6. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea refers to episodes in which a person stops breathing while asleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when enlarged structures in the throat become relaxed and block your airway. Sleeping on your back may contribute to sleep apnea, as it allows those relaxed tissues at the base of your throat to drop down and interfere with proper airflow. If you suffer from sleep apnea, try to sleep on your side. Placing a pillow behind your back can help prevent you from rolling over onto your back as you slumber.
5. Other Breathing Issues
If you suffer from asthma, allergies, or lung disease, you may find it difficult to breathe easily while reclining in bed. The Cleveland Clinic offers tips for sleeping while dealing with shortness of breath. One position that may provide relief involves lying on your side with your back straight and a pillow between your legs. Utilizing pillows to elevate your head will also allow you to draw air into your lungs more easily. A second option involves lying on your back with your knees bent and pillow propping them up. Again, using pillows to elevate your head allows for easier breathing.
4. Heart Failure
When suffering from heart failure, it is challenging enough to keep up your energy without losing much-needed sleep as well. Sleeping on your side may prove the best way to get a restorative night of sleep. Elevating the head of your bed may also allow gravity to help you to breathe easier at night when you are dealing with heart failure. Since many patients with heart failure also suffer from sleep apnea, it may be helpful to obtain sleep apnea testing. A CPAP machine may help you to sleep more easily and may allow you to sleep on your back.