I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in May 2017. Like many of you, I’ve struggled with keeping my number of apneas per hour low and my treatment effective. I’ve dealt with a lot of life changes since being diagnosed, like moving across the country to a high-humidity environment and changing doctors and getting a new treatment team.
Through the changes, I’ve noticed my therapy suffered. As I struggled with the change in my treatment, I discovered something that’s helped me, and I think it might help you too. It’s called positional therapy, and it’s made a significant difference in the quality of my life.
Ready to learn how positional therapy can help you? Let’s get started!
What is Positional Therapy?
Positional therapy involves changing your sleeping position to reduce the number of apnea events per hour by using gravity to your benefit. When on your back, gravity works to close off your airway. You’ll notice your pressure spike, and it will be much harder for you to breathe. However, when you sleep on your side, gravity will pull loose tissues away from your airway, creating an opening while you sleep. Your machine won’t need to work as hard, and if you can stay on your side the whole night, you’ll feel so much better in the morning.
Unfortunately, sleeping on your side can be quite the adjustment. I recently discovered MedCline GERD Reflux Relief System, which has helped me transition easily to sleeping on my side while lowering my AHI in the process.
MedCline GERD Reflux Relief Pillow Review
The MedCline Acid Reflux Relief Pillow uses three pillows to help keep you on your side while you sleep and elevates you at the same time.
When this product came out, I started to use it as a way to try to promote side sleeping. By looping my arm through the arm slot in the headrest, I found I was able to stay in position on my side all night long. The arm slot made it so that it wasn’t uncomfortable for me as I slept, and the incline helped reduce my snoring.
By using the MedCline two nights in a row, I was able to reduce my AHI score from as high as 10 down to 1.8. It was instant relief from the increased AHI scores and events I had been experiencing.
I use a full face mask at home with the hose connection in the front of the mask. I route the hose up and over the body pillow, which connects to my machine on the floor. By doing it this way, I was able to keep the hose from getting tangled up with the body pillow, and it stayed out of the way.
By sleeping on your side while using the body pillow, you can reduce your number of events per hour and get the relief you’re looking for. Sleeping on your side gives you so many advantages; it’s no surprise that positional therapy is one of the hottest topics in sleep apnea treatment today.
How can you get started? All you need is a body pillow like the MedCline and a commitment to stick with it while closely monitoring your AHIs each day to track your progress. If you can keep your AHI under two, you’ll be in a position to improve your symptoms of sleep apnea and feel better!
David Repasky has been using CPAP treatment since 2017 and has first-hand experience with what it’s like to live with Sleep Apnea. He brings the patient’s perspective to the CPAP.com blog and has received formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment.