Sunday 26 September 2021

Sleeping on your side may cause irregular heartbeat: Dutch research

Photo: Darnyi Zsóka wikimedia commons

A team of Dutch and French cardiologists has found that people who sleep on their side suffer from cardiac arrhythmia more often than people who sleep on their back or stomach, the Telegraaf reported on Thursday.

The team carried out a survey of 500 patients. Of them,  30% experienced an irregular heartbeat while sleeping on their left or right side compared to 19% who sleep on their back or stomach.

The researchers suspect sleeping on your side causes tensile forces to pull on the heart muscle, causing the heart to beat in an irregular pattern. Arrhythmia can affect the pumping function of the heart.

According to cardiologist Lucas Dekker of the Catharina hospital in Eindhoven, it is too early to advise people to stop sleeping on their side. More research needs to be done before recommendations can be made, he told the paper.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.