How Does Sleeping in a Chair Help Sleep Apnea

Does Sleeping in a Chair Help Sleep Apnea?

Many people suffer from sleep apnea due to the entire posture of the body. And an effective way to overcome this problem is by keeping your body posture at 135° and your head elevated from the rest of your body. Therefore, the question arises, does sleeping in a chair help sleep apnea?

Yes! You can sleep in a chair to prevent sleep apnea, but you must avoid unhealthy substitutes that can worsen your health, such as smoking, drinking, and anti-anxiety medications. You may experience a disrupted sleeping cycle and wake up frequently in the middle of the night to choking, heartburn, and many more.

A good sleep cycle is vital to having a healthy life. One of the best treatments is to sleep on your back but with your head elevated. That’s why sleeping in a chair can be beneficial for you.

So, in this blog post, our experts have suggested why sleeping in a chair can help sleeping apnea and how it works. Keep reading to know more.

How Does Sleeping in a Chair Help Sleep Apnea?

Sleeping on a chair or in a 135-degree posture can reduce sleep apnea symptoms as your head is elevated from the rest of your body. Also, many people suffering from sleeping disorders prefer to sleep in leaning chairs as it’s more comfortable, relaxing, and provides uninterrupted sleep.

How Does Sleeping in a Chair Help Sleep Apnea

However,  it’s preferable for people suffering from obesity to get a better sleeping experience as their backs are the rest of the chair, and they can sleep without interruption. Here we have mentioned how a chair can help to sleep apnea.

Relaxing Muscles

The best position to sleep for people suffering from sleep apnea is to make their muscles relax while sleeping, so they won’t block the airway and give them interrupted breathing during sleeping.

In contrast, people wake up frequently choking because they aren’t getting enough oxygen, and their brains signal the whole body to wake up.

If you suffer from sleeping apnea and wake up at midnight frequently while sleeping in bed and even on your back, you must consider sleeping in a chair. It will control the symptoms and give you an uninterrupted sleeping cycle.

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

It can cause sleep apnea by putting pressure on your chest cavity caused by acid reflux.

You can sleep without getting interrupted if you elevate your head by a pillow or something. However, the pillow won’t work most of the time as it might slip away while you are sleeping or cause back pain due to uncomfortable gestures.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

So, leaning in a chair is the best option to elevate your head, support your back effortlessly, and eliminate sleep apnea.

Acid Reflux

Many people suffer from acid reflux that causes sleep apnea, which means the lower muscle, also known as the lower esophageal sphincter, is the gate between the esophagus and stomach that closes when digesting food opens up.

However, for most people, the gate doesn’t close, and gravity doesn’t work when you lay down. And acid reflux can back up into the esophagus, and that causes a burning sensation known as heartburn which leads to sleep apnea.

Acid Reflux

Moreover, as per a report, many people suffer from heartburn at night while they lay down to sleep because gravity stops working to hold your stomach away from the esophagus and causes sleep apnea.

In contrast, many experts and doctors recommend sleeping in a chair with an elevated head by 20 centimeters to block the esophagus and eliminate the sleeping disorder.


Women are at a vulnerable risk of developing sleep apnea when pregnant. A women’s body goes through many ups and downs, mood swings, depression, and anxiety, few to address.

In addition, most women develop sleep apnea in their second or third trimester as the fetus gets bigger and heavier. So, the fetus or the growing belly squeezes the “vena cava” vein that helps to circulate blood flow from your lower body to the heart.

That’s why most pregnant women suffer from high blood pressure and poor blood circulation to the fetus. So, as per gynecologists, you may sleep on your left side for better blood flow, as it takes away pressure from your liver.

Also, a recliner chair can be an alternative for your better sleep cycle. It can support your back and prevent the fetus from compressing your vena cava due to weight.

Back Pain Relief

Continuous back pain might obstruct your sleeping cycle, and it gets accelerates by sleeping on your back when you have back pain. It can cause more problems as muscles are already stiff, and sleeping on your back can worsen your condition.

However, sleeping in a chair may help you get up from the chair and get in for sleep compared to bed. Also, you can support your spine with a pillow in the lower back as you can’t put a pillow when you are sleeping on the bed.

Back Surgery

After having back surgery, it’s challenging to get up without support or even lay down straight. In surgery pain, most patients prefer to stay in a chair, which gives them a more comfortable position.

Sitting up and laying straight might be impossible after some back surgeries, so most doctors recommend sleeping in a chair that puts less stress on your back.

