Sleep for the patient: how to choose the right posture?

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Lit­er­al­ly in a few days, on March 20, the whole world will rejoice at the Spring Equinox Day: the length of the day will equal the night peri­od of the day, and the day will con­fi­dent­ly out­strip the night, bring­ing us clos­er to sum­mer. Since 2008, the last Fri­day before the Spring Equinox has been a sig­nif­i­cant date for many peo­ple. It’s World Sleep Day. In 2018 we cel­e­brate it on March 16th.

For some, sleep is a waste of time, for oth­ers it is the best and bliss­ful time of the day when you can escape from day­time wor­ries and anx­i­eties to the world of night dreams. One way or anoth­er, we all spend part of our lives sleep­ing. And some­times a per­son­’s health depends on how this sig­nif­i­cant piece of life pass­es — espe­cial­ly when it comes to choos­ing a sleep­ing posi­tion. Healthy­in­fo is inter­est­ed in how to sleep prop­er­ly for var­i­ous ail­ments.

GERD

GERD is a gas­troe­sophageal reflux dis­ease in which the con­tents of the stom­ach can be thrown back into the esoph­a­gus, lead­ing to its irri­ta­tion and dam­age to the mucous mem­brane. GERD man­i­fests itself in the form of sour belch­ing, heart­burn, which most often devel­op at night dur­ing sleep (more than half of patients) or when bend­ing over. Due to noc­tur­nal attacks of GERD, a per­son falls asleep poor­ly, wakes up fre­quent­ly and suf­fers from night­mares. Acid reflux at night against the back­ground of snor­ing by 80% increas­es the risk of devel­op­ing a very unpleas­ant con­di­tion — Bar­ret­t’s esoph­a­gus. In addi­tion, it is one of the risk fac­tors for ade­no­car­ci­no­ma of the esoph­a­gus.

How should you sleep?

Doc­tors advise peo­ple with GERD to sleep on their right side with their hands in front of them. The knees should be bent and pulled towards the stom­ach. This is explained as fol­lows: the esoph­a­gus con­nects to the stom­ach more on the left side, so with this pos­ture it will be eas­i­er for food to move through the diges­tive tract. You can put an extra pil­low under your head — this is espe­cial­ly true if a per­son ate right before bed­time.

Runny nose

Runny nose

With a run­ny nose, the most pro­nounced symp­tom is a stuffy nose. And if dur­ing the day it is still pos­si­ble to blow your nose, rinse your nose, drip vaso­con­stric­tor drugs or oth­er means, then at night a per­son should sleep, and not blow his nose every 5 min­utes. With a stuffy nose, a per­son often switch­es to breath­ing with an open mouth, as a result of which he begins to snore, spoil­ing the sleep of both him­self and oth­ers. Lack of sleep with a stuffy nose is guar­an­teed.

Often the patient lies on his back, hop­ing that the snot will drain into the nasophar­ynx, the nasal pas­sages will be cleared and breath­ing will become free. How­ev­er, this is the wrong approach. Lying on your back increas­es the risk of mucus flow­ing into the sinus­es and stag­na­tion there, which can lead to inflam­ma­tion, that is, to a vari­ety of sinusi­tis.

How should you sleep?

Sleep­ing with a stuffy nose should be on your side with extra pil­lows under your head to ele­vate your head and allow mucus to flow nat­u­ral­ly.

Back pain

Sleep­ing with a bad back is a spe­cial art. If it is not pos­si­ble to find a com­fort­able posi­tion for the body, so that the pain recedes, by the morn­ing after a rest­less night, a per­son will feel even worse than before sleep. More­over, sci­en­tists have proven that a vicious cir­cle occurs: lack of sleep over the years leads to increased back pain, while falling asleep in the pres­ence of pain becomes increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult.

How should you sleep?

You should sleep on your side, no mat­ter which one. It is nec­es­sary to take a pose in which the load from the back will be removed as much as pos­si­ble. To do this, you need to slight­ly bend your knees, but do not twist inward, your hips should be kept approx­i­mate­ly in the same line as the body. A pil­low should be placed between the knees so that a dis­tance equal to the width of the hips is main­tained between the out­er sides of the knees.

Bruxism

Bruxism

Noc­tur­nal grind­ing of teeth is a com­mon occur­rence in both chil­dren and adults. 8% of peo­ple reg­u­lar­ly grind their teeth while sleep­ing. Brux­ism has noth­ing to do with worms or oth­er par­a­sites. Most often, this is an indi­ca­tor that the human ner­vous sys­tem does not have time to recov­er from pro­longed stress or oth­er influ­ences. It is also pos­si­ble that the cause lies in the defeat of the trigem­i­nal nerve or oth­er neu­ro­log­i­cal patholo­gies.

