I’m about to do a Google search for head position and sinus congestion.
I’ve noticed over the past while that I seem to sleep better…I seem to have less sinus blockage and congestion if I sleep on my side with my head propped-up on a few pillows.
Now, I’m a bit worried that maybe this isn’t good for my neck. I don’t know the answer to that part.
But, I have definitely noticed that my nose is less blocked. And, I don’t recall getting tortured by the sleep apnea as outrageously when I manage to sleep that way.
The worst position for congestion is sleeping flat on my back! Without a doubt!
And, by the way, after my spinal fusion I’m not allowed to sleep on my stomach. I have two choices: on my back or on my side.
So, I have a body pillow that wraps around my back. And, the pillow goes in between my knees. The spine doctor people told me that’s a good practice. Then, I have the top part of the body pillow elevated further by an additional pillow. So, perhaps you can picture this arrangement.
Anyway, my nose gets blocked terribly when sleeping flat on my back.
So, I see this info over at Healthline, and it says this:
Lying flat can increase mucus buildup in your nasal passages, increase your sinus pressure, and disrupt your sleep cycle. Prop your head up with pillows at night to keep your head above your heart. This sleeping position will prevent sinus buildup and can help you to breathe more comfortably.
So, there you have it. Confirmed.
There’s some additional interesting info over there:
This type of nasal congestion (where one experiences repeated or lengthy episodes) is called chronic sinusitis. It affects nearly 30 million AmericansTrusted Source.
Over-the-counter and prescription medication are typically used for relieving sinus discomfort. However, if you want to try something different, you might consider sinus massage.
Massage helps promote drainage from the sinuses and ease congestion. And all you need for this home remedy are your fingers.
The sinuses are a system of hollow cavities in your skull. Scientists have been in a heated debate over the true function of the sinuses for decades. Some believe they play a role in humidifying and filtering the air we breathe. They may also serve to lighten the bones of the skull and help enhance the voice.
Healthy sinuses are basically empty cavities with just a thin layer of mucus. Sinuses that become inflamed (from a cold, flu, or allergies, for example) produce mucus. This leads to congestion, which in turn causes facial pressure and pain.
You might experience sinus pain in one or all four of the sinus locations. Many people with sinusitis have pain all over their face, regardless of which sinus is affected.
Now, honestly, I’ve never tried a sinus massage. And, for whatever reason, I’m skeptical about that. I also don’t think my skepticism is justified, but I just don’t see that working for me. To be fair, I should try it.
Now, I also found it interesting that the experts don’t even agree on the purpose of the sinuses in the first place.
But, the real takeaway of this post is that sleeping with your head elevated helps to keep your sinuses clear while you’re in dreamland. And, I also believe it helps to reduce the severity of sleep apnea.
Here’s something else I want to quote:
Elevate Your Head While Sleeping
A common mistake made by people who suffer from nasal congestion and sinus pressure is sleeping face-down or to the side. Instead, try to sleep with your head propped up. This lets your sinuses drain and alleviates congestion.
In addition to having a long body pillow…I also have the two separate wedge pillows. They came together as a pair. The idea is that you lie on your back and one goes under your head and back while the other props up your hamstrings to knees and lets your feet sort of drift down. I’m not explaining this well. Let me just drop a picture in:
So, you can see how that works above. I have these two pillows, but I’ve been resistant to using them because somehow my brain has something very deep inside it that doesn’t like for me to sleep on my back. It’s really weird. But, I think sleeping this way—as pictured above—would be very good for me. I’ll give it another try.