Does sleeping position really affect snoring?

We all know that a good mattress is key to night-time comfort. But have you ever considered the way you’re sleeping in your bed? Snoring is often triggered by sleeping flat on your back – and this can cause major sleep disruption to both you and your partner.

Why does sleeping position affect snoring?

When you sleep on your back, your airway is more prone to collapsing. This could be down to the weight of your neck pressing down (especially if you’re overweight), or general gravity shifting these tissues into your throat. This stops you from being able to breathe properly, and causes the snoring sound.

Sleeping on your back can also lead to complete airway collapse. This is known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). It can result in long pauses in breathing, choking/gasping, and daytime symptoms like feeling extra sleepy. OSA can have serious health consequences, so if you suspect you suffer from it, you should visit your doctor as soon as you can.

In what position should I be sleeping?

Sleeping on your side is the best way to breathe more easily. Plenty of scientific studies have proven that sleeping in this position can hugely reduce the time you spend snoring, as well as the intensity of it.

How do I make the change?

  • Ask your partner to help. If they catch you sleeping on your back, get them to give you a nudge. After a while, you should find that you’re learning to sleep on your side, and you’ll be able to maintain the position. An occasional nudge from your partner helps to reinforce this behaviour.
  • Invest in a sleep position device. There are plenty out there – postural alarms, vibrating neck bands, bumper belts. But if you want to try an inexpensive alternative, find a tight-fitting t-shirt with a chest pocket. Wear it back to front, and place a tennis ball in the pocket. Whenever you roll onto your back, you’ll begin to feel uncomfortable, and naturally shift back onto your side.
  • Raise the head of your bed. Lifting your head position by 20-30 degrees can help reduce snoring. An adjustable bed will achieve this, as well as sleeping wedges. You can find anti-snoring pillows in plenty of high street shops, as well as online.

What if it doesn’t work?

If changing your sleep position doesn’t affect your snoring, there are still plenty of treatment options available. Click here to explore the different types of snoring, as well as recommended products.

Don’t put up with sleepless nights – banish snoring, and get a great night’s sleep.


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