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How Your Sleeping Position Affects Your Sleep Apnea

October 11, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmogell @ 2:21 pm
man sleeping on side

Most people drift off to sleep each night without giving much thought to how their body is positioned. They simply change into their pajamas, brush their teeth, and settle into bed. They do not consider how their body’s position might impact their breathing. In some individuals, certain sleeping positions can even lead to episodes of sleep apnea in Boca Raton. Let’s discuss common ways people sleep and how each might be affecting your ability to breathe well throughout the night.

Side Sleeping

The Sleep Better Council recommends side sleeping as the best overall sleep position. Not only does it decrease insomnia and alleviate gastroesophageal reflux, but it can also contribute to proper breathing. Sleeping on your side minimizes possible airway obstructions and thus encourages the highest quality sleep.

Research has found that in general, sleeping on the left side is even better than sleeping on the right side. However, if you have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, it would be wise to check with your doctor before you train yourself to sleep on your left side.

Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping allows you to harness the power of gravity; it pulls the tongue and other soft tissues forward, reducing the risk that they will block the airway and interfere with breathing. However, caution is in order. Many side sleepers allow their pillow to partially block their nose or mouth, which is a detriment to good breathing. Keep in mind as well that stomach sleeping may put unnecessary stress on the neck. If side sleeping isn’t for you, and you want to give stomach sleeping a try, be sure to choose the right pillow and pay attention to your posture.

Back Sleeping

Back sleeping is the worst position for people with sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back allows the soft tissues in the mouth and throat to fall backward and lead to snoring and sleep apnea. In fact, this sleeping position can as much as double your risk of suffering from sleep apnea.

To get away from back sleeping, it might help if you invest in a new pillow that will provide adequate neck support while you sleep on your side. Some individuals even tape a tennis ball to their back at night that will force them to sleep on their side or stomach.

Is the way you sleep affecting the qualityof your sleep? If yes, start working today to train yourself to adapt to a new position. It would also be wise to seek a doctor’s advice to help you cope with your sleep apnea. In addition to offering practical suggestions to reduce your symptoms, they can also prescribe oral appliance therapy or another type of proven sleep apnea treatment in Boca Raton. Hopefully, it will not be long before you are enjoying restful, apnea-free sleep night after night!

About the Author

Dr. Kenneth Mogell is a dental sleep medicine expert who has devoted years to learning the finer points of treating sleep apnea via oral appliance therapy. If you would like to learn more about his services, or you would like to speak to him about your sleep apnea, contact our team today at 561-394-9000.

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