What Is the Best Position to Sleep With Sleep Apnea?
People affected by sleep apnea, sleep-related disorders where their breathing starts and stops while sleeping, find it challenging to determine an optimal position to sleep. Finding a good position to sleep is also a challenge for sleep apnea patients who recommend the CPAP machine for relief.
Sleep apnea remains among the most prevailing sleep disorders affecting three to seven percent of men and two to five percent of women. Understanding the best position to sleep with sleep apnea makes a significant difference when settling down to get a good night’s rest.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea exists in different types, the most common being obstructive sleep apnea. If obstructive sleep apnea impacts you, your upper airway is partially or entirely obstructed when sleeping.
The muscles at the rear of your throat relax to cause the obstruction making your chest muscles work harder to open the airway. As your brain signals that your breathing is interrupted, you can wake up gasping for air briefly and will likely not recollect or be aware of your interrupted sleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Your bed partner or family members may alert you if you snore loudly. You can also receive help from sleep tracking apps that alert you with sound and snore detection.
- You often wake up with a dry throat, headache, or choking sensations.
- You experience daytime sleepiness and trouble concentrating on your work and suffer from sleep deprivation.
- You have mood swings and challenges waking up in the morning because you get up several times at night.
- You might also get afflicted by hypertension.
Risks of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea results in excessive daytime sleepiness, increasing the risk of accidents at work or on the road. If left untreated obstructive sleep apnea can make you susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, hypertension, and an increased risk of fatty liver disease.
In addition, the complications might include eye problems and metabolic disorders. Severe obstructive sleep apnea enhances the risk of fatalities in middle-aged men.
People seeking sleep apnea treatment in Mesa must undergo a comprehensive diagnosis with a sleep medicine specialist who might recommend a sleep study in a clinic conducting a polysomnography test with numerous wires and tubes attached to the body.
Unfortunately, many people remain undiagnosed because they think the problem affecting them is not complicated or causes and conditions.
Different Positions You Can Opt to Sleep with Sleep Apnea
Besides recommending the CPAP device as a measure to control severe obstructive sleep apnea, sleep medicine specialists and doctors suggest different sleeping positions that are optimal to reduce snoring.
However, people must understand different treatments might be used simultaneously with sleeping positions, including the CPAP device and surgery. Fortunately, some physiological benefits of some sleeping positions can help reduce snoring and the common signs of sleep apnea.
Sleeping on the left side is considered the most effective sleeping position to control obstructive sleep apnea because it encourages blood flow to reduce snoring and calm this problem. In addition, evidence is available to show that people using this position experience less severe occurrences of sleep apnea.
People not accustomed to sleeping on the left can opt for the right side before the back or the stomach. Left and right-side sleeping positions are preferred because they help alleviate problems like gastroesophageal difference disease, which aggravates sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleeping on your tummy also helps because gravity pulls the tongue and soft tissue forward to reduce airway obstruction. Unfortunately, covering your face or mouth with pillows when using this position can cause problems for people with severe sleep apnea.
Therefore people must exercise caution when using this position. People suffering from neck problems are also advised to be cautious because they can strain your neck when sleeping on the stomach.
Sleeping on your back is considered the worst for sleep apnea. It encourages the soft tissue of your upper airway and tongue to create airway resistance because gravity does not push the soft tissues forward and leaves them in their original position.
People accustomed to sleeping on their back and finding it challenging to overcome the habit can consider elevating their heads to reduce the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
Patients with sleep apnea who recommended the CPAP machine find it helpful to understand the different mask options depending on whether they sleep on their back, side, or stomach.
New users of the CPAP machine can receive additional help from Taylor Made Sleep, which can advise them about the best sleeping positions to manage severe obstructive sleep apnea.