The Effects of Sleeping on Your Back/Stomach

Many people are surprised to learn that their sleep habits can affect their health and overall well-being. There are three main sleep positions which are side, back and stomach, with each having their own variables. Sleep experts recommend sleeping on your side in order to rest more comfortably and to increase your odds of sleeping the entire night without awakening. Here are the effects of sleeping on your back and on your stomach.

Sleeping On Your Stomach

Sleep experts do not recommend sleeping on your stomach as it can put undue strain on your lower back and even cause neck pain. Plus, stomach sleepers tend to toss and turn more in order to get comfortable, which disrupts their sleep. If you must sleep on your stomach, use no pillow at all or only a very soft pillow so your head is not raised far off the surface of the bed.

Sleeping On Your Back

If you prefer sleeping on your back, you should know that doing so can cause lower back pain. This sleep position can also lead to episodes of sleep apnea which can interfere with normal sleep wherein you will not feel fully rested in the morning. If you cannot fall asleep unless you’re on your back, place a pillow or rolled up towel under your knees to facilitate the natural curve of your spine.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Health

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway when asleep. When you lie down on your back, your tongue falls back into your throat while the soft tissues of the throat become relaxed which blocks some if not all, of the oxygen you breathe from entering your body. You may find yourself waking up several times throughout the night due to this depletion of oxygen and you may also snore very loudly which can awaken you as well as others nearby. If you do have sleep apnea, you are at higher risk for developing serious and even life-threatening health problems such as depression, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Sleep apnea can also negatively affect your life in other ways like making you feel tired all the time and draining you of the energy you need to perform your work duties.

Spark Sleep Solutions Can Help

If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, Spark Sleep Solutions can help you get the sleep you need. Our doctors specialize exclusively in treating sleep apnea and snoring. With four office locations in San Jose, San Ramon, Santa Cruz and Los Gatos, CA, we make it very convenient to get the help you need. Simply contact us today to request an appointment time.