The Perfect Sleeping Positions to Fix Common Body Problems

The amount of sleep you get every night is important, but what’s even more important is that the sleep you’re getting is good sleep. If you have aches, pains, indigestion, or tend to snore, these are the positions that can help cure what ails you.

This helpful graphic from The Wall Street Journal points out some common trouble spots and how you can adjust the way you sleep to make sure you have sweet dreams. Back pain? Try a pillow between your knees. Acid Reflux or indigestion? Elevate your head with some more comfy pillows or a few bricks under your bed’s legs. Don’t waste your precious sleeping hours by forcing yourself to sleep uncomfortably. For more information on how your sleeping position can affect you, check out the complete Wall Street Journal article at the link below.

Find the Perfect Sleep Position | The Wall Street Journal via Best Infographics

The Perfect Sleeping Positions to Fix Common Body Problems

A Little Weight Loss May Ease Sleep Apnea

 A Little Weight Loss May Ease Sleep Apnea 

A small amount of weight loss might help combat sleep apnea, a new study suggests. Finnish researchers said losing as little as 5% of body weight seems to lead to significant improvement in the condition — in which breathing pauses frequently while people are asleep, resulting in disrupted sleep and daytime fatigue. “Being overweight is considered the most important risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea,” said lead researcher Dr. Henri Tuomilehto, an adjunct professor at the University of Eastern Finland’s Oivauni Sleep Clinic, in Kuopio.

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Being moderately overweight increases the risk for obstructive sleep apnea by 10 times, Tuomilehto said. “It has been estimated that around 70% of all patients with obstructive sleep apnea are obese,” he said. “We believe it represents the first-line treatment in the early phases of the disease and has a good chance of curing the disease or at least preventing the progression,” Tuomilehto said.

For the study, his team randomly assigned 57 moderately obese people with mild sleep apnea to a yearlong supervised program of diet and exercise designed to get them to lose weight. Others in the study were given general information on diet and exercise. During four years of follow-up, those who lost at least 5% of their body weight (an average of 11 pounds) saw dramatic improvement in their sleep apnea, the researchers found. Those who maintained their weight loss saw an 80% reduction in progression of their condition, compared to those who didn’t lose weight.

Tuomilehto said many people who suffer from the condition don’t know they have it. “Obstructive sleep apnea is a highly prevalent disease and untreated it is a major burden for our health care systems,” he said. “Unfortunately, 80% to 90% of those with obstructive sleep apnea are undiagnosed and do not know or even suspect that they have it. If daytime performance and vitality is not what you would expect, do not blame your age first,” he said. “Suspect some-thing else, such as obstructive sleep apnea, until proven otherwise.”


Dr. Harly Greenberg, head of sleep medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY, said obesity is linked to sleep apnea because fatty tissue accumulates around the neck and narrows the airway, making it more susceptible to obstruction during sleep. The consequences of the condition include increased risk for high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, heart attack and stroke, Greenberg said. In ad-dition, sleep apnea may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Weight loss alone won’t be enough to help everyone with the condition, Greenberg said. “While a weight-loss program is appropriate for overweight sleep apnea patients, it should not be relied upon as the sole therapy for those with moderate to severe sleep apnea who are at risk for cardio-vascular consequences and for patients with any severity of sleep apnea who suffer from daytime sleepiness that adversely affects daytime function,” he said. “Those patients should be treated with therapeutic interventions such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or oral appliances that can produce more immediate improvement in symptoms and relief of daytime sleepiness while waiting for weight loss to occur,” he said.

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Another expert welcomed the new study findings. “It is always wonderful when the take-home message is that so much of our health is under our control,” said Dr. Lisa Liberatore, an otolaryngologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Our approach to treating obstructive sleep apnea is always to address any weight is-sues. We have many examples of when patients lose weight their snoring and apnea reduces significantly,” Liberatore said. “A proactive approach is even better. Telling and showing patients how weight gain—even modest amounts—can and will lead to sleep apnea is a powerful message.”

