of the belief

The idea that the geographical direction in which we lie down to sleep influences our health has its origin in the ancient Hindu practice of Vastu Shastra. This set of Ayurvedic teachings aims to live in harmony with the energies that flow in the world, very similar to what the Chinese discipline of Feng Shui proposes – in fact, it is said that both have the same origin. And yes, those energies also flow when we sleep.

The key is magnetism. Because its core is filled with iron and spins at great speed, the Earth has a magnetic field that goes from north to south. According to this philosophy, if you sleep facing north, you make the positive pole of the Earth coincide with the positive pole of your body – located theoretically in your head – making both repel each other. This can cause nightmares and sleep disorders and wake up tired from the "internal struggle" between your body and the planet. Some people further claim that this polarity can affect blood circulation and even raise cholesterol. On a spiritual level, Hindu tradition believes that when the soul dies, it leaves the body for the north, so sleeping in that direction is impure.

Does all this mean that it is best to sleep facing south? Well, not exactly. Although sleeping towards the opposite pole of the Earth makes the energies flow "correctly," and the sleep is more profound, it is recommended to sleep towards the east. In this way, the magnetic fields are neutralized, and sleep is perfect, promoting memory and concentration and having general health benefits. Sleeping facing north does not sound good, right?

Hand holding a compass

Does the direction you sleep matter?

The truth is, if you look at what science says, it doesn't. There is no scientific study that has proven the integrity of these theories to date. In fact, everything we know so far about magnetism, which is a lot, tells us that the influence of terrestrial magnetism on the body is absolutely nil because the power of that field is very low, insufficient for us to realize it.

Let us take, for example, a well-known medical diagnostic technique, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The machines that perform it use magnetic fields that are thousands of times more powerful than Earth's. If the Vastu Shastra approach is valid, submitting to this technology would completely disrupt the flow of "natural" energy in our bodies in seconds, making us sick. And that, as we well know, doesn't happen.

On the other hand, the magnetic north and south poles referred to in these theories do not coincide with the traditional geographic poles of the Earth. Still, they are separated by several miles – and that is why it is so difficult to reach the geographic poles using a magnetic compass. And above all, what about the people who live in the southern hemisphere? Does it work the opposite way for them?

Man wearing an Eye Mask

So, if you thought that sleeping facing north was the cause of your sleep problems, you can rest assured. However, other forces of nature, such as light, may prevent you from sleeping well, so why not try a sleep mask like our Eye Mask? You don't need to move anything!



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