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Find the Healthiest Sleep Position

Submitted by New Jersey Snoring Solutions on Thu 04/23/2015 - 13:35

Did you know that your sleep position could affect aspects of your health and appearance? Certain common sleep positions are known for causing body aches and pains and contributing to wrinkles and breast sagginess. What’s more — certain sleep positions can make snoring (fromobstructive sleep apnea) worse.

Here, Dr. Ivan F. Stein and the New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions team explore each sleep position and its pros and cons.

Back (Supine) Sleep Position

Pros:

1. Keeps the neck and spine in a neutral position
2. Good for wrinkle prevention
3. Optimal for preventing acid reflux
4. Doesn’t put pressure on the breasts or internal organs

Cons:

1. Gravity pulls down the throat and stomach, making it difficult to breathe and causing snoring

Side Sleep Position

Pros:

1. Better for snoring than the supine position
2. Elongates the spine
3. Comfortable during pregnancy
4. Good for circulation (the left side)

Cons:

1. Can cause wrinkles and skin sagging
2. Can lead to saggy breasts
3. Can worsen heartburn (the right side)
4. Can put a strain on the liver, lungs and stomach (the left side)

Fetal Sleep Position (on the side with knees pulled up to the chest)

Pros:

1. Comfortable
2. May feel most natural (mimics the position in the womb)

Cons:

1. Can cause back and neck pain
2. May lead to wrinkles
3. May cause saggy breasts

Stomach (Prone) Sleep Position

Pros:

1. Most comfortable for some people
2. Minimizes snoring; lying face down keeps the upper airways more open

Cons:

1. Disrupts neutral spine position, compresses the lower back
2. Can lead to back and neck pain, numbness and tingling
3. Puts pressure on the joints and muscles
4. Forces the neck to crane, putting strain on the vertebrae in the bottom part of the skull
5. Often the sleep bends the knee and hip to the side where the head is turned; this forces an unnatural lateral rotation of the leg
6. Can lead to wrinkles
7. Can lead to breast sagging

Do You Suffer from Sleep Apnea?

No matter your preferred sleep position, chronic snoring could indicate obstructive sleep apnea, which has debilitating side effects such as daytime sleepiness, inability to concentrate and depression.

To be screened for sleep apnea, please contact New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions by calling (855) 949-7667 today. If diagnosed, we can review our comfortable and effective treatment options, including the FDA-cleared Oravan oral appliance, which may be covered by your medical insurance.