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Head position optimization
#1
Head position optimization
I find myself in the middle of the night on my side with my legs bent and tucked in a bit and my head angled down toward my knees; nothing extreme, but certainly not straight.  It is like a semi adult fetal position of some sort.  I heard that this is not good for people with sleep apnea.

What is the most optimal head position and what do you do to try to attempt to maintain it throughout the night?  I always end up on my side, even if I fall asleep on my back.  CPAP, no-CPAP, it doesn't matter it seems like I was designed to be on my side.
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#2
RE: Head position optimization
I, too, would be interested in the comments because this is how I sleep. I have heard that your spine must be aligned to avoid lower back pain, but other than that I am relatively clueless when it comes to how others sleep.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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#3
RE: Head position optimization
We could better advise you if you download Oscar, which is free, make sure there is an SD card in your machine, and post a report.  This will show us a lot about your sleep and we may be able to help you with some better settings.
Machine:  ResMed AirCurve 10 Vauto
Mask:  Bleep DreamPort Sleep Solution
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#4
RE: Head position optimization
IMO the best position for you is the one that gives you the best sleep. It might be different for someone else. Heck, my dog hogs the bed, so I get the leftovers. It is important, though, to learn tips and techniques to minimize apnea events. Post your Oscar charts the way you like to sleep, and go from there.

I do think some positions don’t accommodate apnea masks very well, e.g. sleeping on stomach, but if the head is sideways, even that might still work. You’d have to be sure the outgoing air vent is not impacted by bedding, or you could suffocate.

Some positions will be annoying, as will tossing and turning, because the mask can get knocked off your face. Nothing more exhausting than having the mask slip when you’re in deep sleep.
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#5
RE: Head position optimization
(04-06-2024, 09:57 PM)apneavolt Wrote: "It is like a semi adult fetal position of some sort."

I know exactly what you're talking about! I used to sleep like that too, untill I realized that "chin tucking", better known as Positional Apnea" can occur whether you're on your side or back.

I still sleep on my side, but not so much in a fetal position. I try to keep my legs straight, but end of slightly bent. The difference is now I'm more at a 45 degree angle, with my head facing slightly upward toward ceiling. I've gotten used to this position and it works for me.

It's the "chin tucking" that is the problem. You can try to use something under your chin like a small rolled up towel to help train yourself into this position.
OpalRose
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.  ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA.  INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
RE: Head position optimization
(04-06-2024, 10:07 PM)Deborah K. Wrote: We could better advise you if you download Oscar, which is free, make sure there is an SD card in your machine, and post a report.  This will show us a lot about your sleep and we may be able to help you with some better settings.

I have just updated a thread with the last 3 days of information for review and comments.  Please see that thread:  "Starting Out - Guidance Please" thread post #6
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#7
RE: Head position optimization
The fetal sleeping position is actually the classic chin-tucking position associated with positional apnea; however if you don't experience clusters of flow limitation or events, then it may not be a problem at all. This sleep position is mentioned in the positional apnea article. When I lay on my side, I often pull a corner of the pillow between my shoulder and jaw which can act as a soft cervical collar of sorts.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
RE: Head position optimization
I cannot sleep on my back or my mouth opens and I get horribly dried out. I try to sleep on my side or even face down into the pillow but turned to the side. Only problem is the masked getting pushed around.
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#9
RE: Head position optimization
ApneaVolt, I was a side sleeper for most of my life but some years ago I had crippling lower back spasms and still have lower back pain.  I trained myself to sleep on my back, with a special pillow under my knees, and have no spasms and lots less back pain.  Then a few years ago I learned I had apnea, and back sleeping was considered a no-no.  But my back hurt more than the apnea bothered me, so I decided to make it work.  I now sleep on my back and have AHIs almost always 0.something, so I am doing very well.

My point is that you can train yourself to sleep in a different position.  It takes time and lots of self-reminding, but it can be done.  As to ideal head positioning, I learned that I had some positional apnea and went through many soft collars.  The best one, in my opinion, was the Caldera Releaf Collar which I bought from Amazon.  Then I decided to try something different.  I purchased a buckwheat-filled pillow that I could make almost flat, but it did not help with the apnea.  Then I cut off big portions out of a solid foam pillow I had to make a dip for my head, but nothing worked.

Finally, it occurred to me that pillows especially made for children were small and flatter to start with, and I found a terrific one that is pretty flat and has a raised front and back edge, the front one raised higher than the other.  That higher edge holds my head tipped back slightly, is very comfortable, and solves the positional apnea altogether.  Yay!  My pillow is no longer made, but I can give you links to a couple on Amazon that I think would work in the same way if you are interested in checking them out.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do! Smile
Machine:  ResMed AirCurve 10 Vauto
Mask:  Bleep DreamPort Sleep Solution
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#10
RE: Head position optimization
Here are links to the two pillows I mentioned that I think would work much the same as the one I have:

https://www.amazon.com/MLILY-Adjustable-...r=8-4&th=1

https://www.amazon.com/Hcore-Adjustable-...r=8-5&th=1

These are in three layers so they can be adjusted flatter if desired.

I just read your other thread though, and it does not look like you have positional apnea, so I'm not sure you need different pillows or a soft cervical collar.  Although someone said you have high leaks, you actually don't.  They look high on the chart, but they do not go above 24, so they are not interfering with your therapy.  If you look on the left panel you will see that it says you have 0.0 leaks, because they are not causing problems.
Machine:  ResMed AirCurve 10 Vauto
Mask:  Bleep DreamPort Sleep Solution
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