Back Surgery

However, your chair must support your back perfectly. Keep your back straight at a 135-degree angle without bending your spine in a curved position and put less stress on your back.

Moreover, the angle of the chair does matter. Many studies show that a chair angle at a 60-degree and tilted 7.5-degree angle reduces the signs to 30 percent for sleep apnea. Also, ample chairs are available that can help you for comfortable sleep and are best referred to as recliner chairs.

Any sleep apnea condition can be handled with a doctor’s consultation as they prescribe medications to improve the sleep apnea condition. People with sleep apnea can use a recliner chair to resolve this problem.

What is the Benefit of Sleeping in a Chair?

There are a lot of benefits to sleeping on recliner chairs. Most probably, many people don’t sleep intentionally in these chairs as it might be due to sleep apnea or reading your favorite book.

What is the Benefit of Sleeping in a Chair

However, we have mentioned the benefits of sleeping in a chair.

Increase Better Circulation

It releases the pressure from your lower back, known as lumber, as you relax on your back. Also, keeping your legs up from the ground comfortably reduces the stress on the spine naturally.

Alternatively, spending days in desk jobs might be very stressful. So, it’s better to rest in a recliner chair while the legs and back get stressed. Also, it can ease fatigue daily.

Pressure relief

Do you know leaning posture can eliminate pressure from the joints as it can provide the specific comforting points that suit your body posture?

Also, it separates the weight to reduce pain and pressure on your body’s joints, muscles, and spine.

Breath Easily

You might feel heavy in your chest while sleeping because of the shortness of breath, so you must elevate your head for a better sleeping experience.

Additionally, sleep apnea is the leading cause of the disturbed sleeping cycle. Keeping your head up from the rest of the body will prevent the tongue fell back into the windpipe and blocking it.

Nerve calming

It will help you relax your nerve as it continuously works in your body. So, a reclining chair will offer a comfortable posture that makes the body heal and gives your nervous system some relaxing time. Furthermore, calming your nervous system will make you more productive and active for the next day.

You May Also Read: How To Sit On Couch With Sciatica?

What are the Home Treatments to Resolve Sleep Apnea?

Many treatments can affect sleep apnea, but you might use a leaning posture or sleep in a chair to fight sleep apnea to resolve the problem. Here we have mentioned some effective home treatments that can help you reduce sleep apnea.

Losing weight

You must lose weight to reduce sleep apnea, and a little weight loss will be beneficial for your condition to get better.

It will open your airways while sleeping, improve your life quality, and reduce daytime laziness and sleepiness.


Many exercises, such as aerobics and strength training, can improve blood circulation and strengthen muscles. You must include jogging and activity in your daily routine.


Avoid taking any substitute that can affect your sleeping cycle, such as alcohol, sleep pills, and anti-anxiety medications, because they can worsen your sleeping disorder.

Sleeping posture

You must keep your head elevated. However, we are not talking about piling pillows. It can damage your spine structure, so buying a reclining chair that supports your back and keeps your head elevated is better.

Keep your nasal open

If you experience closed nasal or congestion, you must use a nasal spray, primarily available on the market, but we recommend consulting your doctor first.

The nasal spray will keep your nasal passenger open, and before going to bed, you can spray your nose and go to sleep without any hassle.

However, these are only short-term treatments, and you can try these until you get a doctor’s appointment. After that, you must follow the recommended treatments by your doctor.


So, here are some of the common questions that many people face.

What is the cause of sleep apnea?

The four main reasons for sleep apnea are type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Congestive heart failure, and high blood pressure. However, hormonal disorders, chronic lung disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, and prior stroke are the common reasons that can increase the risk of sleep disorders.

What should you avoid eating when suffering from sleep apnea?

Junk food and high protein that contains fats such as burgers, lamb, sausages, bacon, pork, and steak should be avoided when suffering from sleep apnea. It can trigger cardiovascular problems, increasing and worsening your condition.

What is a CPAP machine?

CPAP is a device that doctors recommend to many people suffering from sleep apnea. Also, it keeps the airway open for oxygen during sleeping, which can help you breathe when you are sleeping. It improves sleep quality and decreases the risk of health issues such as stroke and heart disease.

Bottom line

Now that we are at the end of this article, you must know does sleeping in a chair help sleep apnea. We have mentioned recliner chairs that you can buy according to your budget to relieve sleep apnea.

However, if you are suffering from sleep apnea, it can make you tired and increase daytime sleepiness. So, you must avoid driving because it can prevent accidents as many people doze off due to an unhealthy sleeping cycle.


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