Do you have a favorite sleep position you rely on each night to fall asleep fast, or do you toss and turn each night to see which position suits you best? If you suffer from sleep apnea, your decision may be more important than you think. Sleep apnea is an increasingly common sleeping disorder for adults in the United States, and often goes untreated. Not to be confused with snoring, although it is an indicative symptom, sleep apnea occurs when the airflow to your lungs is obstructed by the soft tissues in your mouth and throat while you sleep, causing your body to go several seconds without breathing multiple times each night. Keeping this in mind, we will explain why your sleep position is important, and which positions are recommended to help control your sleep apnea symptoms.
The Best Sleep Positions
As we discussed, sleep apnea is primarily caused when the soft tissues in your mouth and throat interfere with your breathing. Therefore, it is clear that the position of your head, neck, and back can play a significant role in the severity of your symptoms. So, what is the best position for sleep apnea sufferers? Research conducted by the Better Sleep Council in 2017 strongly supported the fact that sleeping on your left side, with your back mostly straight, and the right pillow for your neck is the absolute best position for your body to be in while you sleep. While it may not completely prevent the effects of sleep apnea, this position creates a scenario for optimal blood circulation throughout your body, and reduces the amount of airway obstructions that can occur. It also prevents gravity from working against you and pulling those soft tissues down over your airways even further. Side sleeping has also been proven to help prevent insomnia and acid reflux.
Other Good Sleep Positions
While sleeping on your left side is the most recommended way to sleep, sleeping on your right side comes in at a close second place, for similar reasons. Sleeping on your back may be a more comfortable position for some, but unfortunately it is considered to be the absolute worst choice for someone with sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back sets your entire body up for failure, with gravity itself being set against you and increasing the likelihood of the soft tissue in your throat collapsing and blocking your airways. Depending on the quality of your mattress and pillow, sleeping on your back could also trigger certain pressure points throughout your body and inhibit your blood circulation as well. With this in mind, the next best position recommended for sleep apnea patients is on your stomach, with a thin pillow to support your neck.
Visit Jacksonville Sleep Center Today!
If you believe you could be suffering from sleep apnea, we recommend you visit the Jacksonville Sleep Center to conduct a sleep study. Our highly qualified team of doctors such as Dr. Peter Nassar, the Medical Director at Jacksonville Sleep Center, specialize in a wide array of sleep conditions. Dr. Nura Festic is a Board Certified Sleep Medicine Physician and has a wide array of sleep expertise and our team of professionals run the best sleep center Jacksonville has to offer. We are able to provide you with the best experience possible with our dedicated staff. Visit our website or call today to make your appointment.