There is an old expression that, when someone is especially disagreeable or in a bad mood, that they “got up on the wrong side of the bed.”
There might actually be something to that.
Most people have very set patterns for how they get their shut eye, and that extends to which side of the bed they lie down on and which direction they face. It stands to reason they would get up on the same side of the bed most of the time.
A survey by mattress maker Saatva suggests something as simple as picking the right side of the bed or facing or not facing your partner actually make a difference in how well you sleep. The survey quizzed consumers on their bedside practices and how it affects their sleep and mood the following day.
Creatures of habit
Not surprisingly, it found that 40% of adults have always slept on the same side of the bed. Perhaps more of a surprise, more than half said they don't ever remember making a conscious decision about the side of the bed on which to lie down.
When asked to think about it and actually pick on one side of the bed or the other, 20% ended up choosing the opposite side of the bed from their normal side.
The survey-takers discovered that more Americans sleep on the right side of the bed than the left. Men prefer the right side by 58%, with only 50% of women choosing the right side.
When asked why they chose the right side of the bed, 71% of men said it made them feel more relaxed.
Sleepers of both sexes appear happier with their partner facing away from them in bed as compared to sleeping towards them but women appear to prefer it the most. Seventy-two percent of women said they need their space and prefer they face away from their partners.
Sometimes people choose a side of the bed, not because of how it makes them feel, but for more practical reasons. Among reasons for choosing, 75% of respondents said being close to an electrical outlet, to plug in a clock or other devices, determines where they settle in for the night.
Other practical considerations include proximity to the bathroom or to a door or window.
"Americans need to be more conscious of every aspect of the sleep choices they make today," said Ron Rudzin, CEO of Saatva Mattress. "Making a concerted effort to understand each factor of sleep wellness – even having open conversations about which side to sleep on – can make a difference in a good night's sleep."
Tips for better sleep
Americans spend billions of dollars on special mattresses, pillows and other sleep enhancement tools in an effort to get the right amount of restful sleep. Sleep problems are particularly common among older people.
The National Council on Aging suggests following a regular sleep schedule and to avoid napping during the day, if you find it hard to sleep at night. While there is some research that suggests short naps can be healthy, they can also disrupt nighttime sleep patterns.
Other tips include a bedtime routine, such as reading or listening to soothing music. Bedrooms should be dark and at a moderate temperature.
Things to stay away from just before bedtime – caffeine, large meals and alcohol. All 3 are sleep disruptors, making you cranky the next day, regardless of which side of the bed you got up on.