Is the Way I Sleep Causing Sleep Apnea?

Collection of different sleeping positions

We all have a go-to position we default to when we get into bed. Maybe you curl into a fetal position, lay on your stomach, or stay flat on your back. While it may not seem like a big deal, the right sleeping position can have a major impact if you suffer from sleeping issues such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Today, the Common Sleep team will discuss the different sleep positions and how yours may be worsening your quality of sleep.

How You Sleep Impacts the Way You Breathe

This may seem obvious, but it cuts to the heart of the issue. A number of sleep disorders stem from an inability to get a steady flow of air as you sleep. If you suffer from OSA, this is often a key component to your sleep quality. Here’s how your sleep position may be impacting your sleep:

Supine (Back)

People who sleep on their back are much more likely to experience sleep apnea. The tissues in your upper airway (tongue, uvula, and adenoids) crowd the back of your throat while on your back. The upper airway resistance created by these tissues is why you are more likely to snore and experience OSA symptoms. 

Prone (Stomach)

People who sleep on their stomach are less likely to experience OSA issues. Is it worth the associated neck and back pain that occurs from the prone position? Patients who have been diagnosed with OSA and use a CPAP machine rarely continue to sleep on their stomach because the apparatus can be quite uncomfortable while prone.

Lateral (Side)

The recommended sleep position for the majority of people is on their side. This position allows your upper airway to expand — relieving many breathing issues. Patients who seek out ‘position therapy’ instead of a CPAP machine equip a device designed to promote a side sleeping position. If you can train yourself to sleep on your side, your sleep quality may benefit in the long run.

Ready to Fix Your Sleep Problems?

If you have experienced sleep problems and are unsure what to do next, consider visiting the sleep experts at Common Sleep. Our team can schedule an evaluation to help you determine if you suffer from one of the many sleep disorders affecting millions of Americans. Relief is possible. Contact our team today at 417-368-1605 to begin your path to healthy sleep.