Sleeping positions with COVID-19

Posted by cavlover @cavlover, Jan 9 11:12am

Hi y’all,
I just read a fb share from someone who had Covid. She asked her nurse what to do to fight it at home. One of the things that the nurse said was to sleep on your stomach at all times with Covid. If you can’t, then sleep on your side. Don’t lay on your back no matter what because it smashes your lungs and that will allow fluid to set in. Also when sitting in a recliner, sit up straight. Do not lay back in the recliner.

I wonder about sleeping positions with my Bronchiectasis. I sleep on an incline in my side. I always wake up with a stuffy nose. Shortly after sitting or standing straight up, my nose clears. Should I be sleeping on my stomach?

@cavlover I think it all depends but I'm not an expert on this. If you DON'T have acid reflux/GERD then you probably can sleep on your stomach but my pulmonologist told me in the beginning that because I had GERD and a hiatal hernia that the stomach acid aspirated into my lungs at night when I slept on my stomach and that probably caused the bronchiectasis. And I had always been a stomach sleeper! So there you have it. But if for any reason I get COVID I will sleep on my stomach and just try and be extra careful. I sleep on a wedge at all times anyway. I have heard the same thing about COVID and sleeping on your stomach and I also read from someone that if you have COVID to get up in the middle of the night and walk around every few hours (I know it's hard) but it keeps the fluid from building up. Nan

REPLY

I can't find anything specific to bronchiectasis, but the general guidance regarding lung/ breathing issues, including asthma and COPD, is that side sleeping is preferred for maintaining the best airway. Not having GERD, I don't know what is recommended there. But I do know that when I try to sleep on my back in the recliner, fully reclined, it is difficult for me draw a deep enough breath.
Yes we know Covid-19 guidance is to sleep on one's stomach, at least part-time, to reduce pressure on the lungs. I got the same advice from an LPN over 50 years ago when I had pneumonia as a teen, so this is an old-time treatment brought back as a Covid therapy – I wonder who first remembered it and tried it out?
Sue

REPLY

Hello Cavlover. Like Nan, I used to always be a stomach sleeper. That may be why I developed bronchiectasis due to GERD. Acid reflux. I cannot sleep on my back at all, my lungs feel very compressed and difficult to breathe. I find that sleeping on my side on two pillows works the best for me.

REPLY

I always slept on my left side but I purchased a wedge recently and find it is more comfortable to sleep on my back. I also don't slide down defeating the wedge"s purpose. Is it better for my lungs to sleep on my back on a wedge or on my side without it?

REPLY
@rits

I always slept on my left side but I purchased a wedge recently and find it is more comfortable to sleep on my back. I also don't slide down defeating the wedge"s purpose. Is it better for my lungs to sleep on my back on a wedge or on my side without it?

Jump to this post

I have an adjustable bed, but when I sleep on my side, I slide down. I don’t know if I can even sleep on my back! I can’t make incline high because my dogs sleep above my head!

REPLY

@cavlover You will notice that I changed discussion title to make it easier for members to find.

REPLY

I have GERD and Bronchiectasis and was told to sleep on my left side or my back, and never sleep on my right side because is a straight shot from the stomach to the lungs.

REPLY

I was told by one doc who specializes in MAC hat she thought I must have GERD even though I did not have any tests that showed it, and she said that was making me cough, etc, and that the MAC I had was almost incidental. She said I was likely aspirating stuff from the esophagus, notwithstanding I had a bunch of sputum samples and bronchoscopy that showed MAC colonies. Then I went to GI doc, who said no– after doing upper endoscopy and also telling me there is no sure fire test for GERD– she didnt think I had GERD. . Then I went to another GI doc for something else, and he said he is tired of hearing GERD is causing all these other diseases including coughing. So it is confusing to say the least.

REPLY
@goddard

I was told by one doc who specializes in MAC hat she thought I must have GERD even though I did not have any tests that showed it, and she said that was making me cough, etc, and that the MAC I had was almost incidental. She said I was likely aspirating stuff from the esophagus, notwithstanding I had a bunch of sputum samples and bronchoscopy that showed MAC colonies. Then I went to GI doc, who said no– after doing upper endoscopy and also telling me there is no sure fire test for GERD– she didnt think I had GERD. . Then I went to another GI doc for something else, and he said he is tired of hearing GERD is causing all these other diseases including coughing. So it is confusing to say the least.

Jump to this post

I had the very same experience and my pulmonologist still thinks GERD contributes to my cough. Since wearing a mask, 7% Saline, Mucinex, and blowing on my acapella I have not had a cough for almost a year.

REPLY
@goddard

I was told by one doc who specializes in MAC hat she thought I must have GERD even though I did not have any tests that showed it, and she said that was making me cough, etc, and that the MAC I had was almost incidental. She said I was likely aspirating stuff from the esophagus, notwithstanding I had a bunch of sputum samples and bronchoscopy that showed MAC colonies. Then I went to GI doc, who said no– after doing upper endoscopy and also telling me there is no sure fire test for GERD– she didnt think I had GERD. . Then I went to another GI doc for something else, and he said he is tired of hearing GERD is causing all these other diseases including coughing. So it is confusing to say the least.

Jump to this post

The lining of the esophagus cannot handle stomach acid so an endoscopy looks for damage at the bottom of the esophagus to tell if stomach acid is getting through the valve into the esophagus. A diagnosis of GERD follows any damage found.

MAC patients in another group I follow go to National Jewish in Denver for a several day evaluation. The gastroenterolgist there tests for GERD using a device put down the esophagus with a sort of pull out string hanging from the nostrils. The patient wears it for 24 hours while going about their lives, eating, sleeping, etc. (Yep. Sounds horrible!) At the end of the time, the device is extracted and the doctor can see if acid came up and also how high it came up.

GERD is associated with bronchiectasis. Something coming up from the stomach is aspirated into the lungs causing damage. It is believed that many with bronchiectasis have silent aspiration especially during sleep. There is no taste of acid or the heartburn associated with GERD. NTM in water in the stomach may also be aspirated into the lungs.

REPLY

Thanks, that was helpful

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment