Sleeping positions to reduce breathing irregularities

Alexandre De Dreem
Written by Alexandre De Dreem
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Sleeping position accounts, in part, for how many breathing irregularities are experienced during the night. Breathing irregularities are commonly most frequent when a person is sleeping on their back.

There are a number of “positional therapies” available. These treatments therapies aim to discourage people from sleeping on their back:

The DIY method

This involves sewing a pocket onto a tight t-shirt and then putting a tennis ball inside before going to bed. The pocket should be placed in a location that coincides the lower portion of the spine. Since this makes it too uncomfortable for a person to sleep on their back, they will naturally train their body to sleep on their side or on their stomach.

The anti-snore backpack

This product uses an inflatable cushion to cause discomfort while lying on your back. This will also train the sleeper from lying on their back for long durations at night.

The body pillow

Curling up with a body pillow (a U-shaped pillow normally used by pregnant women to sleep more comfortably), and placing it under the spine before sleeping, discourages the sleeper from rolling onto their back after falling asleep. Rolling up a towel and placing it under the spine before sleeping will also have this effect.

Additional note: This therapy can take days or weeks (2-3) to completely train your body to stay off the back while sleeping. Give your body time to adjust to this new routine. After, you may feel benefits of longer sleep durations, less night time awakenings, or feeling more refreshed in the morning.

This advice does not replace the advice of medical professionals.