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Monday, August 13, 2018

Best Sleeping Positions with Asthma

The following is a guest article by Sarah Cummings.

By Sarah Cummings
Guest Writer to RT Cave

Unless you have to live with asthma, it probably won’t really occur to you that the condition which has a profound effect on the respiratory system of the body can result in difficulty finding sound slumber on a regular basis. It’s not until you think about it that this actually makes sense and becomes clear.
Wheezing, coughing, and feeling breathless, are all symptoms that can create a hostile environment for mind and body to relax and settle in for a good night’s sleep.
What’s more, there are also people who can be diagnosed with a condition known as night-time (nocturnal) asthma. This has the potential to make asthmatic symptoms even more severe in the night-time.
What happens to our breathing at night?

When you head into the night, particularly as bedtime approaches, changes occur in conjunction with your ‘body clock’ or natural circadian rhythm.
For those who are healthy, these nightly changes aren’t anything to think about, but for people with asthma, it can cause the condition to worsen; obviously not what you want when you are trying to get a solid night’s sleep!
Examples of the issues you can endure are:
·      Your Airways becoming slightly inflamed and closing up to an extent
·      A decrease in your airflow
Making things even more of an issue is the fact that most bedrooms have an unhealthy quantity of allergens such as dust mites and pet fur, hair feathers or dander (similar to dandruff). You can become increasingly irritated by problematic things such as these, so, therefore, want to eliminate them as much as you can.
But, what about sleep positions?

Once you’re in bed and you’ve done everything else you can, it’s time to look at which sleeping positions will best suit the alleviation of asthma.
·      Prone position
The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health claims that lying with your front or face downward, also known as the prone position has the ability to lessen the gravity effect on the upper airway and subsequent collapsibility.
Obviously, this will assist those with asthma as the airways will remain open for longer as they’re not at risk of the gravity effect, so by lying in prone position, you are much more likely to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
·      Supine position
This is a position you can try because your breath is unrestricted when lying in the supine position (sleeping on your back).
While it’s argued that the prone position might offer more benefits, lots of people find it unnatural to sleep on their front because they want to use their pillows for comfort, but having your face down in your pillow, or even to the side, can make it difficult to breathe.
One to avoid
·      Reclining Position
Opting for a reclining position may not also predispose you to night-time asthma problems.
A range of aspects can bring this about, including the build-up of secretions in the airways as a result of drainage from your postnasal drip or sinuses. There’s also the fact that this position increases blood volume in the lungs and bigger resistance on the airways
Finding the right sleeping position for you comes down to trial and error. You can try one thing and it won’t work so well, but then you try another and you’re back to easy-breathing relaxed nights of sound sleep that will help you to go to bed with much more confidence each evening.
You might want to take on board these additional tips that will help to influence how consistent, successful and worthwhile your sleep is:
Vacuum often

Dust mites afore setting up camp in carpets at home, so vacuum no less than twice a week to help shift them from your room.
For asthma sufferers, it is advisable to double bag, and as an extra precaution, you can wear a mask to avoid inhaling dust that’s sent into the air from vacuuming. You may well have one already, but you can use a good asthma-specific face mask for this job too.
Curtain call

If you own some heavy curtains, then it’s a good idea to switch them out for a more asthma-friendly option. Heavy curtains tend to be a breeding ground for dust and general bits and bobs, such as dead skin, and other airborne cells to gather.
A better option would be to have either lighter-style curtains fitted, or have blackout blinds installed.
Make Your Bedroom A Pet-Free Zone

Cats, dogs and birds make wonderful pets, but they’re prime allergy triggers, so allowing them in the bedroom should be an instant no-no.

If you think that your pet may be a trigger, get an allergy skin test to determine your sensitivities. To help you rest easy, make your bedroom a no-pet zone and then the risk is eliminated.

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