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Sleeping at night for men

Question:

Hi,
1) The halacha is that a man should start sleeping on his left side and move over to his right side in middle of night while he is sleeping. How does that work? I’m usually not cognizant at that point during the night?
2) Is it a must to sleep on your left side or just preferred? Sometimes prefer right side to start off.
Please give M”M if possible.
Thank you and tizku limitzvos

 

Answer:

The idea of going to sleep on the left side and then switching to the right side, is mentioned in the Rambam Hilchos Daos 4-5, however it is not brought in the Shulchan Aruch or Mishna Berura. The Rambam seems to say it not from a strict halachic aspect, rather for health reasons, because when lying on the left side the liver is on top of the stomach, and this aids the digestive process. However, after the food has already been digested, it is better to sleep on the right side, giving the stomach a chance to rest. This idea is not a must rather a preference if it is not difficult, and if it will not hamper the person’s sleep. This is especially true that one doesn’t have to get nervous or try to wake up in the middle of the night in order to turn over.

There is an additional kabala reason for this, however it is not conditional on what and when the person ate, rather before or after chatzos, but again it is not mandatory, but a preference.

Best wishes

Sources:

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 71-5, Minchas Yitzchok- Kovetz Teshuos 21, Kaf Hachayim 238-11.

 

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