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Does Sleeping With Head Elevated Help Sleep Apnea

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What Is Positional Therapy

How To Stop Snoring or Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Positional therapy is training yourself to sleep in a medically healthful position for your unique set of contributing factors. It is done by manipulating your body position to best effect for your particular medical issues, ranging from OSA to lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and even helping pregnant women sleep a bit better.

For those with OSA, a change in sleep position also means a change in blood flow, air flow, and quality of sleep, which in its own right can be a helpful sleep apnea treatment.

Positional therapy can reduce AHI . but is unlikely to eliminate OSA on its own. This is particularly true for those with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

This therapy can be as simple as putting tennis balls in your waistband to make it uncomfortable to sleep on your back It could also be more sophisticated through the use of belt-on cushions like the Sleep Noodle or other body pillows that help prop you up on your side. Another helpful device is the Philips Nightbalance – it vibrates when you roll onto your back to remind you not to stay there!

Why Back Sleeping And Stomach Sleeping Are Not Okay

Back sleeping and stomach sleeping exacerbate all types of sleep apnea, but especially Obstructive Sleep Apnea the most common sleep disorder. It could even be the reason you have OSA.

When you sleep on your back or stomach, your neck muscles are lying flat against your airway instead of being supported by your spine in its intended supine position on your side. Gravity is then pushing your neck muscles against the airway, forcing it to narrow and causing undue stress or pressure that may lead to or worsen an obstruction.

This is also why youre more likely to snore as a back or stomach sleeper, which is a typical symptom of sleep apnea. Airflow is trying to make its way around the obstruction, but you hear it making contact with whatever is causing the blockage when you snore. Luckily, there are ways to improve airway obstructions like sleeping with your head elevated, positional therapy, and traditional sleep medicine.

Why Does The Head Of The Bed Need To Be Raised

Snoring can be caused by a few different factors, but one of the most common is a blocked airway. When sleeping on your back, gravity can make it more difficult for your air passages to stay open as they should. This makes it more likely that your tongue and other muscles will fall into your throat and block your airway during sleep.

Raising the head of your bed could help decrease the risk of snoring by making it easier for you to breathe at night. Simply find a few books or a stack of clothes to slide under the edge of the mattress so that its raised from 6 inches to 8 inches from the ground. Your bed frame may need to be modified if you have an adjustable frame, so check with a professional if youre not sure what type of frame you have before trying anything yourself.

In addition to this, sleeping on your side instead of on your back can also help reduce snoring because it gives your airways more room to breathe while you sleep. This will help keep them open and allow for less snoring overall.

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What Is The Best Sleep Position For Sleep Apnea

that far and away, side sleeping is best for most apnea patients because it helps to keep your airways clear. There is an excellent and directly on-the-nose study from 2011 showing that sleeping on the right side may reduce AHI in those with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea .

In addition to helping with an apnea diagnosis, it may also help with GERD and occasional acid reflux. Please do keep in mind, though, that right side sleeping may not be recommended for people with certain heart conditions – so be sure to ask if left side sleeping is more appropriate for you. Always make sure to stay in close communication with your various doctors and specialists to make sure you are doing whats best for your unique medical situation.

How Do You Raise The Head Of The Bed To Help Stop Snoring

Does Sleeping with Head Elevated Help Sleep Apnea?  Miosuperhealth

There are many ways to raise the head of your bed. One way is by using books or bricks or using a pillow:

You can buy a set of blocks used for this purpose from a home goods store.

Or, you can use stacks of books to raise the beds head.

Another option is to sleep on an incline. This will also help because itll make your airway open more fully. To create an incline, place one pillow under your head and another one at the foot of the bed for your feet.

Keep in mind: if youve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea and dont want to use any other treatment options, then these methods may not be enough to alleviate your symptoms. It could be that you need a CPAP machine or surgery to address this issue.

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Why Sleeping With Head Elevated Help Sleep Apnea

Well, you are not the first person who is still thinking that how sleeping with elevated head can treat the sleep apnea. More than 18 million in US are suffering from sleep apnea or sleep deprivation condition.

It is a miserable experience for many people and they are desperate to get enough sleep in their daily routine. Personally speaking, many people have tried to sleep in the upright over a recliner many times but they did not get much success. But fortunately, CPAP is working for you now.

Even though, CPAP setups are available in different varieties, but still for some of the people it is not a comfortable experience to talk about.

