If you suffer from sleep apnea, you’ve likely tried everything to improve your condition from CPAP to seeing specialist doctors. At Rochester Advanced Dentistry, we understand how frustrating it can feel to not find a sleep apnea treatment that works for you. This is why we highly recommend a few treatment options for our patients. One treatment option is oral appliance therapy. In addition to wearing an oral appliance every night, we recommend making a few lifestyle changes including changing your sleep position.
Discover how your sleep position affects sleep apnea and which one you should practice every night.
The Worst Sleep Positions for Sleep Apnea: Sleeping on Your Back
Also known as the supine sleeping position, sleeping on your back is one of the worst positions you can sleep in for your sleep apnea. When you lay flat on your back, gravity takes control. This forces the tongue and soft palate to fall back into the throat which narrows and obstructs your airway. As a result, you will struggle to breathe correctly throughout the night and snore or experience apnea episodes.
The Worst Sleep Positions for Sleep Apnea: Sleeping on Your Stomach
Also known as the prone sleeping position, sleeping on your stomach is almost as bad as sleeping on your back. Instead of your soft palate and tongue collapsing into the back of your throat, they’re pushed forward instead. However, you’re likely to obstruct your airway by blocking it with a pillow or twisting your neck to the side to breathe. Both of these ways of breathing will obstruct your airway and cause snoring and apnea episodes.
The Best Sleep Position for Sleep Apnea: On Your Side
Also known as the lateral position, sleeping on your side is the best sleep position for sleep apnea and snoring. When the body is positioned on its side, the airway becomes more stable and less likely to restrict air or collapse. Unfortunately, not everyone can sleep on their side. They might fall asleep in the lateral position and then flip onto their back or stomach at some point in the night and ultimately obstruct their airway.
We recommend using a special pillow such as a contoured or memory foam pillow. These help guide your body into the right position while also keeping your spine aligned.
Aside from changing up your sleep position, we highly recommend getting professional sleep apnea treatment from our Rochester, MI sleep dentists. If you’re ready to improve your quality of life and overall health, please contact Rochester Advanced Dentistry for an appointment today by calling (248) 656-2020.