You may have heard of the fact that “sleeping with your head pointed north is bad for you”, and wondered what it’s about. If you haven’t heard of it (or maybe if you have heard of it), then you might be wondering, “Why North?”
This is because of the complex network of blood vessels in our upper body.
The heart pumps blood throughout our body every day, and it vigilantly works away no matter what we’re doing. And the brain needs this precious blood more than any other body part. Problem is, to get blood to the brain, it has to go up.
As we all know, it’s much easier to move something down than up. And when you need so much blood in the brain to operate, your heart is under a lot of strain, and your body adapts to remove some of the work from your most important muscle.
To make moving blood easier, your main arteries and veins branch out into tiny, tiny blood vessels called capillaries. This kind of branching occurs everywhere in our body, but in our brain, the capillaries are narrower and smaller. After all, having your load spread out over so much space is a lot easier than having one huge artery running up your neck. Imagine trying to move that much blood straight up one tube for a lifetime. That takes a lot of power and energy!
So our body has developed these mini-capillaries to make the heart’s strain easier. How does this tie to direction and sleeping?
The mini-capillaries are unbelievably small, some only one or two cells thick, and they aren’t too strong either. That’s why bumps to the head feel so much more painful than bumps anywhere else, since more blood vessels are inclined to rupture.
Our red blood cells need lots of iron to store oxygen and other nutrients. And as you know, iron is very magnetic. This ties in with the Earth’s magnetic field, and when you sleep with your head North, the iron in your mini-capillaries pull North, and it may rupture or weaken your vessels, leading to complications later on.
The best position is East. West is next best, South if you have to. But North should be avoided as much as possible.
Learned something new?