A bad day is often attributed to “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” But most of us haven’t figured out which side is supposed to be the “right” one. Luckily, a study commissioned by the UK-based Premier Hotel Chain has the answer for us.
Left Is Right, Right Is Wrong?
Following a “hot debate” by a sleep scientist, a Feng Shui expert, and a motivational speaker, the final conclusion to the bedside conundrum was that left was right, and right was wrong.
But, like the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and monsters under the bed, it’s hard to find concrete evidence for why this situation supposedly exists.
The conclusion was based on a combination of psychology and Feng Shui. Psychologists know that the left side of the brain uses logic and rational thought, and that the right side relies more on emotion and imagination. Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of placing items in harmony with an environment, associates the left side of the bed with family, health, money, and power.
The thinking is that exiting on the left side (when you’re lying on your back) focuses your energies toward this logical, good side and away from your emotional, stressed right side. Logical lefties will not push the snooze button five times before finally rousing, will not bonk their heads upon entering the shower, and will not mistakenly put decaf in the coffee maker. Most of all, they will not cry, like those sissy, emotional right-siders.
Is Feng Shui Good Science?
Of course, to believe the left=good theory, you also have to believe in Feng Shui, which, to the best of my knowledge, has yet to be “proven.” Although the study’s Feng Shui expert, Jan Cisek, has a long list of credits, including co-founding the Feng Shui Society of Great Britain, he also, according to his Web site, has “extensive expertise” in “geopathic stress, EMF pollution, dowsing, ghost busting, fractality, and earth acupuncture.” I’m sorry, ghost-busting? I thought you had to have a power-pack on your back to be qualified for this. And earth acupuncture? You could spend a lifetime just trying to find the right meridians.
Although it is well established that the left side of your brain is the seat of logic and analytical thinking (something that wasn’t used too much in this study), the left side also controls the right side of your body. So it stands to reason that if you wanted to have a logical day, you’d want to start it with your right foot forward—literally.
So Which Side Is It?
I hate to point out these minor technical issues (right brain talking here) but the main question this study calls to my (left) brain is: what the heck are we supposed to do with this information?
According to their Web site, Premium Inn wanted the information as an extension of their “Good Night Guarantee,” which offers guests their money back if they don’t have a good night’s sleep. Part of this good night’s sleep, it seems, is waking up happy. If they can tell their customers which side they should exit the bed—even though it may require breaking decade-old habits, climbing over a grouchy spouse, or running into a wall (what if your bed is up against one?)—they’ll be less likely to give out refunds. They even give some tips on “what to do if you get out on the wrong side of the bed,” like climbing back in to try it again.
Perhaps this is the best advice this study has to offer—who doesn’t feel better after climbing back into bed? As far as exiting though, I’m planning on ignoring the bogus claims that the left is somehow the right side. No other research on this topic exists because most people with half a brain (the left half) would see that the topic doesn’t even warrant a study. Conclusions be damned, I’m going to keep getting out of bed on the side that’s closest to a known stress reliever: the toilet.
Updated August 15, 2008