Best Way to Sleep For Sleep Apnea – Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for every individual’s wellbeing, but for those suffering from sleep apnea it is especially critical to find a way that ensures deep, restful sleep. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that disrupts the normal breathing patterns during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing and low oxygen levels in the blood. It can cause daytime fatigue, cognitive and concentration problems, as well as an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Fortunately, there are strategies that can be implemented to ensure that individuals with sleep apnea get the restful sleep they need. In this blog post, we’ll look at the best way to sleep for sleep apnea sufferers and consider the available treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help improve sleep quality and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Best Way to Sleep For Sleep Apnea
1. Sleep on your side
Side sleeping is one of the best positions for those suffering from sleep apnea. This is because it helps keep the airway open, which can improve breathing and reduce snoring. When you sleep on your back, gravity can cause the tongue to slip back and block the airway, leading to snoring and apnea events. Sleeping on your side can help prevent this from happening. Additionally, if you have to sleep on your back due to medical reasons, you can use a body pillow to prop yourself up in an angled position, which can also help keep the airways open.
2. Adjust the sleep position
The best way to sleep for sleep apnea is to adjust your sleep position. Many people with sleep apnea are prone to sleep on their backs, but this can worsen their symptoms. Instead, try to sleep on your side, with your head slightly elevated. Adding a few extra pillows to your bed can help prop your head up and keep your airways open. If you’re having trouble staying on your side, you can also try sleeping on your stomach, or using a body pillow to help you keep your head and torso aligned.
3. Elevate your head
One of the best ways to improve your sleep apnea is to elevate your head while you sleep. This can be done by simply propping up your head and upper body with pillows to create an inclined plane. This helps to keep your airway open and improves your breathing while you sleep. You may also want to try sleeping on your side instead of your back. Side sleeping can help to reduce the severity of sleep apnea, as it keeps your tongue and soft palate from obstructing your airway.
4. Use a special pillow
One of the best ways to improve your sleep if you suffer from sleep apnea is to use a special pillow. Special pillows are designed to keep your airways open by keeping your chin and head elevated and your neck in a neutral position. This helps to prevent your tongue from blocking your airway. Special pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate your sleeping position. If you have a larger neck, you might opt for an extra-large pillow to help you get the best sleep possible.
5. Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills
One of the most important pieces of advice for those suffering from sleep apnea is to avoid alcohol and sleeping pills. Alcohol and certain sleeping pills can relax the muscles in the back of your throat and make your airway smaller, making your sleep disorder worse. Even if you don’t suffer from sleep apnea, drinking alcohol can cause disrupted sleep patterns, further exacerbating the problem. If you’re looking for a natural way to sleep more soundly, consider avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills altogether.
6. Use a humidifier
One of the best ways to sleep better with sleep apnea is to use a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air which can help reduce congestion in the nasal passages, thus reducing the severity of sleep apnea. It can also help to reduce dry mouth and throat, another common symptom of sleep apnea. Additionally, it can help soothe irritated skin and reduce snoring. It is important to ensure the humidifier is used correctly and cleaned regularly to prevent mold and bacteria buildup.
7. Try a mandibular advancement device
A mandibular advancement device, or MAD, is one of the best ways to treat sleep apnea. It works by gently pushing the lower jaw forward during sleep, which opens up the airway and keeps it open for improved breathing. This device is an ideal option for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, and it can be adjusted to the user’s comfort. It is also much more affordable than a CPAP machine, and it is easier to use and maintain. If you are looking for an effective yet affordable way to treat your sleep apnea, then the mandibular advancement device is the way to go.
8. Avoid caffeine late in the day
Caffeine can interfere with your sleep, so it’s important to avoid it late in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can also reduce the amount of deep sleep you get, which can make it harder to get proper restorative sleep. Try to limit your caffeine intake to before noon or earlier, and opt for decaffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and evening.
Related Question About Best Way to Sleep For Sleep Apnea
How can I sleep better with sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes, and they can occur multiple times throughout the night. If you have sleep apnea, it’s important to get treatment to help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are some tips that may help you sleep better with sleep apnea:
- Use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine: This is a device that provides a steady stream of air through a mask that you wear while you sleep. The pressure from the air helps to keep your airway open and prevent pauses in breathing.
- Practice good sleep hygiene: Establish a regular sleep schedule, create a comfortable sleep environment, and avoid stimulating activities before bedtime.
- Lose weight: If you are overweight, losing weight can help to improve your sleep apnea. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a difference.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco: These substances can relax the muscles in your throat and worsen sleep apnea.
- Sleep on your side: Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of your throat, which can obstruct your airway. Try sleeping on your side instead.
- Use a humidifier: Dry air can irritate your airway and make sleep apnea worse. Using a humidifier can help to keep the air moist and reduce irritation.
- Try an over-the-counter or prescription sleep aid: These medications can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, but be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new medication.
It’s important to work with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment for your sleep apnea. With the right treatment, you can get a good night’s sleep and improve your overall quality of life.
What position makes sleep apnea worse?
Sleeping on your back can make sleep apnea worse because it can cause your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of your throat, which can obstruct your airway. This position is known as the “supine” position. When you sleep on your back, gravity causes your tongue and other tissues in the back of your throat to fall towards the back of your mouth, which can partially or completely block your airway. This can cause pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep, leading to disrupted sleep and reduced oxygen levels in the blood.
Sleeping on your side can help to alleviate sleep apnea by keeping your airway more open and reducing the risk of tissue collapse. If you have sleep apnea, it’s a good idea to try sleeping on your side and see if it helps to improve your symptoms. You can try using a body pillow to help keep you in this position, or you can try sewing a tennis ball into the back of your pajama top to discourage you from rolling onto your back.
Is it better to sleep elevated or flat with sleep apnea?
There is some evidence to suggest that sleeping in an upright or semi-upright position may help to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. When you sleep in a more upright position, your airway is more open and less likely to become blocked by the tongue and other tissues in the back of your throat. This can help to reduce pauses in breathing and improve the overall quality of your sleep.
There are a few different ways you can try sleeping in an upright position:
- Use a wedge pillow: A wedge pillow is a pillow that is angled to elevate your upper body while you sleep. This can help to keep your airway more open and reduce the risk of tissue collapse.
- Adjust the head of your bed: If you have an adjustable bed, you can try elevating the head of the bed to a more upright position. This can help to keep your airway more open and improve your sleep apnea symptoms.
- Sleep in a recliner: Some people find that sleeping in a recliner is more comfortable and helps to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms.
Does sleeping at an incline help sleep apnea?
Sleeping at an incline may help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. Sleeping at an incline allows gravity to help keep the airway open, reducing the frequency of pauses in breathing. Additionally, research has shown that sleeping in an inclined position may reduce arousal from sleep apnea events, allowing the individual to maintain better sleep quality. It is important to note, however, that while sleeping at an incline may help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, it is not a cure and should not be used as a substitute for other treatments recommended by your doctor.
In conclusion, sleep apnea can be a difficult condition to manage, but there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality. Taking steps to improve your sleep posture, such as sleeping on your side or propping your head up with a pillow, can help to reduce the severity of sleep apnea. Additionally, using a CPAP machine or other sleep apnea treatments can help to ensure you are getting the best sleep possible. With the right combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments, you can take control of your sleep apnea and get the restful sleep you deserve. It’s important to note that sleep apnea can be caused by a variety of factors, and sleeping position may not be the only factor contributing to your symptoms. If you are concerned about sleep apnea, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.