5 Sleep Positions For Health Conditions

 

This might appear to happen without much thought being put into it, however, have you ever thought about the position in which you sleep in? The position of the body could have a crucial effect on the quality of sleep. It might impact breathing and result in sleep apnea or snoring increased pain, or even result in the individual developing insomnia. What is considered the worst or best positions for sleeping? How should someone sleep in order to relieve themselves from neck or back pain? Think about the most typical positions for sleep and which could be the best for a variety of health conditions.

Supine (Back)

Supine sleep happens when an individual is lying flat on their back, with their legs typically stretched out in a position that is neutral. The arms might either be positioned flat next to the body or they could be bent with the hands going across the upper body. The individual’s arms might also be lifted above the shoulders with the hands positioned next to the face, behind or above the head, or even stretched out to the sides. Supine sleep might be useful if the individual suffers from chronic hip, shoulder, neck, back, or sciatica pain.

The advantage of this position is that if you are able to breathe properly during your sleep, then this position might be the best for you. The body might be more wholly supported by the pillow and mattress. Having a supportive cushion or pillow positioned at the knees could decrease musculoskeletal pain and pressure. Having the feet lifted above the heart could result in alleviation of peripheral edema, which is the inflammation of the feet and ankles, and it could decrease the effects of congestive heart failure. What is more is that it is the recommended position of sleep for infants so as to decrease the chance of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome.

The disadvantages with this sleeping position are associated with those individuals that experience difficulty breathing as they sleep, as they may encounter worsening effects by lying on their backs. It could manifest itself in the form of snoring louder. Mouth breathing and nasal obstruction might also permit the tongue and lower jaw to maneuver backward and result in obstructing the airways. This might lead to the symptoms and resulting consequences of sleep apnea. Following are conditions that might get worse because of sleep apnea connected to supine sleep: risk of stroke, risk of heart failure, risk of suffering a heart attack, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, palpitations, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn, chronic sinusitis or postnasal drip, glaucoma, hearing loss, mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), short term memory loss, teeth grinding, dry mouth, fatigue, snoring and insomnia.

Left Side

This sleeping position is also referred to as the lateral position, it is when the body is positioned with the torso and head lying on the left side. The arm might be either be in a position that is under the body or the arm could be in a position slightly extended or forward, with a bit of pressure at the point of the shoulder. The legs might be stacked, with the left leg beneath or staggered to some extent.

The advantage of this position is that it steers clear of the effects of supine sleep and might be particularly vital to remedy position-dependent sleep apnea and snoring. Breathing might be best possible when sleeping on the left side. In the event that a right-sided joint, specifically the hip or shoulder, is suffering from pain, it might be offered some ease with this sleeping position. Sleeping on the side could also make spooning possible, the act of lying side by side with a bed partner. Females that are pregnant might position a pillow underneath their stomach or sandwiched between the knees and discover that sleeping like this relieves pressure on the back pain and bladder.

The disadvantage is that the left side is not for every individual. When sleeping in the left lateral position, the internal organs located in the thorax could shift. The lungs might begin to put pressure on the heart, due to their weight. The increased weight might affect the functioning of the heart, possibly making heart strain in heart failure worse. The heart might react to the increase in pressure by stimulating the kidneys, leading to increased urination during the night. The pressure that is being placed on the nerves in the left arm or left leg might result in separate issues. Continual lateral sleep might have an impact on the shoulder, hip, and lower back pain, because of a shift in the curve of the spine.

Right Side

This sleeping position is also referred to as one of the lateral positions, it is when the body is positioned with the torso and head lying on the right side. As stated previously, the arm might be either be in a position that is under the body, or the arm could be in a position slightly extended or forward, with a bit of pressure at the point of the right shoulder. The legs might be stacked, with the right leg beneath or staggered to some extent. The legs are bent while in the fetal position and the knees are pulled in towards the torso.

The advantages of this lateral sleep position are similar to that of left lateral sleep but affect the opposite side of the body.

As it relates to the disadvantages, as gravity is now pulling on the internal organs to the right, the heart will alter the membranous partition between it and the lungs, specifically the right lung. This will ultimately decrease the capacity of the lung, which might be of importance in specific pulmonary disorders. The reduction in capacity might have a negative impact on the levels of blood oxygen and place tension on the cardiovascular system in individuals with associated health conditions. . Pressure that is being placed on the nerves in the right arm or right leg might result in neuropathy or compression issues. Similar to left lateral, continual right lateral sleep might have an impact on the shoulder, hip, and lower back pain, because of a shift in the curve of the spine.

Prone (Stomach)

This is reported as the least of the sleeping positions. In this position, the individual’s face is normally facing one of either side so that breathing is made possible. The hands and arms might be placed under the body, positioned on the side to extend in outwardly to the sides. The legs are normally stretched out.

Similar to lateral sleeping positions, prone sleep could assist in avoiding the negative effects of supine sleep. Preventing the shifting of the organs that happens with the thorax is also a plus. In the event that the surface being slept on is not the most comfortable, sleeping on the softer section of the body, namely the stomach and chest, might be favored. Having the arms tucked close to the body could offer psychological comfort and also act to conserve body heat. The prone position might also be favored to lessen chronic musculoskeletal pain.

The disadvantage with this position is that it could result in neck pain. It could also strain the muscles associated with the upper back and shoulders. Problems may occur due to the pressure being exerted on the nerves within the hands and arms. Due to the weight of the body decreasing the capacity of the lungs because of the limited movement of the diaphragm and rib cage, breathing could be impaired.

Upright

In this position, the head is raised with respect to the rest of the body. For instance, this might be accomplished by lying in a recliner. Using a sleeping wedge pillow and an adjustable bed could also allow the head to a position above the torso as individuals sleep. Although the angle for elevation might vary, the most impactful for elevating the head is between twenty to thirty degrees.

The advantage of this sleep position is that while asleep the possibility of the airways collapsing is decreased and this could reduce the risk of issues arising from sleep apnea and snore. If the ideal position is found, this position could also result in pain alleviation.

The disadvantage is that it is almost impossible to alter the position as individual sleeps. It is very hard to sleep laterally in a head elevated position by such a significant angle during the night. Due to this, the advantages of sleeping in a lateral position cannot be manifested. Prone sleeping is also not possible in this position either. The disadvantages associated with supine sleeping might still be possible, specifically is mouth breathing occurs.