Sleeping positions can affect your heart health. According to Medical Researches, the Right side sleeping position is the best sleeping position for Heart Failure.
Heart failure is a chronic condition. Proper medications and lifestyle modifications will help you manage heart failure. Quality sleep is very important normally and also in this condition.
What is heart failure?
Heart failure is a condition of the heart. The term is confusing. It is not that the heart has stopped working completely. But, the heart is not pumping the required amount of blood, in heart failure.
Cells of your body need oxygenated blood. When the cells get proper oxygen supply and other nutrition’s from blood, your body function’s properly.
With heart failure, a required amount of blood is not supplied to your body. This gives rise to various symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath and makes your daily activities difficult.
How man affected?
Heart failure is closely related to morbidity and mortality. It commonly affects the population above 65 years of age. This fact is based on medical research.
It is chronic heart disease. If you are young, then how this article is important for you.
What we do today, we will get that tomorrow. Prevention is always better than cure. Today you can be aware of this situation and take the right steps. So that you can lead a long healthy life.
10 Common Risk Factors for Heart Failure.
According to American Heart Association if you have one or more conditions then your chances of getting heart failure increase.
Risk Factors of Heart Failure
- Coronary artery disease.
- High blood pressure
- Past Heart Attack
- Diseases of heart muscles(myopathies)
- Heart Valve Disease (Stenosis and regurgitation of Tricuspid, Aortic Mitral Valves).
What will you feel if you have heart failure?
Heart failure leads to various symptoms. You might be experiencing some or all of them depending on the degree of heart failure.
Shortness of breath.
As your heart is not able to pump all the blood that it needs to do, this creates a backlog. As a result, blood starts to back up in the Pulmonary Veins.
Pulmonary veins supply oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart.
This leads to fluid leakage in the lungs leading to pulmonary venous congestion.
You will be experiencing this when you are sleeping or at rest.
A persistent Cough.
Due to the accumulation of fluid in your lungs, a persistent cough is produced. You can sometimes hear the sound of wheezing.
The heart is not pumping out an adequate amount of blood. The body parts are not receiving enough blood for proper nourishment.
Moreover, they are also directing the rest of the blood to vital organs like the brain.
This creates fatigue, general weakness. You can feel fatigued throughout the day while climbing stairs, walking, or even at rest.
Lack of appetite.
Heart failure will also affect the digestive system. An adequate amount of blood will not reach the digestive system. This will cause problems with digestion.
You will have a decreased appetite. You will not feel like eating. The feeling of stomach fullness will be there. You can also feel the sour feeling and belching can also take place.
Due to heart failure, less blood is being supplied. This causes alterations in electrolyte levels like sodium. This leads to loss of memory and confusion.
To compensate, the decreased supply of blood to different body parts. Your heart will try to pump out more blood. This will be done by increasing heartbeats. Thus you will be experiencing palpitations.
Due to heart failure, less blood is pumped out of the heart. This creates a backlog of blood in the heart. This slows down blood returning from the rest of the body, through the veins of your heart. This results in fluid build-up in different parts of your body.
Moreover, the kidneys also dispose of less amount of sodium and water. All these reasons combine together and cause fluid retention in tissues.
You can experience swelling in the feet, ankle, legs, and other parts of your body.
Are you experiencing some of these symptoms?
Then you should consult a doctor immediately.
With medications and some lifestyle changes, you can live a good life. Lifestyle changes will help you manage your condition.
You have to do a “bit” daily, and in the long run, you will live better. These are lifestyle changes. It is not easy and is not difficult. It is not a luxury but a necessity. So, be consistent and have a good life.
Some important things to remember.
Lifestyle Changes for Heart Failure.
- Cut down on the Salt intake.
- Avoid Alcohol
- Quit Smoking
- Take daily medications.
- Balance your fluid intake.
- Take proper rest.
- Have a quality sleep.
Also, read Drinks that will help you sleep.
Best Sleeping position for Heart Failure.
Sleeping is a way to relax your body and mind. It is important to have quality sleep. If you are suffering from heart failure quality sleep becomes more important for you.