Although the study showed a connection between weight loss and improved sleep apnea symptoms, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link.



From Rebecca McGonigle from the May 2014 Wellstyles Newsletter published by Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT).







Singing Exercises Reduce Snoring

Singing Exercises Reduce Snoring


Are you—or your partner—a chronic snorer? Joining a choir or taking singing lessons could help. A UK study found that a program of vocal exercises designed by a singing teacher helped reduce snoring. The clinical trial, by Exeter University and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, showed that the singing exercises, which strengthen certain throat muscles, also alleviated symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which people stop breathing during deep sleep. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can result from weak muscles in the soft palate and upper throat (the pharyngeal muscles). Serious singers improve the tone and strength of these muscles by practicing certain vocal exercises.

The study came about because singing teacher Alise Ojay contacted Malcolm Hilton, consultant otolaryngologist at the Exeter hospital and sub dean of the University of Exeter Medical School. Dr. Hilton explains, “Alise told me that one of her pupils had said that, since starting to sing, his snoring had become greatly reduced. So, she devised a singing exercise program to strengthen the throat muscles. I then set up this trial and the results have been really interesting.”

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Hilton explains that snoring and obstructive sleep apnea affect millions of people. Snoring may not be a life-threatening condition, but it disrupts lives and sufferers often seek medical advice. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), on the other hand, is potentially much more serious. It can cause people to stop breathing during deep sleep, and severely diminish sleep quality. A recent study found that moderate obstructive sleep apnea may raise sudden cardiac death risk. Dr. Hilton says, “It is also believed that OSA may contribute to road accidents and hypertension.”

For the trial, the team recruited 60 chronic snorers and 60 people with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea.

  • The participants from each group were randomly assigned to either follow a program of singing exercises for three months, or no intervention.
  • The self-guided exercise program was provided on a box-set of three audio CDs, and could be completed in around 20 minutes each day.

At the end of the trial, the results showed that the daily singing exercises reduced the severity, frequency and loudness of snoring, and improved sleep quality. There were no such changes in the participants who were not asked to do the exercises. Hilton says the exercises were not difficult, and two thirds of the participants asked to do them managed this on most days over the three-month trial.


He adds that the findings open up a “whole new avenue” of possible treatments without the need for surgery, which is good news for snorers. “I was open-minded about it. I had no expectations but it was an interesting concept. There is not already a quick-fix treatment for snoring. It is a condition where, if you could find a non-invasive treatment, that would be beneficial.” But Hilton suggests for best results, the exercises should be accompanied by lifestyle changes such as losing weight. Being overweight is the single biggest contributor to snoring.


Provided by Rebecca McGonigle, Wellstyles Newsletter, October 2013, Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT).


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People treated for sleep apnea look younger, more attractive

People treated for sleep apnea look younger, more attractive

Published September 16, 2013
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People suffering from sleep apnea appeared more alert, youthful and attractive after undergoing treatment for two months, Medical News Today reported.

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 20 adults with obstructive sleep apnea – a condition linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression and stroke –  were treated using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

CPAP therapy requires patients to wear a face mask while they sleep in order to open their airway. The treatment can help relieve snoring, improve alertness and lower blood pressure.

In order to measure the attractiveness of the patients, researchers used a system known as “photogrammetry” to capture 3D photos both before and two months after each patient underwent CPAP therapy. The volume and color of patients’ faces was analyzed using computer software and the “before” and “after” photos of each patient were also rated for measures of attractiveness by 22 volunteers.

Overall, 68 percent of ratings indicated that patients looked more alert after treatment, 67 percent noted that they appeared more attractive and 64 percent  characterized them as more youthful. Furthermore, the computer software analysis indicated a decrease in volume in the patients’ faces and less redness in the eyes and cheeks after undergoing CPAP therapy.

Researchers hope their study will encourage patients to receive treatment for sleep apnea – and stick with it.

“This may help convince patients to use their CPAP machines on a nightly basis,” lead study author Dr. Ronald D. Chervin, of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Michigan, said.

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