Suffering From Sleep Apnea? Mind Your Sleeping Position

What is Sleep Apnea, and how does it affect you?

Sleep Apnea is a painful sleeping disorder caused by breathing problems. While sleeping, breathing stops and starts again, resulting in noisy snoring. Sleep deprivation due to this condition makes people feel fatigued during the day.SUFFERING-FROM-SLEEP-APNEA-MIND-YOUR-SLEEPING-POSITION

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the more common problem. During sleep, it presents as periodic episodes of total or partial upper airway blockage. As the pressure rises due to obstruction, the diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the airway. Snoring is typically followed by a loud gasp or movement of the body, which resumes breathing. These episodes can induce sleep disturbances, reduced oxygen delivery to vital organs, and irregular cardiac rhythms.
  • Central Sleep Apnea develops when a problem with the Central Nervous System’s respiratory control centre occurs. Your brain fails to send accurate signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea occurs when one has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Snoring, daytime drowsiness or tiredness, nocturnal perspiration, headache, forgetfulness, and irritability are all common signs of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, if left untreated, can lead to major health problems such as excessive blood pressure, heart problems, and more. Your brain suffers when you don’t get enough oxygen while sleeping, which might lead to major problems.

In simple terms, lying down causes your body to breathe differently than when you are standing. Your airways are pointed downward when you’re standing or sitting, leaving breathing and airflow somewhat free. When you lie down, however, gravity works against your airways since your body is forced to breathe in a horizontal position. Breathing problems and sleep apnea happen as a result of this. Apnea is more common during periods of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and arousals are more frequent.

You can, however, do something simple in addition to your doctor’s appointment to remedy this problem. Choosing the appropriate sleeping position might help you a lot.

A Sleeping Aid

Stomach Sleeping: A Solution

People with sleep apnea may try sleeping on their stomachs, according to medical professionals. The downward force drags your tongue and palate forward while you sleep. Sleeping on your stomach actually is a good solution to fix the gravity problem. Airway blockage is less likely as a result of this. When sleeping in a face-down posture, a very thin pillow or one created exclusively for stomach sleepers is appropriate and may help relieve neck pain.

A word of caution: Your pillow blocks or impairs your mouth and nose, or your neck must be rotated to the side to sustain breathing. These stand in the way of cleaning your airways and preventing snoring and sleep apnea.

Side Sleeping: The Best Way Out: Sleeping on one’s side provides relief for sleep apnea sufferers. According to research, lying on your side is best for persons who snore or have sleep apnea since their airways are more stable and less likely to collapse or block airflow. A contoured pillow, or one made of memory foam, can help guide your body and head in the proper position so you can sleep on your side.

Left Side Sleeping: It is strongly recommended that you sleep on your left side because it allows for the best blood flow and creates little to no resistance for breathing. It also aids in the treatment of insomnia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), both of which can exacerbate sleep apnea.

Start with obtaining a sturdy, firm pillow that can support your neck and back if you want to sleep on your left side. And with a little determination, you can achieve your goals.

A word of caution: It’s worth noting that persons with congestive heart failure should consult their doctors before choosing this sleep position. Left-side sleeping is normally discouraged for them because it might cause discomfort or add unneeded stress to the heart.

Right Side Sleeping: Right-side sleeping is recommended because it lowers snoring and improves air and blood flow throughout the body.

The foetal position, one of the right-side sleeping variations, is actually the most popular sleeping position in the United States. If you prefer sleeping in the foetal position, try lying on your side, and stretching out somewhat. Another alternative is to place a pillow between your knees to provide additional comfort and support for your back and neck.

A word of caution: Right Side Sleeping might increase reflux symptoms by relaxing the lower oesophageal sphincter. Consult your doctor before sleeping on your right side if you suffer from acid reflux.

Back Sleeping Prohibited

The symptoms of apnea are exacerbated by this sleeping style. The tongue and throat muscles can totally shut the airways in this posture due to gravity. The patient’s breathing problems develop, and he or she finally has to spend sleepless nights. Patients in these circumstances are advised by doctors to avoid sleeping in this position.

Using an Adjustable Bed: An Advice for Strict Back Sleepers

If you sleep on your back habitually, an adjustable bed can help ease discomfort by allowing you to sleep with your head slightly elevated. This could help with snoring as well as other problems, as the body rests in a zero-gravity position. The goal of the zero-gravity position, also known as the neutral body position, is to have the hips and back of the neck totally aligned, with the top of the head reclined at a 24-degree angle. When the body is in the zero-gravity position in an adjustable bed, it feels weightless since gravity falls evenly on every part of the body while allowing for the weight of different body parts. As a result, the body is effectively supported and the airways are kept open with the least amount of strain on the muscles, resulting in greater sleep and less snoring.

Sleep right; beat apnea!