A compilation of articles published about snoring, sleep apnea, OSA, pregnancy and your sleeping position
Source: Mayo Clinic
Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when your breathing is
obstructed in some way while you're sleeping. Sometimes snoring may
indicate a serious health condition. In addition, snoring can be a
nuisance to your partner.
As many as half of adults snore at least occasionally. Snoring occurs
when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues
to vibrate as you breathe, which creates those irritating sounds.
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime or sleeping on your side, can help stop snoring.
In addition, medical devices and surgery are available that may reduce
disruptive snoring. However, these aren't suitable or necessary for
everyone who snores.
August 16 2011
Understanding Sleeping Positions
Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 11:20AM
that your sleeping position at night not only affects your quality of
sleep but it also affects the aches and pains you experience while
awake. While there is no perfect sleeping position, knowing how each
sleeping position affects the body can help you decide what is best for
you. Basically, there are three primary sleeping positions. These include sleeping on your back, on your stomach and on your side.
Sleeping on Your Back
Sleeping on your back
without a pillow is the best position for your spine. Using a pillow
tends to pull your head and neck forward and can affect your breathing.
But without a pillow you can rest with your spines natural curves in place.
Sleeping on your back also gives your internal organs
more space and is the ideal position for those suffering from pain in
their lower back. A pillow under your knees is sometimes recommended to
help you maintain the natural curve of your body. Sleeping on your back
can prevent neck and back pain, reduce acid reflux and minimize
wrinkles. But it is perhaps the worst possible position for people who
snore or suffer from sleep apnea.
In fact, snoring is usually most frequent and severe
when sleeping on your back. For this reason, many experts often
recommend sleeping on your side unless your back problems supersede your
snoring or sleep disorder issues.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst positions
to sleep in due to the impact it can have on your lower back, your neck
and potentially your lungs. Stomach sleeping flattens the natural curve
in the lower back. It also forces your head to be turned to one side all
night which distorts the alignment of the spine in your neck.
Stomach sleeping is the least recommended sleeping
position because of the pressure it puts on your body. When you sleep on
your stomach, your internal organs are restricted and cannot expand
because your ribcage is trapped and you are putting pressure on it.
Additionally, it puts a lot of pressure on your joints, muscles and neck
and can irritate nerves leading to pain, numbness and tingling. This
position is not recommended for people who have trouble with the discs
in their back. If you do choose stomach sleeping, make sure you use only
one very thin pillow.
Sleeping on Your Side
Sleeping on your side is the most common sleeping
position. For side sleepers, this sleeping position only becomes a
problem if you put your arm or your hands under your head. Because your
head weighs about ten pounds, resting it on your arm for hours at night
stresses the nerves that run through the top of the shoulder and down
the arm and can result in numb fingers. And if your shoulder gets hiked
up toward your ear, you shoulder and neck muscles can become
If you do sleep on your side, you should try to sleep
with a straight back even if this means moving your feet closer to your
body. Meanwhile, a pillow between your legs will relieve some of the
discomfort in your legs and lower back. Finally, sleeping on your right
side may also help in overcoming hip and spinal concerns, prevent neck
and back pain, minimize acid reflux and reduce snoring. Meanwhile,
sleeping on your left side is the recommended position during pregnancy.
In general, sleeping on your side is good for overall
health. It reduces snoring and keeps your spine elongated. Additionally,
if you suffer from acid reflux it is the next best thing to sleeping on
your back. The only downside is that sleeping on your side can cause
more wrinkles because one side of your face is smashed into the pillow.
To maximize the benefits of side sleeping, most experts
recommend a thick pillow to fill the space above your shoulder so that
your head and neck are supported in a neutral position.
Study Shows Sleep Positions Linked to Personality
Recently, Professor Chris Idzikowski, director the UK
Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service analyzed six common sleeping
positions and found that each one is linked to particular personality
traits. These positions included three side sleeping positions the
fetus, the yearner and the log and one stomach sleeping position known
as the free faller. Also included in the study were two back sleeping
positions the soldier and the starfish.
He also found that most people are unlikely to change their sleeping
position. In fact, just 5 percent said they sleep in a different
position each night.
Following is an overview of his findings:
*Please note - this article was sourced from: Sleepcare.com
- Fetus: This is the most common sleeping position
with 41 percent of the people surveyed sleeping in this position. And
more than twice as many women sleep in this position than men. People
who sleep in this position are tough on the outside but sensitive at
heart. For instance, they may appear to be shy when they first meet
someone, but will soon relax.
- Log: This sleeping position includes lying on your
side with both arms down by your side. Idzikowski found that these
sleepers are easy going social people who like being part of the
in-crowd, are trusting of strangers and sometimes gullible.
- Yearner: This sleeping position includes lying on
your side with both arms out in front. People who sleep in this position
have an open nature but can be suspicious and cynical. They are also
slow to make up their minds but once they have made a decision they are
unlikely to change their minds.
- Soldier: This sleeping position includes lying on
your back with both arms pinned to your sides. People who sleep in this
position are generally quiet and reserved. Although they dont like a
fuss, they have high standards for themselves and others.
- Starfish: With this sleeping position, you lie on
your back with both arms up around the pillow. These sleepers make good
friends because they are always ready to listen to others and offer help
when needed. They generally dont like to be the center of attention.
- Free-fall: This sleeping position involves lying on
your stomach with your hands around the pillow and your head turned to
one side. People who sleep in this position can be gregarious and brash
but also thin-skinned. They often dont like criticism or extreme