All of us sleep in these 3 basic positions or a combination of them.
• Sleeping on the back
• Sleeping on the stomach
• Side Sleeping.
First, let us see how each position affects your condition of heart failure. Then we can decide which position will be the best sleeping position for heart failure.
Effects of Back Sleeping Position on Heart Failure.
The back sleeping position is generally healthy. But if you are expressing symptoms of heart failure then you might not be comfortable sleeping in that position.
It helps to support your spine. In a healthy person sleeping on the back will reduce sympathetic drive. You will have a relatively lower cardiac output.
But if you are a patient with heart failure, then you may not experience the same degree of autonomic activity change and sleeping on the back (the supine position).
Research suggests that sleeping on the back may place a large strain on the respiratory system.
This will lead to uneasiness while you sleep.
Heart failure is closely associated with snoring and sleep apnea. Now, you can also have other conditions for which back sleeping is recommended.
So, in that case, Prop up your head position. You can do it by getting a head elevated bed, wedge pillow, or stuffing 2-3 pillows under your head while sleeping.
Do, what suits you. Out of these 3 options, I think a wedge pillow will be the best option.
Sleeping on your back with your head propped up can be the best sleeping position for heart failure.
Effects of Stomach Sleeping Position on Heart Failure.
Stomach sleeping is considered unhealthy. Many people feel uncomfortable sleeping in a stomach position.
Stomach sleeping can decrease the episodes of sleep apnoea to some extent. But if you are suffering from heart failure you will not be comfortable in this position.
Many stomach sleepers still complain of sleep apnoea.
I won’t be recommending you to sleep in this position. So, Sleeping on your stomach is not the best sleeping position for your heart.
Now that both these positions are not suitable then let’s see what options we are left with.
Effects of Side Sleeping Position on Heart Failure.
Side sleeping is one of the most common ways people sleep. You can either choose to sleep on your left or on your right side.
Left side sleeping position
If you have heart failure, then your heart will be enlarged. This is called cardiomegaly. Cardiomegaly also causes enlargement of the apex of your heart. The apex is located on the left side.
So, when you sleep on the left side you will feel discomfort. This will lead to more shortness of breathing while you are sleeping.
When you sleep on your left side, your sympathetic nervous system will increase its activity. This will lead to an increase in heartbeat.
If you have heart failure, then this will happen as a compensatory mechanism. But as your disease progress, this will worsen your cardiac function.
Research suggests that modulation of the sympathetic nervous system affects heart failure.
Another research was conducted to study sleeping positions and heart failure. They studied 150 people. 75 people were suffering from Heart failure and 75 were healthy individuals.
They noticed that the heart failure patients spent considerably less time on the left side while they were sleeping.
They concluded that this might be a protective strategy to avoid discomfort in sleep.
So, left side sleeping is not the best sleeping position for heart failure. If you are suffering from heart failure, then avoid left-side sleeping.
Best sleeping position for Heart Failure.
Now, we are left with one sleeping position. That is sleeping on your right side. Sleeping on your right side won’t interfere with your sympathetic nervous system.
Sleep Apnoea, High blood pressure, and coronary artery disease are some of the risk factors for heart failure.
Research has shown that sleeping on the right side decreases the risk of coronary artery disease and sleep apnoea.
Depending on the research and feedback from patients in the different forums, I have reached the conclusion that
Check Out: How to sleep on your side.
Are you, suffering from heart failure? “Right side is Right for you” Right side sleeping is the best sleeping position for you in this condition.
If you are a back sleeper, then try Propped Up position. That is raising your head. Heart Failure is a serious condition. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms, then you must visit a Cardiologist.
Lifestyle modifications are an important part of your treatment regime. This will help you to manage your condition. Heart failure might not be treatable but it is well managed.
I know many people who are living in good condition. Taking part in the day-to-day activities. Some of these people were diagnosed with heart failure a decade ago.
“I wish you good health and a Healthy Heart.
Check Out: How to fall asleep faster.
“Thank you” for reading this article. If you like the article Please Share it with your friends, family and loved ones. We will be hugely grateful and highly encouraged by your generosity.