3 Common Sleep Positions and How they Affect Sleep Apnea

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’ve probably already taken steps to mitigate it, such as purchasing a CPAP machine and other equipment. Perhaps in your quest to get a good night’s sleep you’ve changed a few of your habits, such as powering off your screen before bed and cutting back on caffeine consumption.
Did you know that your sleeping position can also affect your sleep apnea? Today we’re going to look at three common ones and look at what they’re impacting your condition:

The Stargazer
This is where you sleep flat on your back, facing the ceiling. This is the most ideal position for your neck and back. However, it’s the worst for your sleep apnea! This position allows for gravity to pull the soft tissues of the tongue down into the back of the throat, thereby narrowing the airway and causing an obstruction.
The Freefaller
This is where you sleep on your side or your stomach, with your head turned to the side. Both of these sleep positions create a forward movement in the soft tissue and tongue to naturally prevent a blockage from occurring. On the downside, these positions can be hard to adjust to with a CPAP mask on, especially a full face mask. Your pillow can push against the edge of the mask causing a leak. That being said, it may take some trial and error to find a side or prone position that works for you.
The Curler
This is where you arch your back, bend your knees, and have your face turned sideways. You’re essentially curled into a ball or in a fetal position. This position can cause neck and back pain. It’s also not ideal for sleep apnea, as it restricts diaphragmatic breathing.

Sleeping positions often come down to preference—some just feel so much better than others! The same can also be said of CPAP masks. Some of them just feel better than others. Your comfort is an important thing to take into consideration when it comes to sleep. Check out our selection of CPAP supplies on our website and find the perfect compliment to your sleep style!

Comments

  1. Jerome Ngugi Reply

    Interesting read.
    My partner is a mega-snorer and is thinking of getting checked for sleep apnea. She is mostly the freefaller, sleeping on her stomach or side.
    What type of mask would you recommend for such a sleeper should she need to get onto CPAP therapy?

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