What’s Keeping You Awake At Night: Snoring
There are three main sleep positions: front (stomach), side and back, though many people switch position in the night. Your sleep position and pillow choice matter as they can affect the quality of your sleep and trigger problems such as head and neck pain and heartburn. Certain sleep positions and pillows can even make you more wrinkly, or less likely to snore.
While back sleeping is often encouraged for cosmetic reasons – it avoids early morning puffiness and sheet-embedded lines – it can make you more ‘snore prone’. Side sleeping prevents the tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin relaxing and squashing your airway, which can lead to snoring. You can train your body to sleep on the side.
There are many variations of sleeping on your side. Some side snoozers prefer the foetal position, where you curl up on your side – this is especially recommended for pregnant mums. Some catch their ZZZs in the log position with back straight and arms down, close to your body. Resting on your side with your back mostly straight is best for snorers. Keeping your spine aligned also prevents you from waking with a crick in your neck.
Whichever position you sleep in the right pillow will complement your sleep style, enabling you to breathe and rest comfortably without any pressure to your back or neck. Side snoozers sleep best with a firm, high pillow; anything too soft won’t provide the right support.
If you’re allergic to dust mites, you want to consider a mite-proof Microfibre pillow or a pillow with a dust-mite proof cover. Reducing nasal inflammation may reduce symptoms of snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Zipped pillow protectors will also help prevent sneezing and wheezing in the night.
This may sound like an April Fools’ Day joke, but taping a tennis ball to the back of your sleepwear is an NHS recommended tip for staying on your side. Failing that, a special pillow or bed wedge may keep you on the winning side.