Can pillows help apnea sleep

These sleeping positions can be harmful to your health

Some throw their arms over their heads, others can only fall asleep on their back - everyone has their own sleep routine. The position in which one sleeps at night has just as much an impact on our health and well-being as the duration.

There are many factors that ensure restful sleep: a regular rhythm, a period of rest before going to bed, in which you do not eat heavy food and switch off your cell phone, or the right room temperature. However, in order for your body to optimally recover and detoxify, it is crucial how you lie at night.

Supine position: best for the body - and against wrinkles

Doctors recommend lying on your back because your head, neck, and torso are in a neutral position and your body weight is evenly distributed. It is easy on your back and shoulders when you place your arms next to your body.

It is important that your head lies on a flat pillow that supports your neck so that you do not wake up with tension. Back sleepers are also less likely to have pillow prints on their faces - and this can even prevent wrinkles.

Disadvantage: lying on your back favors breathing pauses

But: it snores particularly loudly on the back. In addition, the supine position favors breathing pauses. With sleep apnea, breathing stops in phases. Under certain circumstances, the body is then insufficiently supplied with oxygen for several seconds. The dropouts mean stress for the body: the risk of high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks and strokes can increase.

If you not only snore at night, but also have pauses in breathing, you should consult a doctor. Signs of this can include headaches and a dry throat after getting up, as well as daytime sleepiness.

Special vests, which prevent you from lying on your back while sleeping, help against sleep apnea. Breathing masks can also help if you wear them all night. These generate a slight negative pressure and thus pump ambient air into the airways.

Prone position: against snoring, but bad for the joints

The advantage of the prone position: snoring or brief respiratory arrest are the least likely. However, this position also has disadvantages: It puts strain on the back and lumbar spine because the natural S-shape of the spine is flattened.

Turning the head to the side also strains the cervical spine and jaw, and the pressure on the muscles and joints can lead to pain and numbness. It is best to do without a fluffy pillow - or leave it out entirely.

Lateral position: It is the most popular sleeping position. (Source: fizkes / Getty Images)

Lateral position: good for the spine, but a burden on the shoulders

This sleeping position is good in principle because it stretches the spine and so relaxes it. In addition, snoring attacks are reduced. However, people who sleep on their side can sometimes lie on their arms and temporarily cut off blood supply or nerves. This is not necessarily harmful to your health, but it does leave you feeling numb. In addition, saliva tends to flow onto the pillow in this position. In order to relieve the neck and shoulder muscles, on which the entire body weight rests, you should invest in a thick, well-supporting pillow.

Left or Right?

Sleeping on the right or left side also makes a difference: sleeping on the right side of your body can promote heartburn. So if you are prone to acidic belching, you should better turn to the left. Lying on your left side compresses the internal organs such as the lungs, stomach and liver, but this does not always have to be harmful.

According to a study in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, this can aid digestion by channeling digestive juices and better secreting pancreatic enzymes. In addition, this sleeping position should have a positive effect on the heart, lymphatic system and spleen.

Embryonic position: less snoring, but joint damaging

Many people feel particularly secure in bed when they curl up to one side. This position is especially comfortable for pregnant women because it relieves the spine. It becomes really comfortable with a side sleeper pillow over which you put an arm and a leg.

Snoring can be reduced in the embryonic position, but this sleeping position restricts diaphragmatic breathing and can constrict the chest. Keeping the knees up and the chin on the chest can exacerbate joint pain and arthritic discomfort, so it is better to stretch the body a little more.

How is the situation with you?

If you want to know what your favorite secret position is: sleep in and pay attention to how you lie when you wake up. It is best if you change your sleeping position every now and then.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Sleep,
  • Snoring,
  • Joint pain,
  • Sleep apnea,
  • Spine,
  • Health,
  • Shoulder,
  • Joints,
  • High blood pressure,
  • A headache,
  • Tension,
  • Heart attack