Best 6 Sleeping Positions That Reduce the Risk of Sleep Apnea

Best 6 Sleeping Positions That Reduce the Risk of Sleep Apnea

Since you have been diagnosed in a sleep laboratory with mild obstructive sleep apnea, the next best thing is to find out how to overcome the condition before it aggravates to the severe stage. Of course, your sleep specialist would have suggested some effective treatment options after your sleep study or home sleep apnea testing, but it is essential to learn some self-care tips.

Do you know that you can treat sleep apnea without sleeping pills but simply with sleeping positions? That’s what you are about to learn in this post. 

This write-up is meant to expose you to some of the less-known treatments seldom recommended for treating obstructive sleep apnea. The below sleeping positions will save you from the symptoms of sleep apnea, such as loud snoring, coughing while sleeping, difficulty in falling asleep, restless sleep, daytime fatigue, and more. 

It will also prevent you from risk factors that come with severe obstructive sleep apnea solutions, including high blood pressure, obesity, and reduction in blood oxygen levels, mainly resulting from untreated sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

These sleeping positions are tested and trusted. As a result, they effectively provide similar results as oral appliances, continuous positive airway pressure CPAP machines, and other airway pressure devices. 

Meanwhile, the fetal position is seemingly the most recommended sleeping position for treating obstructive sleep apnea across the globe. However, we are more prone to sleep on our sides. 

What Is the Best Sleep Position For Sleep Apnea? 

As said earlier, side sleeping is the most common for people with sleep apnea. The goodness is that it’s a good sleeping position for people with sleep apnea syndrome. It helps hold throat muscles in the correct position throughout your sleeping period.

When sleep apnea occurs, your sleep specialist may recommend that you sleep on your side to get your normal sleep. Research also proved that side sleeping promotes insulin resistance. In addition, it helps a patient with a narrowed airway to keep a clear air passage preventing you from loud snoring when sleeping. 

Your bed partner is the one to benefit the most when you learn how to maintain good sleeping positions when sleeping. 

Most sleep apnea patients struggle when it’s time to fall asleep. Knowing about sleeping positions that keep your airway clear can boost your confidence during bedtime. 

In addition to helping you with a sleep apnea diagnosis, we want you to note that right-side Sleeping is not recommended for people with heart conditions. Hence, allowing your doctor to prescribe which sleeping position is best for your severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is good. 

So, what are the best sleeping positions for treating obstructive sleep apnea? Read along to find the best six that could be helpful for you.

Best 6 Sleeping Positions That Reduce the Risk Of Sleep Apnea

1.        Breathing Staying Horizontal

Your type of breathing conditions and the severity of your sleep apnea determines your sleeping position. Not only that, the kind of sleep apnea – central or obtrusive – can impact choosing the correct sleeping position for you.

Whether you are struggling with obstructive or central sleep apnea, breathing and staying in a horizontal position can be helpful for your sleep disorder. When you sit or stand, your airflow is relatively unrestricted. However, your body breathes horizontally as soon as you fall asleep.

With this sleeping position, you can’t stop breathing when sleeping. No reason for daytime sleepiness or sleep-waking. This sleeping position also works for other sleep disorders you may have inherited through your family history. 

When sleep apnea happens, the throat muscles relax, creating a blockage for air pressure flowing through your airways. 

2.        Supine Sleeping Position

 Supine Sleeping Position

When sleep apnea occurs, it forces patients to lay on the bed uncomfortably in a worse sleeping position. That is because the gravity strength supports the jaw’s ability to fall towards the tongue and soft palate. A wrong sleeping position can restrict your respiratory tract, causing you to stop breathing.

Meanwhile, the supine sleeping position works effectively for obstructive sleep apnea patients, like the oral appliance and other treatments. It also reduces the risk factors of developing severe symptoms of sleep apnea.

3.        Left-Side Sleeping Position

Side sleeping is generally recommended for moderate sleep apnea patients. It remains one of the most effective sleeping positions for treating sleep apnea because it helps alleviate problems like insomnia, which can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. 

Since sleep quality is as important as sleep quantity, selecting a position that allows you to rest as best you can is reasonable. 

Left-Side Sleeping Position

The left-side sleeping position brings quick results when treating obstructive sleep apnea. It is recommended to sleep on the left side as it helps to increase blood oxygen levels, allow smooth flow of air pressure and solve sleep-disordered breathing problems. 

4.        Right-Side Sleeping Position

Since doctors generally recommend sleeping on the side, sleeping on the right side can significantly help overcome sleep apnea symptoms. Sleeping on the right side is a good recommendation for anyone who cannot rest on the left for one reason or another. It reduces the snoring probability and promotes good blood flow

5.        Back Sleeping

Back Sleeping may be suitable for spinal alignment and can stop you from depending on a pillowcase before sleeping. 

However, back sleeping might not be a good position for people with severe obstructive sleep apnea because it allows gravity to pull the soft tissues in the throat downward, increasing the chances of collapsing during sleep. 

6.        Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping is good for sleep apnea patients because it puts gravity on the side. It also pulls the tissues in the throat and mouth forward, thus, reducing the chances of airway obstruction. Meanwhile, you need to be careful not to let your pillow block your nose or mouth, as it can make breathing difficult. 


Choosing the correct sleeping position is the most cost-effective therapy to solve sleep apnea problems. Mild sleep apnea doesn’t require using a CPAP machine or undergoing surgery. Those treatment options are strictly recommended for people with severe sleep apnea. If you can discover the symptoms of sleep apnea at the early stage and are diagnosed, you may start using any of the above positions to get good sleep at night and overcome the symptoms.

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