How to Sleep with Sleep Apnea


If you suffer from Sleep Apnea, it is very likely that you also suffer from sleep deprivation. Even with very mild forms of Sleep Apnea, your brain is woken up multiple times throughout the night to clear your airways. This means that you may be feeling effects such as:


Must read How to Select the Pillow for Side Sleepers?

So being able to get a good, restful night of sleep may significantly improve your quality of life. This can start with something as simple as changing your sleeping position.

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The Supine Position

The supine sleeping position or sleeping on your back may be what you are most used to and most comfortable with. But the supine position is strongly discouraged for sufferers of Sleep Apnea. Sleeping on your back means that in deep sleep, gravity can allow for your tongue to fall onto the pharyngeal wall at the back of your throat, obstructing your airway.


As your breathing pauses for the few seconds, your brain will be startled awake to move your body position in order to correct this. Most sufferers aren’t even aware that this is happening, but it does mean that your brain is being woken up constantly throughout the night.

Lateral Position

Most doctors and researchers recommend that sufferers of Sleep Apnea and other sleeping disorders, sleep on their sides to open up the airways. In deciding which side you would like to sleep on, you should seek advice and recommendations from doctors depending on your preexisting health conditions.

Right Side

Can actually worsen the symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and heartburn. Relieves pressure on your internal organs

Left Side

Puts pressure on your internal organs Can reduce the effects of heartburn

Sleeping Upright

In extreme cases, in which you cannot sleep on your side, or have tried to sleep on the side but haven’t been able to reduce the symptoms of your Sleep Apnea, you may have to use a sleeping wedge to force your body to sleep in an upright position. Whilst difficult to adjust to, this position can be very beneficial.



Believeif or not, having the right pillow you can make a world of difference. Your pillow needs to support your head, neck and spine so that it is in the most supported and natural position possible in order to fully relax and provide you with good sleep. For those with Sleep Apnea, it is recommended that you use foam wedges and firm pillows as this can help to support your neck and keep your airways open during the night.

Sleeping With CPAP

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines or CPAP masks are often recommended for sufferers of Sleep Apnea. These masks deliver a steady stream of air pressure through the mask or nose piece to keep your airways open throughout the night.

Sleeping with CPAP can be difficult at first, but does allow you to be able to sleep in the position you find most comfortable. When you first start using the CPAP, it is recommended that you try it out regularly throughout the day, before going to sleep. This allows your body to get used to the idea of using the CPAP. If you still have difficulties, there are pillows made for patients with CPAP machines that can also assist you in being comfortable as you sleep.

Changing Sleeping Positions

Regardless of advice from doctors and researchers, changing your sleeping position after decades of sleeping in the same position can be very difficult. Regardless, with some training, you will be able to fall asleep in the position that your body needs. Here are some tips:


Essentially, form a barricade around your body to restrict movement through the night. For example, use long and firm pillows placed behind your back to restrict your movements until you get used to the position.



Any change is going to take time. It may take you several nights or even several weeks in order to get used to the new position of sleeping. Be patient.

When you wake up, check your position to make sure you are still in the right position. If not, correct yourself.

Meditation / Self Hypnosis

Don’t underestimate the power of your mind. As silly as it may sound, your body and your brain will respond to the messages you repeat to yourself.

Change is difficult. But over time, you will be able to get good quality sleep and feel yourself waking up rejuvenated and well rested.

About Author:


Neil Wilson 35-year-old physician from the USA who have 10 years of experience in the healthcare field and managed a home health care company for a few years and learned more, I love to share my experience & knowledge to inspire you. Recently I’m writing quality information in the form of guidelines, reviews, lists, and other types of blog posts, read more writing on

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