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There are many different tricks people recommend for getting the best night’s sleep. Some of these tricks are more unusual than others, including incline sleeping. Sleeping on an incline is when a person sleeps with their head raised above their body.
The idea behind this is that it makes it easier to breathe and reduces fluid build up in the lungs, which can make it harder to catch your breath when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Incline sleeping isn’t just helpful for those who struggle with sleep apnea; there are plenty of other benefits as well. Here is a look at the pros and cons of sleeping on an incline.
Raising the head of your bed is a simple and easy way to treat sleep apnea in its early stages.
Sleep apnea is caused when you don’t have enough available oxygen in your system to function properly.
If a person with sleep apnea is lying down with their head flat, they may not be able to breathe properly, which can make it hard to fall asleep.
One way to help this is to try incline sleeping, by raising the head above the rest of the body.
For many people, this is a temporary fix for the sleep apnea. The body may take some time to adjust to the change in sleeping position, but it can help with sleep apnea for several months.
For others, sleeping on an incline is a permanent solution to sleep apnea. It’s best to check with your doctor before making a permanent change to your sleep position, however.
The benefits of incline sleeping are numerous, but here are a few of the most important advantages:
- When you sleep on an incline, you take the weight off your lungs. This can help reduce shortness of breath and may even help you avoid sleep apnea in the long run.
- Sleeping on an incline relieves pressure on the heart. Since your body is only at a slight incline, the blood in your body does not have to work as hard to pump through your system. This can reduce high blood pressure.
- Sleeping on an incline can reduce snoring. If you snore when you’re lying down, sleeping on an incline can help you stop.
- An incline helps improve sleep quality. It can be hard to sleep well if you have trouble breathing. When you sleep on an incline, however, you make it easier for your body to get the oxygen it needs to fall asleep.
- An incline is a great way to get better sleep if you’re pregnant. Pregnant women often have to sleep at a slight incline to reduce swelling in their lower extremities.
- Incline sleeping is helpful if you’re recovering from surgery, have acid reflux, or have heartburn.
While there are plenty of advantages to incline sleeping, there are also a few disadvantages to be aware of as well. These are:
- An incline can often require extra pillows. Depending on the degree to which you sleep on an incline, you may need more than one pillow to get the right position.
- An incline can cause you to sweat more. Having your head slightly above your body can make it more difficult for the blood to leave your body.
- Incline sleeping can make it uncomfortable to sleep with a partner. Depending on the incline you sleep at and how many pillows you use, sleeping on an incline can make it difficult to share a bed with a partner.
- Incline sleeping can make it difficult to get out of bed. When you sleep at an incline, you need to make sure that you’re careful when getting out of bed so that you don’t trip or fall.
There are two main ways of sleeping on an incline. The first way is to raise one side of your bed by a few inches.
Buying some simple bed riser kits online (see link below) just use two of them under the legs of the head of the bed.
For this, you can place a few books under one side of the mattress to raise it up.
If you have a platform bed, you can lean the mattress against a wall to sleep at an incline.
For a regular bed, you can lean a mattress against a wall using a special wall-slat support system.
You might be wondering what the ideal incline is for sleeping. This can vary from person to person, but the general rule is that sleeping with your head at a 10-degree incline is optimal.
Sleeping at a 20-degree incline is considered sleeping at bed rest, even though it is sometimes used as a treatment for heart failure.
Sleeping at a 0-degree incline is considered sleeping flat, which is the position that is least likely to promote good breathing.
You may want to experiment a little bit to find out what incline works best for you.
For example, if you have acid reflux and need to sleep at an incline, try sleeping with your mattress against a wall and your head at a 10-degree incline.
Glymphatic drainage helps cleanse the brain of waste products and toxins. It is a function of your spinal column and circulatory system that is often impeded by aging.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have discovered that sleeping in a supine position impedes the process of glymphatic drainage, whereas sleeping in a 10-degree head-down position greatly enhances it.
In other words, sleeping in a position that is slightly inclined above the heart promotes the cleansing of waste products from the brain.
This is especially important when you are sleeping, because your brain’s metabolic rate is the highest when you are asleep.
When you sleep at a 10-degree head-down position, you are flooding your brain with fresh blood and essential nutrients, thereby facilitating the cleansing process.
This can be helpful for long-term health and can also be beneficial for short-term performance and recovery.
Inclined sleeping is a great way to relieve shortness of breath, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality.
It can also help improve the cleansing of waste products from the brain, making it beneficial for long-term health and short-term performance and recovery.
If you struggle with breathing when you’re lying down, sleeping on an incline is a helpful way to improve your sleep quality.