Does Sleeping in a Recliner Help with Sleep Apnea?

May 13, 2024
Man relaxing in comfy recliner

If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it might seem nearly impossible to get a good night’s rest. Repeated breathing disruptions can interrupt your sleep cycle, causing you to feel exhausted day after day and endangering your overall health. What can you do to reduce the impact of your condition? Seeking professional treatment is always a good idea. However, you might also benefit from some minor lifestyle changes, such as sleeping in a recliner. How might that reduce your OSA symptoms? This blog post explains.

Benefits of Sleeping in a Recliner

For many people, sleeping at a slight incline can have significant benefits.

  • Easier breathing. OSA occurs because tissues in the throat block the free flow of air. If you are sleeping flat on your back, gravity is working against you. Those tissues may be more likely to cause blockages. Sleeping at an incline can make gravity work for you instead. In fact, researchers have found that sleeping at a 30- to 60-degree incline improves sleep apnea in many people.
  • Reduced GERD. About 60% of people with OSA also suffer from acid reflux. Adjusting your sleeping position so you are at an incline may reduce this issue.

Of course, you do not have to sleep in a recliner to enjoy the above benefits. Using a bed wedge or investing in an adjustable mattress can have similar effects. Something as simple as doubling up on pillows could even do the trick.

Do Not Neglect Professional Treatment

Changing your sleep position might reduce your OSA symptoms. However, it should not be viewed as a substitute for professional treatment but rather a supplement to it. For example, a custom oral appliance can help to keep your airway open regardless of your sleep position. It can improve your sleep every night and be especially helpful when you are away from home and do not have access to your favorite recliner.

Plus, having a team of trained professionals assist you in your quest for better sleep is wise. Through careful testing and personalized advice, they can help you optimize your results and your overall health.

Adjusting your sleeping position is just one minor lifestyle change that could lead to higher-quality rest! Talk to your sleep dentist or medical team to discover other helpful tips for conquering OSA.

Meet Dr. Kenneth Mogell

Dr. Kenneth Mogell is double board-certified in dental sleep medicine. He specializes in providing oral sleep appliance therapy for OSA. He wants every patient to enjoy the benefits of high-quality rest! If you would like to speak to Dr. Mogell and our team about how you can sleep better, contact any of our three locations or call our Vero Beach office at 772-882-6800.