Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sleeping on your stomach and sleep apnea

I slept on my stomach till I was in my late twenties. Up until that time sleep wasn’t really an issue with me and it didn’t seem to matter what position I slept in. Then I had an injury to one of the discs in my back. The back pain was extremely sharp and it seemed worse when I was on my stomach. After I had a nerve block done, the pain in my back left I also found that sleeping on my stomach was uncomfortable. Sleeping on my back seemed the only way that I could get any rest.

Of course that’s pretty much when the sleep apnea started.

As I have written in the past there are some things to consider when sleeping on your stomach…

  • You will find that many folks who have sleep apnea also have acid reflux or GERD. I do. Besides not eating before you go to bed, sleeping with your head propped is also a good idea. 
  • Pick a good pillow if you have sleep apnea. I use a wedge pillow and it seems to help my sleep apnea and my acid reflux. 
  • Consider sleeping on your side. It could help the apnea.  
  • Something that may seem strange is to sleep in a recliner instead of a bed. The idea behind this is your head is really propped up. I don’t know if I sleep in a recliner all night but you might want to give it a try. 
  • Positional therapy might be something that would help your sleep apnea. 
  • Even if you don’t have sleep apnea sleeping on your back is considered the best way to sleep.

Check with your doctor and see what recommendations he can give you as far as what position is best for sleeping.

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  1. I too have sleep apnea, central sleep apnea. Along with a deviated septum, GERD, 7 back surgeries, kidney failure, and to top it off I sleep walk and suffer from narcolepsy. During the day I can fall asleep on a dime. Not fun.Becasue I breathe through my mouth and not my nose, it is impossible to use the VPAP & CPAP (which I have already tried). So any one have any suggestions??? Thanks

  2. I also breathe through my mouth at night. when I was fitted for a cpap they gave me a full face mask but it didn't work for me. You might want to try that.

  3. There are sufferers of sleep apnea who are ignores and or unaware that they have the problem. If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor. Treatment is necessary to avoid heart problems and other complications.

  4. There are professionally fitted night-time dental appliances that will draw the lower jaw and tongue forward, and sometime help people with both over-bites and obstructive apnea. However the dentist should specialize in treating apnea and snoring.

    Acetazolamide combats hypoxia by stabilizing absorbed oxyen levels in the blood and may well apply to treatment of obstructive and nonobstructive - ie "central" - apnea as well.

    Hypnotics/Soporifics such as the "Z" drugs - Zolpidem, etc - have in trials also relieved apnea's side effects by concentrating "good" sleep into one continuous block.