This health video you will teach you about sleeping body positions that will give you a better night's sleep.
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Raena Morgan: Dr. Hajal, when it comes to sleeping well does position matter? For example, sleeping on your stomach. Dr. Rizan Hajal: No it doesn't. I can't say that it does. Everybody should find a comfortable position that they have and be able to fall asleep. They should know that this is just behavioral. This may change. It doesn't mean that somebody is born to sleep on their side all the time and so on. It can change with the bed that you're sleeping in, with your bed partner and with the comfort of the mattress and so on. So we have a lot of people who say, "I never, ever sleep on my back." But when we're studying them, we find that they actually spend almost 20% of the night sleeping on their back. Whenever somebody tells me, "I never go into that position," I expect them to have at least 10-20%, which means the majority of the time they aren't in that position, but still, people have to toss and turn at night. You cannot be sleeping on one part of your body through the night because it's not good for the circulation of that part; it's not good for the nerves. You know some people lose consciousness, for instance, who sleep on one side on their arm, and they may wake up with a paralyzed arm. So it's not normal for people not to move a lot. It's okay to toss and turn. But the more comfortable the bed is the less you toss and turn, yes by all means I think that's true. Now, if you want to talk about positions, snoring for instance, specifically, does get worse when you're lying on your back and does get better when you're lying on your side. Most of the time this happens and frequently we see people who, you know, they used to be nudged to go on their side to get the snoring better, but now they're coming because even that's not working any more. And that's one position. Another one is that in the elderly we find there's a lot of difficulty with the position of sleep so we find that a lot of the older ones are sitting in the recliner because they find that to be better. And that has to do with stomach problems like heartburn. It has to do with breathing problems and cardiac problems. And those would get better with positional changes during sleep and your sleep will be a lot more restful. But of course it would be better to treat the underlying disease and go back to bed rather than staying in a recliner all the time. Raena Morgan: So they're sleeping in a recliner, they're not getting the different positions. Dr. Rizan Hajal: That's true and this is the difficulty with a recliner. They won't be able to turn through the night. It's not a healthier sleep than staying in bed. Sometimes their condition is not so much treatable and they end up sitting in a recliner. Raena Morgan: Well they must get very sleep-deprived too. Dr. Rizan Hajal: That's true and it's known that the more medical issues that you have, the worse your sleep is going to be and of course the main treatment would be to treat the underlying condition as opposed to just giving them more sleeping pills and so on. Raena Morgan: Thank you very much.