ZocdocAnswersWhen I wake up, I'm always face down and it's hard to breath. How can I prevent this?

Question

When I wake up, I'm always face down and it's hard to breath. How can I prevent this?

When I go to sleep, I always sleep on my side. But, when I wake up, I notice my sheets are off the bed and my face is buried in my pillow. It's very hard to breathe with my face down in the pillow.

Answer

It sounds like you are a very restless sleeper! I recommend that you discuss this issue with your doctor. I think the first important question to answer is whether or not you feel rested when you wake up in the morning. If so, then it is unlikely that all of your tossing and turning is caused by a problem with your sleep itself and this might just be your "style" of sleeping. In this case, some people who are restless sleepers find that using an ergonomic pillow for the head or body helps to keep them from moving around quite so much while they are sleeping. On the other hand, if you feel like your restless movements are interfering with your ability to sleep and be rest, then this might be a medical problem, and you should see your primary care doctor about it. For example, there is a condition called restless legs syndrome, which can lead to an unpleasant sensation in the legs while sleeping and excessive motion. Sometimes, it is necessary to diagnosis a limb movement disorder like this with a sleep study, which can often be ordered directly by your primary care doctor, although some may prefer to refer you to a sleep medicine specialist first. Good luck!

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