What Is The Best Position To Sleep With Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Do They Have To Use CPAP Every Night?

Obstructive sleep apnea is potentially a severe type of sleeping disorder. It often forces your breathing to stop and start repeatedly while you sleep. Although sleep apnea may take place in different types of forms, the common one is the obstructive sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea disorder takes place whenever the throat muscles relax intermittently and create a block in your airway while you sleep. Snoring is the noticeable sign associated with OSA i.e. obstructive sleep apnea.(1)

What Is The Best Position To Sleep With Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep positions have a huge influence on the way, in which we breathe and our selected position may help us to improve and/or exacerbate the problem of sleep apnea. Accordingly, doctors recommend the following preferable sleeping positions if you are a patient of obstructive sleep apnea.

Side Sleeping Position: Side sleeping position is mainly recommendable for sleep apnea patients, as the position alleviates multiple issues, including the problem of insomnia and GERD i.e. gastroesophageal reflux disease. The reason for this is that both of the problems contribute to sleep apnea in a negative way. Moreover, quality of sleep is equally important as the quantity of your sleep. Thus, it is essential to select the right sleep position, so that you may rest in the best possible position.

Left-Side Sleeping Position: Especially, doctors recommend for a left-side sleeping position as the best one for both children and adults suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Left-side sleep allows proper blood flow and creates almost low resistance towards breathing conditions. If you want to be a left-side sleeper, you should search for good quality and a firm pillow capable to give support to your back and neck.

Right-Side Sleeping Position: If you have other health issues, because of which you cannot choose left-side sleep, you may go with the right-side sleeping. This sleeping position reduces your likelihood related to snoring and promotes the proper flow of blood and air in your entire body.

Prone Or Stomach Sleeping Position: Prone or stomach sleeping works well with the gravity, as it pulls your soft tissues and the tongue in the forward direction to eliminate all sorts of airway obstructions and reduces your likelihood to cause snoring. However, as a stomach sleeper, you should avoid covering a major portion or entire mouth with the pillow. Doing this will actually work against sleep apnea and proper breathing.

Supine Or Back Sleeping Position: Supine or back sleeping is the least recommendable sleeping position for an individual suffering from sleep apnea. This position increases your likelihood to snore and thereby, experience the problem of obstructive sleep apnea. Besides, back sleeping works against your gravity and forces the soft tissues present in your upper airway i.e. the tongue, the uvula and the adenoids to the crowd as well as create a huge upper airway resistance. In simple words, when your tongue relaxes in a backward direction, your problem becomes worse.(2)

When Do Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Need CPAP?

At the initial stage, doctors recommend for suitable diet plan, treatment of any of the underlying conditions and surgical removal of tonsils or adenoids to cure sleep apnea. However, when the obstructive sleep apnea of your child becomes severe or fails to show any improvement from any of the initial treatment procedures, your child needs a continuous positive airway pressure therapy, abbreviated as CPAP therapy.

At the time of CPAP therapy, a child has to wear a mask, which will cover his/her mouth and nose well while asleep. The main role of a CPAP machine is to provide consistent airflow and in turn, to keep the airway open. CPAP thus helps you in managing most of the symptoms related to obstructive sleep apnea but it fails to cure it completely.(3)

Conclusion

Sleeping positions play a major role to improve your sleep apnea condition and hence, left-side sleeping is recommendable for patients.

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