People usually avoid sleeping with head facing to the North. What I heard is that doing so will bring death. Is this true?

What is the reason behind this?

  • What I know is keping your head towards north will cause some issues for your blood flow and this causes problems to your body. – arunrc Aug 21 '14 at 8:24
  • Let's test it, someone not agreeing with this try to keep the head towards north while sleeping. Let the community know the result after a few years;) – user11 Aug 22 '14 at 7:35
  • @arunrc Actually sleeping in the south causes blood flow problems. – Notty Apr 12 '16 at 14:32
  • @A_runningMind Actually a lot of people sleep north. If there was actually a pattern of misfortune it would have been observed. Most people in the world don't care about which direction they are sleeping in as long as they are comfortable. The practice of avoiding north is only followed mostly in India. – Notty Apr 12 '16 at 14:36
  • To those reading the fake mentions of science in the answers to the question. Look here. skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/3612/… – Notty Apr 12 '16 at 15:12

The reason we don't keep the head in the north and legs in the south is because south direction is associated with Yamalokam. From Wikipedia

Naraka (Sanskrit: नरक) is the Hindu equivalent of Hell, where sinners are tormented after death. It is also the abode of Yama, the god of Death. It is described as located in the south of the universe and beneath the earth.

So, in Hindus, we lay down a person with his head to north and feet in south when they die. Also if you know, we always hang dead peoples photo frames in the south. Hence, its considered that sleeping in this direction may bring trouble, distress etc to an individual.

On the other hand, a person can sleep in an opposite direction for example, he can keep his head in the south and feet facing north. This sleeping position is also suggested in Vaastu Shastra

One should sleep with head towards South, East or West and never in north.

You can refer a post below which explains cultural as well as scientific reasons (though as pointed out by bjb568 there are scientific reasons towards this and yes, the article has an alternate story as well)

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    @bjb568:I don't think skeptics SE is the last word for that. The accepted answer just says a Bold 'NO' and states that there are no detrimental effects on the human body of static magnetic fields and a reference. What does it says about keeping head towards north? Nothing at all...So wait until getting trustful resources before agreeing. – user11 Aug 22 '14 at 7:31
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    @A_runningMind: No. The "scientific" reasons given in the cited article are simply delusional fantasy, and are not supported by any facts. As a result, there is no scientifically supported reason to suggest that keeping a head pointed towards magnetic North has any effect, nor has there been any double-blind peer reviewed research which has claimed that to be the case. – DumpsterDoofus Aug 23 '14 at 2:38
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    @A_runningMind: Second, the article claims "health scientists tell us that we too have a similar magnetic stretch with the positive pole at the head and the negative one at the feet". This is false as well; Fe(II) and Fe(III) ions in the body are paramagnetic ions, and do not exhibit ferromagnetism, and thus cannot support magnetic hysteresis; since the blood is basically isotropic, the magnetic dipole moment of the human body is essentially zero. Combining that with the fact that Earth surface field strengths are on the order of milliGauss, it's pretty obvious that such claims are absurd. – DumpsterDoofus Aug 23 '14 at 2:42
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    @A_runningMind: Third, people are regularly exposed to field strengths over 100,000 times as strong as the Earth's natural field when we take MRIs. If the Earth's field was actually strong enough to impact our health via dipole-field interaction forces, then our bodies would instantly explode into a slush of burst organs and disintegrated flesh the moment we walked next to a mid-sized audio speaker, splashing the walls with blood and spraying body parts everywhere. The fact that this does not happen in real life says basically all you need to know. – DumpsterDoofus Aug 23 '14 at 2:46

Religious Reason

The south corner is considered as a direction of Death. It also said that the Yamalok ( hell ) is located in the south of the universe and beneath the earth.

Normally when a person dies, his/her body should be kept in a position like head towards north. This is one of the strong reason that people avoid sleeping head towards north direction. For more information read Narak article from Wikipedia.

Scientific Reason

Science says that it is because the human body has its own magnetic field (Also known as hearts magnetic field, because of the flow of blood) and Earth is a giant magnet.

When we sleep with head towards north, our body's magnetic field becomes completely asymmetrical to the Earth's Magnetic field.

That cause problems related to blood pressure and our heart needs to work harder in order to overcome this asymmetry of Magnetic fields. Apart from this, another reason is that our body has significant amount of iron in our blood.

When we sleep in this position, iron from the whole body starts to congregate in our brain which can cause a headache, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline, Parkinson disease and brain degeneration. All these things don't happen in one or two single night but it happens if the person has a daily habit of sleeping in a north direction.

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    Has the claims about magnetic effects on our body been proved scientifically or is it just a myth? Source would be helpful. – gaj Aug 21 '14 at 8:45
  • Yes, magnetic effects on our body been proved scientifically – Kedarnath Aug 21 '14 at 8:51
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    @Kedarnath: Could you come here and explain where you heard of the "iron from the whole body starts to congregate in our brain which can cause headache, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline, Parkinson disease and brain degeneration"? From This other question, this part of your answer (if not also the "magnetic" part), is plain false. – DrakaSAN Aug 21 '14 at 13:49
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    Does that mean you are intentionally sending the dead to "hell" by keeping it in that direction? – mysql_user Aug 24 '15 at 18:04
  • @Kedarnath I disagree. It has been scientifically proven that sleeping South causes headache and heavy trauma, delusion, voices in head, IQ loss, inability to think clearly. – Notty Apr 12 '16 at 14:29

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