If someone is in a bad mood in the morning, they can be said to have got out of the wrong side of the bed. I want to look into whether there is any truth in this idiom. Can there really be a right or wrong side of the bed?
What Side Of The Bed Do You Sleep On?
We all tend to have a favourite side of the bed to sleep on, and it goes without saying that the side you sleep on will be the side you get out of. For me it’s the right side as you face looking towards the head of the bed. Very occasionally I may switch sides if we’re staying in a hotel and I don’t want to sleep near the door (that’s a thing, right?), but it always feels weird when I do.
I also like to sleep facing outwards, which means my sleep position of choice is on my left side. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband dearly, but I just cannot be doing with feeling warm breath on me when I sleep, it totally gives me the ick. I like to sleep on the very edge of the bed, with the duvet pulled up over my head so that my ear is covered, and my head resting on the bottom corner edge of my not too plump pillow. All these factors ensure I get a really good night’s sleep. Hey, if it works, don’t mock it I say!
But back to getting out of bed the wrong side. Is it a thing? Is there really a right and a wrong side? I mean, sure if you have a bed that is positioned alongside a wall then yes clearly there is very much a right and a wrong side to get out on. But what about when there is easy access on both sides? Is there actually one side that is better than the other?
Left V’s Right
The phrase ‘getting out of bed on the wrong side’ or ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed’ originates from Ancient Rome. The Romans were highly superstitious, and they believed that anything to do with the right was considered positive, and anything to do with the left was negative and evil. If you were unfortunate enough to be left-handed you would be ostracized, as this was considered unlucky, and you would have been viewed as untrustworthy. Due to this bias to the right, the Romans believed that if you wanted to have a positive and successful day you must always get up from the right-hand side of your bed. If you got out of bed on the left, you would bring negativity to your day. And hence the phrase has stuck, with the meaning changing ever so slightly that if you wake in a bad mood, it must mean that you have got out of the wrong side of the bed.
You’d think that the side you get out of bed in the morning wouldn’t really make that much of a difference, right? Interestingly however, in research conducted by the mattress brand Sealy it was revealed that those people who got out of the left side of the bed had better moods, had more friends, loved their jobs, and had a more positive outlook than the people who got out of the right side of the bed. So going against everything the Romans ever believed in, the right side is actually the wrong side.
OK, so there’s the Romans and the research, but what else is there to suggest that there might be a right and wrong way to get out of bed? Feng Shui, that’s what!
The ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui focuses on the importance of placing objects in certain positions so that they are in harmony with their environment and so that they bring optimum benefits. Interestingly, Feng Shui goes against what the Romans believed as, like the modern-day research, it also states that the left side is the best side. The left side is associated with family, health, money and power and therefore if you sleep and get out of the left side of the bed you will have more success in these areas of your life.
Some other sleep-based principles of Feng Shui include:
- Making sure your bed is placed on the opposite side to the door.
- Your bed should have contact with a wall and not be placed in the middle of the room.
- The bed should not be placed underneath a window.
- There should be no clutter around your bed.
- Electronics should not be in the room you sleep in.
Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
Whether you believe any of this or not, ultimately what side you get out of bed is not the only deciding factor for how you’re going to feel that day. Getting good quality, uninterrupted sleep is the key to waking up feeling refreshed, energised, and full of positivity for the day ahead, not what side of the bed you get out of. I mean just think about it for a moment, if you’re a couple sharing a bed, and presumably you both have your designated side of the bed, it can’t be that one of you is moody every single day and the other one is full of the joys. It just isn’t as clear cut as that.
To get a good night’s sleep you need the following:
- A comfortable mattress.
- To switch off from electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
- Quiet – make sure you get some ear buds if your partner snores!
- Between 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep.
- Not eating or drinking too close to bedtime – and definitely no caffeine too late in the day!
- Plenty of exercise.
- The right temperature – just like Goldilocks you want it not too hot and not too cold.
- To sleep in a position that is comfortable for you.
If you’re still worried that your mood might be affected because you’re getting out of the wrong side of the bed, there’s really only one thing for it. You’ll have to get out of the bottom of the bed instead!