It's no secret that breathing problems can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. If you're one of the many people who suffer from snoring, sleep apnoea or disturbed sleep, then finding a position that allows you to breathe easily is essential for a restful night. This, coupled with investing in a quality bed, ensures a sound, restful sleep. In this post, we'll discuss some of the best sleeping positions for people who have breathing troubles while they sleep.

What are the best sleeping positions for sleepers with breathing problems?

The best sleeping position for sleepers with breathing problems depends on whether the problem is obstructive or central. These two different problems present in different ways, as outlined below:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) occurs when your airway becomes blocked during sleep, which leads to shallow breaths and interrupted sleep. This can happen repeatedly throughout the night and may leave you feeling tired during the day. The most common cause of OSA is excessive tissue in your throat (such as excess fat), but other factors like genetics and age can also contribute to this condition.
  • Central sleep apnoea (CSA) occurs when brain structures that control respiration become dysfunctional during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stages, causing slow or no breathing for short periods of time, often less than 10 seconds per occurrence; however, this type of irregular breathing can last up to several minutes at a time before resuming regular rhythm again once more.

Sleeping on your back is good for people who snore or have sleep apnoea

Sleeping on your back is a good position for people who snore or have sleep apnoea. It can help open the airways and reduce snoring, which can lead to better sleep quality.

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sleeping on your back may also be beneficial because it reduces stress on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle acts as a gatekeeper between your stomach and the oesophagus and when it relaxes, acid travels up into the oesophagus which causes heartburn symptoms. If this happens during sleep, you'll wake up feeling like something's stuck in your throat, which can make for an uncomfortable night.

Side sleepers should position their pillows in a way that supports their shoulder and neck

Side sleepers should position their pillows in a way that supports their shoulder and neck. Sleeping on your side is generally viewed as good for your breathing, as it allows your airways to open up freely as there’s less pressure on your chest.

Using two pillows is a popular method for side sleepers, as it allows you to align your spine while sleeping on your side. The first pillow should be placed under the head, with the second supporting the neck. The firmer side should be under your neck while the softer one goes under your head. This will ensure that your airways are open with the added benefit that you wake up with stiff shoulders or an uncomfortable crick in your neck!

If using just one pillow doesn't work for you, try using two different kinds: one soft and one firm. The firmest part of this arrangement should be placed directly underneath where it meets at the junction between the head and the torso; this helps prevent strain from occurring during deep sleep.

Back sleepers should consider using a wedge pillow under the knees

If you're a back sleeper, consider using a wedge pillow under the knees. This can help keep airways open as you sleep. The pillow should be placed at a 45-degree angle and should be firm enough to support the head and neck without causing discomfort. It should also not cause you to roll over onto your back.

This type of wedge pillow sleeping position has a few more benefits alongside improved breathing. You can enjoy the following benefits from this approach:

  • Combats acid reflux: If you suffer from acid reflux issues while sleeping or have GERD, then a wedge pillow can help by keeping stomach acid where it belongs, rather than having it move up your oesophagus when you sleep.
  • It stops you from snoring: If you’re a chronic snorer, then this formation gives your lungs the capacity to breathe more deeply, which helps stop your snoring. We snore when air isn’t able to move freely from our mouth or nose, and this position is a great way to allow air to move much more freely.
  • Reduced back pain: If you suffer from any form of back pain, then using a wedge pillow can offset the pressure that is put on your spine while you sleep. In particular, your lumbar and cervical areas will be much better positioned which can drastically reduce pain and inflammation around your back.
  • Improved circulation: Wedge pillows are also a great way to improve circulation throughout your body. It can help mitigate the development of varicose veins which can be quite painful.

Many people with breathing problems find success by sleeping in certain positions

Many people with breathing problems find success by sleeping in certain positions. Sleep apnoea is a common problem for many people, but it can be caused by obesity and even smoking. The best way to treat sleep apnoea is through a CPAP machine, which uses air pressure to keep the airways open during sleep. Many people find these devices uncomfortable or inconvenient because they must be worn while sleeping.

Make sure there's plenty of room under your head when lying down on your side (use pillows or blankets). This will help keep your jaw from dropping open as you sleep and prevent snoring from occurring during REM cycles when muscles relax throughout the body.

If possible, consider using an adjustable bed frame so that one side can be raised higher than another; this may help alleviate symptoms like headaches caused by neck pain if one side feels more comfortable than another.


The best sleeping position for sleepers with breathing problems depends on whether the problem is obstructive or central. Side-lying is the best position for people who snore or have sleep apnoea while sleeping on your back can help reduce GERD symptoms. If you're having trouble sleeping because of respiratory issues, try experimenting with different positions until one works for you!

One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to invest in a high-quality bed that offers a comfortable sleeping environment regardless of your sleeping position. If you’d like help finding the perfect bed for you, contact our experts at Endurance Beds today.

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