Sleeping On Your Back

Generally considered to be the worst sleeping position. The reason for this is gravity again. Soft tissues in the upper airway, including the tongue, create upper airway resistance. As opposed to when youre sleeping on your belly when gravity pushes the soft tissues forward. If you are a back-sleeper, and you cannot kick the habit, consider elevating your head to reduce sleep apnea symptoms.

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How To Choose A Pillow For Sleep Apnea

Related Reading

The pillow you choose will affect your comfort and quality of rest. For CPAP users, a quality model can reduce the frequency of mask air leaks and uncomfortable pressure on the face. Factors such as support, pressure relief, loft, and firmness all affect the overall performance of a pillow, so shoppers should carefully consider them. For those with sleep apnea, aspects such as contouring, pillow shape, and CPAP-specific design features should also be kept in mind.

Does Sleeping Without A Pillow Help Sleep Apnea

Amazing Benefits of Sleeping Elevated

Sleeping without a pillow is unlikely to improve sleep apnea severity. In fact, it is likely to jeopardize the spinal alignment of side and back sleepers, potentially putting more pressure on the airway. However, stomach sleeping may be beneficial for those with sleep apnea, and many individuals who favor this position sleep without a pillow to avoid forcing the head backward.

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How Does A Wedge Pillow Help With Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing frequently stops and starts during sleep. One form of this condition, obstructive sleep apnea, happens when the throat muscles relax too much during sleep, causing the airway to become narrow or even to close during inhalation.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects between 2% and 9% of adults, and it can significantly reduce the quality of sleep and lead to other health problems. There are several types of devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure machines and oral appliances, that are designed to help keep the airway open during sleep. However, these devices may not be accessible for everyone, and not all people can sleep well with them.

When the head is elevated, however, gravity helps keep the airway open. So sleeping with your head a slight incline can help reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. The triangular shape of a wedge pillow allows you to sleep with your head and neck elevated, which can keep the airway open and improve sleep quality.

Do You Need A Sleep Test

Sleeping on your back can make your sleep apnea worse. As you sleep, gravity pulls the tongue and soft tissues of the throat down, blocking the upper airway.

Apneas or pauses in breathing, occur when the airway becomes blocked overnight and sleeping on your back can increase this risk.

Your doctor may recommend a home sleep test to evaluate how you sleep and whether your position could be worsening your sleep apnea.

Although sleeping on your side is usually best for breathing, it does not automatically mean your breathing is totally normalized in this position.

The testing device records the percentage of the night you spend in each position and whether or not your having abnormal events.

The test measures how often the airways are blocked while youre sleeping, providing an indication of the severity of the condition. If the index number indicates you have less events when sleeping on your side, positional therapy may be recommended.

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The Best Sleeping Position For Sleep Apnea

    Medically reviewed by Michelle Worley, RN

    Everyone has their own way of sleeping. Some wear pajamas while others go for their birthday suits. Some stick one foot outside of the covers while others would never tempt the monster waiting under the bed. And some sleep on their side while others are back or stomach sleepers the latter of which are the worst sleeping positions you could choose for sleep apnea. Why is that? The experts at Aeroflow Sleep are here to tell you.

    How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed

    Does Sleeping in a Recliner Help with Sleep Apnea?

    If your doctor determines that you have symptoms suggestive of sleep apnea, you may be asked to have a sleep evaluation with a sleep specialist or may order an overnight sleep study to objectively evaluate for sleep apnea.

    • Testing includes an overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram . A PSG is performed in a sleep laboratory under the direct supervision of a trained technologist. During the test, a variety of body functions, such as the electrical activity of the brain, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate, breathing patterns, air flow, and blood oxygen levels are recorded at night during sleep. After the study is completed, the number of times breathing is impaired during sleep is tallied and the severity of the sleep apnea is graded.
    • For adults, a Home Sleep Test can sometimes be performed instead. This is a modified type of sleep study that can be done in the comfort of home. It records fewer body functions than PSG, including airflow, breathing effort, blood oxygen levels and snoring to confirm a diagnosis of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

    An HST is not appropriate to be used as a screening tool for patients without symptoms. Its not used for patients with significant medical problems . Its also not used for patients who have other sleep disorders in addition to the suspected obstructive sleep apnea.

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    Sleep Apnea: Your Posture May Be Strangling You While You Sleep

    Sleep Apnea: Your posture may be strangling you while you sleep

    According to the CDC an estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep disorder. This ranges from snoring to the most common problem being Obstructive Sleep Apnea . OSA is actually caused by a blockage of the airway in the throat that closes, cutting off air supply and leaving the sufferer without air for up to a minute at a time. This can occur 100 times or more a night. The American Sleep Apnea Association states that if left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments. It has been noted that one of the most influential causes of this disorder is sleeping posture.

