Asthma UK community forum
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Side sleeping

I have many memories from childhood of when my asthma used to play up mainly at night, I often coughed a lot and my mum would just open my bedroom door and say in a loudish voice 'turn on to your side!' and that often stopped my coughing and let me get some sleep (and my parents lol)

I still find this can help a little bit when my asthma is playing up, although it doesn't work as well as when I was a child but I was wondering, does anyone find this or like me, used to help?

Anyone know why laying on my side helped my breathing?


7 Replies

Hi Moose

Not sure why side sleeping is better, but I know anything but flat on my back is ok. I guess it's because there's not as much pressure on your lungs. I like to sleep propped up on a few pillows. Anyway, take care!



I am natural side sleeper sleeping even propped up on my back is awful. I have a collection of pillows including the triangle one and one my mum re-made to suit me from the special allergy pillows she brought me, which if placed correctly (there is an art) means I can sleep propped up and on my side.



i know that when i sllep on my back i can get tight and weezy and coughing worsens! So i sleep on my side.

I was told... when sleepong on your back the mucus in your lungs blocks up your alveoli etc , but when sleeping on you side the mucus goes to one side and your airways are able to work better .

Don't know if thats true but all i know is that sleeping on your side is better. Also if you do sllep in your back proping lots of cusions behihd helps !!


I can't sleep on my back cos I get tight chested very quickly.

I'm guessing that airways r more open wen ur on ur side.


Side sleeping doesn't seem to work for me. Used to do the coughing / choking thing all the time at night and then went onto Singulair which really helped. Have been on it for a few years now but suddenly during the last few weeks have started the nighttime coughing again.

Although I take Clarityn every night throughout the year, I wonder if it is allergy related or have other people found that the effects of Singulair wear off over time?

I usually sleep on three or four pillows but have found no difference to the coughing in any position.


i have noticed that michaels sats are higher when he sleeps on his side than on his back, even though he sleeps almos upright. it doesnt work so well when hes really poorly but for a slight cold or just now while his hayfever is quite bad, it helps him sleep a bit better. dont know why though!!


Well here I am, newbie-of-the-night, just came on here on the emergency doctor's recommendation who I had to see this morning, having been diagnosed asthmatic on Weds and got steadily worse since then!

But specifically thought i'd post here as I'm not in bed (again) having made the mistake of oh i'm not coughing, steroids must be working, I'll try 5 minutes on my side (couldn't get to sleep on my back and normally sidesleep...

So, that'll be me off to my favourite armchair then...

Hello folks, by the way!


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