What Is The Best Sleep Position For People With Sleep Apnea?
Do you feel tired in the morning even after a full night’s rest? Do you wake up with a sore or dry throat, maybe even a headache? Do you snore loudly while sleeping? Or maybe you would’ve found yourself waking up in the middle of the night with a choking sensation, like you’re out of breath.
If you identify with these issues, then there is a possibility that you may be suffering from a condition known as sleep apnea.
What is it and what can be done to control or treat it?
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person experiences interrupted breathing while they are asleep. This means that breathing may stop abruptly and then start again while a person sleeps. Understandably, sleep apnea is a serious disorder that can be potentially life-threatening if proper precautions are not taken.
Since people with sleep apnea experience a frequency of interrupted breathing, occasionally even hundreds of times during their sleep, it is a known fact that the brain and the rest of the body are not receiving enough oxygen during each episode. This makes sleep apnea very dangerous.
There are two primary classifications of sleep apnea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA
Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is caused when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses while a person is asleep. In other words, your throat muscles relax, thereby blocking the airway. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea
This occurs when the brain is unable to send signals to the muscles that regulate breathing because of an instability in respiratory control.
Which Position Should You Sleep In?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. It’s important that it is diagnosed as early as possible as the effects can be damaging. High blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, etc. are some of the potential risks brought about from sleep apnea.
One of the simplest ways to control sleep apnea is to change your sleeping position. It is recommended that you avoid sleeping on your back if you suffer from sleep apnea. This is because when you sleep on your back, your tongue and your soft palate are rested against the back of the throat, thereby blocking your airway.
Try to sleep on your abdomen or your side. Research has suggested that the best sleeping position for those with sleep apnea is to lie on your side. This is because when you lie down on your side, the airways are much less likely to collapse and restrict the passage of air. This stability allows you to breathe without restrictions.
The problem is that you may not be able to hold this sleeping position for the entire night. To help you with this, it’s important that you use the right pillow. Memory foam pillows or contoured pillows are great options as these can help align your body in the optimal lateral position by holding your head in the appropriate way.
The best way to treat sleep apnea is by seeking the help of a skilled sleep specialist who can provide you with the tools you need to help manage the problem.
Contact Our Office
Interested in learning more about how you can treat sleep apnea and finally experience a restful night’s sleep? Contact The Snore Experts to schedule your consultation today!