Sleep positions can help with medical conditions

WASHINGTON – Sleeping should literally be the most relaxing activity, but studies show most people change positions a dozen times or more through the night.

And while The Wall Street Journal reports there’s no single right way to sleep, various medical conditions call for different positions.

Acid reflux or heart burn sufferers should sleep on their sides or prop up their heads with a pillow.

For neck pain, sleeping on the stomach is a no-no.

Sleeping on the back tends to be most comfortable for those with back pain. It’s helpful for shoulder pain too, but add in a pillow to prop the aching shoulder.

But anyone with sleep apnea or snoring problems shouldn’t sleep on his back. Up to 10 percent of apnea patients are cured just by changing positions.

The majority of people say they start the night sleeping on their sides.

However, The Wall Street Journal also reports that sleeping in the same position every night can cause pain due to one part of the body being compressed over the course of time.

It’s also encouraged to find a comfortable mattress because a lack of sleep can exacerbate pain, making existing conditions even worse.

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WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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