What Is Positional Therapy for Sleep Apnea and Snoring?

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Positional Therapy for Sleep Apnea and Snoring: The Ultimate Guide

Sleep apnea and snoring are common sleep disorders that affect millions of people worldwide. They can cause daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and other health issues. Positional therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that can be used to manage these conditions. In this article, we'll take a closer look at positional therapy for sleep apnea and snoring, including how it works, its effectiveness, and its benefits.

What is Positional Therapy?

Positional therapy involves changing the sleeping position from on your back (supine) to sleeping on your side (lateral).  The aim is to reduce the severity and frequency of apneas (pauses in breathing) or snoring by preventing the tongue and other soft tissues in the mouth and throat from collapsing and blocking the airway.

Snoring and sleep apnea can be major obstacles to getting a good night's rest. Many people who suffer from these conditions have tried a variety of remedies without much success. Recent research has shown that side sleeping and positional therapy can be effective solutions. In this article, we'll explore what positional therapy is and whether side sleeping can help reduce your sleep apnea and snoring.

How Does Positional Therapy Work?

Positional therapy works by encouraging the individual to sleep on their side instead of their back. Sleeping on your back is the most common sleeping position associated with sleep apnea and snoring. When you sleep on your back, gravity pulls the tongue and other soft tissues towards the back of your throat, which can obstruct your airway and cause breathing difficulties. Sleeping on your side, on the other hand, can help to keep the airway open and prevent obstructions.

Do Sleep Medicine experts recommend it? 

Many specialists accredited in Sleep Medicine, Neurology, Respirology, Psychiatry, ENT's often recommend sleeping on your side.  Dentist who specialize in sleep medicine often recommend combining both positional therapy and an Oral Appliance can help:

  • reduce the need to advance your lower jaw
  • increases patient success
  • increase patient adherence to therapy

Benefits of Positional Therapy

The benefits of positional therapy go beyond reducing sleep apnea and snoring. It can also improve the quality of your sleep, reduce daytime sleepiness, and improve your overall well-being. Additionally, positional therapy is a non-invasive and low-risk treatment option, making it a good choice for those who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or other more invasive treatments.

Does Side Sleeping Really Work for Sleep Apnea and Snoring?

There is evidence to suggest that side sleeping can be effective for reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring. Studies have shown that sleeping on your side can reduce the frequency and intensity of snoring, as well as improve breathing and decrease the number of apnea events.

One study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that positional therapy reduced the number of apnea events by up to 70%. Another study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that positional therapy significantly reduced the number of snoring episodes and improved sleep quality.

However, it's worth noting that positional therapy may not be effective for everyone. Some individuals may still experience sleep apnea or snoring even when sleeping on their side. Additionally, positional therapy may not address the underlying causes of sleep apnea, such as obesity or nasal congestion.

Positional Therapy FAQ's:

Q: Can side sleeping be uncomfortable? A: It's possible that side sleeping can be uncomfortable for some individuals, particularly if they're not used to sleeping in that position. However, there are many different devices available that can make side sleeping more comfortable and effective.

Pro Tip -> Place a thick pillow in front of your chest and 'hug' the pillow while you sleep. 

anti-snoring pillows

Q: Is positional therapy a cure for sleep apnea and snoring? A: No, positional therapy is not a cure for sleep apnea or snoring. It is a form of treatment that can be effective for some individuals, but it may not work for everyone. Additionally, positional therapy does not address underlying causes of sleep apnea or snoring, such as obesity or nasal congestion.

Q: Can I use positional therapy if I have back pain? A: It's important to talk to your doctor before using positional therapy if you have any underlying health conditions, including back pain. Some positional therapy devices may exacerbate back pain or other conditions, so it's important to get professional advice before trying this form of treatment.

Q: How long does it take for positional therapy to work? A: The effectiveness of positional therapy can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their sleep apnea or snoring. Some people may notice a difference immediately, while others may need to use positional therapy consistently over several weeks to see results.

Q: Is positional therapy covered by insurance? A: It depends on the individual insurance plan. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of positional therapy devices or other forms of treatment for sleep apnea and snoring, while others may not. It's important to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered.

Positional Therapy Customer Reviews:

John D.: "I've struggled with snoring for years, and positional therapy has been a game-changer for me. I use a Rematee Bumper Belt, size Large and it keeps me sleeping on my side and significantly reduction in my snoring


Positional therapy is a non-invasive and effective treatment option for sleep apnea and snoring. By encouraging side-sleeping, it can help to reduce the severity and frequency of apneas and snoring, improve the quality of your sleep, and enhance your overall well-being. If you're struggling with sleep apnea or snoring, consider trying positional therapy as a low-risk and potentially effective treatment option.

Read: Tips for Success

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