Inclined Sleeping Position
First up, a disclaimer. In this article, I show you the effects of an inclined sleeping position on my health. You may react differently.
For years I suffered from sleep apnea and heavy snoring. Waking up in the middle of the night, gasping for air, and the body in panic mode, is not a pleasant experience. Short of a sinus operation, I tried just about all alternative therapies, without much success.
I never heard of postural medicine before, but I came across a Swiss research paper on the subject The role of body position and gravity in the symptoms and treatment of various medical diseases. Follow the link to download the paper.
Sleeping horizontally is considered “normal,” because everyone does it. This doesn’t mean “everyone” is right.
In the horizontal position, fluid pressure in our head and brain increases. As a consequence, fluid levels in the sinuses increase as well and may cause nasal blockage, causing the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Inclined Bed Therapy
Logic implies, if we avoid sleeping horizontally, we could reduce the fluid level in our heads and sinuses. Andrew K Fletcher came to the same conclusion. As he says on his website, try it. Raising the head of the bed doesn’t hurt and doesn’t cost anything.
I began a trial six months ago and it had an immediate effect. I still snore, but not as heavy as before. Most importantly, I haven’t had any sleep apnea symptoms since the beginning of the trial. Today, sleeping at a slight angle is no longer a trial for me. It is permanent.
There are two ways of adjusting your bed: add a block underneath the legs at the head board, or cut the legs at the foot end.
Once you decided that the inclination helps your sleep apnea, you can use the permanent method and cut the legs at the foot end.
There is the complication that the bed legs and the head board are no longer vertical. Straighten the posts by adding a piece of timber as shown in this picture.