Brux­ism is harm­ful to teeth: with exces­sive squeez­ing and fric­tion of their sur­faces against each oth­er, the enam­el is destroyed, which means that the risk of pen­e­tra­tion of caries bac­te­ria into the depth of the tooth increas­es. Brux­ism is often asso­ci­at­ed with morn­ing headaches, jaw pain, insom­nia, day­time sleepi­ness, and oth­er sleep dis­or­ders.

How should you sleep?

You should sleep on your back so that the jaw mus­cles nat­u­ral­ly relax under the influ­ence of grav­i­ty and do not con­tract once again. The arms should be ful­ly extend­ed along the body and relaxed as much as pos­si­ble. Sleep experts say that the arms must be kept straight, because we instinc­tive­ly begin to curl in the direc­tion of the bent arm.

men­stru­al pain

In the days before the onset of men­stru­a­tion, as well as dur­ing this dif­fi­cult peri­od, some women expe­ri­ence quite painful sen­sa­tions. If dur­ing the day, in the bus­tle and bus­tle, one man­ages to for­get about the pain, then at night it comes in all its glo­ry — it does not let you sleep and makes you toss and turn all night in search of a com­fort­able posi­tion.

How should you sleep?

It is best to sleep on your back dur­ing this time. Place a cou­ple of pil­lows under your knees to take the pres­sure off your upper back. You should def­i­nite­ly not sleep on your stom­ach — the pres­sure on the uterus increas­es and the pain inten­si­fies. It is also not rec­om­mend­ed to sleep on your side — this caus­es pres­sure on the chest, which also does not alle­vi­ate the con­di­tion of the woman.

Snore

Snore

Snor­ing is one of the most com­mon patholo­gies. It can be both a con­se­quence of var­i­ous painful con­di­tions, and in itself be the cause of a dete­ri­o­ra­tion in human health.

Peo­ple who snore should not sleep on their backs — this posi­tion relax­es the jaw mus­cles. If at the same time there are oth­er fac­tors that pro­voke snor­ing, a noisy night is guar­an­teed. These fac­tors include: the pres­ence of polyps and neo­plasms in the nose, run­ny nose, dis­or­ders of the struc­ture of the nasal pas­sages, as well as dis­eases and con­di­tions in which the mus­cles of the jaws weak­en.

How should you sleep?

Peo­ple who snore should sleep on their side. To pre­vent a per­son from rolling over on his back, you can use a well-known trick: sew a pock­et on the back of night­wear, where to put a ten­nis ball. In prin­ci­ple, you can sleep on your stom­ach — then the desire to snore does not arise. But at the same time, it is nec­es­sary to adjust the posi­tion of the neck rel­a­tive to the body with pil­lows, because if it is exces­sive­ly bent, the risk of pinch­ing the nerves increas­es, espe­cial­ly in old­er peo­ple.

COVID-19

At the end of 2019, the first reports of a new coro­n­avirus infec­tion, SARS-CoV­‑2, appeared, which leads to SARS COVID-19. In the time that has passed since that moment, doc­tors and the pub­lic have learned a lot about this dis­ease. The dis­ease affects the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract, which leads to a lack of oxy­gen in the blood. Sat­u­ra­tion (blood oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion) falls, the per­son begins to suf­fo­cate.

How should you sleep?

A per­son with mod­er­ate to severe COVID-19 affect­ing the lungs should sleep on their stom­ach as a pre­ven­tive mea­sure against res­pi­ra­to­ry fail­ure. In this posi­tion, his res­pi­ra­to­ry vol­ume of the lungs increas­es and the rate of blood oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion increas­es — thus, it is pos­si­ble to increase the sat­u­ra­tion rate by 2–3 units.

For patients with minor (up to 25%) lung dam­age and no man­i­fes­ta­tions of the dis­ease, the choice of such a posi­tion does not mean any­thing and does not pro­tect against the pos­si­ble devel­op­ment of pneu­mo­nia.

Con­clu­sion

The choice of sleep­ing posi­tion dur­ing ill­ness is espe­cial­ly impor­tant. Insom­nia, fre­quent awak­en­ings, rest­less sleep and, as a result, lack of sleep in them­selves neg­a­tive­ly affect health, slow­ing down the heal­ing process. At the same time, sound healthy sleep is an effec­tive “med­i­cine” for peo­ple with any prob­lems.

By Yraa

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