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by incorrect sleeping posture.

    However it is important to assume the correct posture even in these positions. The spine should be level in all sleep positions the most common error of this is using a pillow that is either too high or too low. Ensure that your head and neck are level with the rest of your spine. It is also beneficial to place a pillow or support between the knees/legs to remove stress from the hips, pelvis and low back.

    4 Posture Tips to resolve your Obstructive Sleep Apnea


    • The effects of posture on obstructive sleep apnea. McEvoy RD, Sharp DJ, Thornton AT. The American Review of Respiratory Disease

    What Happens During Sleep Apnea

    There are different types of sleep apnea, the most common being Obstructive Sleep Apnea . This is when your upper airway is partially or fully obstructed as you sleep. The muscles in the back of your throat relax and cause the obstruction while your chest muscles work harder to open your airway. As the brain signals that your breathing is impeded, it can wake you up gasping for air, but as its usually so brief you most likely will not remember and may not be aware of your broken sleep.

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    No More Fighting With Pillows

    For people who do not have an adjustable bed, it is not uncommon to try to use multiple pillows to reduce snoring. However, propping yourself up with pillows can provide its own set of challenges. When using multiple pillows, these pillows can slip and shift positions throughout the night. Having to constantly readjust your pillows can disrupt your sleep just as much as snoring, and improper pillow placement could leave you with neck and back pain that can disrupt your day.

    Furthermore, if you are not awoken by your pillows moving, no longer being elevated could cause your snoring/sleep apnea to return. If you have found that propping yourself up reduces your snoring but you are tired of fighting with pillows, it may be time to invest in an adjustable bed. This will allow you to easily prop yourself up at night without having to fight with your pillows.

    Improved Blood Circulation And Brain Detoxification

    Snore-Be-Gone Stop Snoring Sleep Positioning System by Protect-A-Bed

    Elevating your head and legs allows your abdomen and thoracic cavity to be a zero-gravity state, allowing more blood to flow back into the heart. The heart then works harder to pump blood to the rest of the organs, improving detoxification and oxygen distribution.

    Studies were done by the National Institutes of health note that the glymphatic system responsible for detoxifying the cerebrospinal fluid- responsible for nourishing the brain- works better when you sleep in an inclined position.


    Elevating your head by as little as five degrees every night helps the lymphatic system work better, which improves the brain’s detoxification process. Doing this enables you to sleep better and wake up healthier, having had a good quality night’s sleep.

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    The Benefits Of Sleep With Your Head Elevated

    Something as simple as sleeping with your head at a five-degree elevation can help you sleep better at night and change your life forever. Dive in and let’s talk about why elevating your head is essential.

    Great sleep is an essential part of your routine. The quality and quantity of sleep can be affected by several factors, such as what you have for dinner when you have your dinner and your bedtime routine, among others.

    Keeping this in mind, it imperative that you do the most you can to ensure that you have a quality sleep each night. One way you can achieve this is by sleeping in a comfortable position and ensuring that your back and neck muscles don’t get strained while youre sleeping.

    What Causes Snoring

  • 7)Other related quick links
  • The first thing you may find yourself wondering is how snoring works and what causes you to snore in the first place. Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction of a persons breathing that prevents air from freely moving through the nose and throat. When you are unable to breathe smoothly, forced airflow causes surrounding tissue to vibrate, creating the snoring sound.

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    People who snore frequently often have too much tissue in their nose or throat, or they have floppy tissue that is more prone to vibrating. This can be caused by factors such as genetics or weight gain. Snoring can also be brought on by excessive drinking or sinus problems, and it can also be the result of your tongue blocking your breathing. Fortunately, an adjustable bed can help address some of the problems that cause snoring. Here is a look at five ways an adjustable bed can help with snoring and sleep apnea.

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    What Is Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing is interrupted during sleep. This can happen due to a blockage in your airway or simply because your brain doesnt signal your muscles to breathe properly. As you can imagine, this can lead to some serious health problems.

    So, how can sleeping in a certain sleep position help?

    Well, for example, when you rest on your side, gravity helps to keep your airway open. This allows you to breathe more effortlessly and prevents the interruption of your sleep.

    Of course, not everyone can or wants to sleep on their side. If this is the case for you, there are still other positions that can help alleviate the symptoms, but more on that later.For now, lets focus on a different issue symptoms.

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