Most people don't realize it but there isn't just one way to breathe. The body has a more efficient method but it isn't automatic. This method is breathing, engaging your diaphragm. Unfortunately, over time most people begin to shift their breathing from their diaphragm to their chest. At the base of the lungs there is a muscle called the diaphragm that creates more space in your chest for your lungs by contracting and moving down when you take a breath. Breaths taken using the diaphragm are more refreshing and effective because there is a more efficient exchange of oxygen. When you breathe using your diaphragm in your sleep more oxygen is provided to the body. This allows for the functions of the body to be done more efficiently and you will have a more restful sleep. Those who use diaphragmatic breathing can also see a slower heart beat and lower blood pressure. Chest breathing does not engage the diaphragm and restricts the amount of air that can enter your lungs when you breathe. We have observed while developing the Slope Sleep™ system that inclined sleep promotes diaphragmatic breathing by preventing airway restriction. When sleeping flat, gravity pushes down on and restricts the airways and lungs. By changing the angle that you sleep at even slightly the effect of gravity is decreased. This allows for you to benefit because it no longer pulls directly down on your body and the airway can open wider. When you have less restricting your airways you can more easily engage the diaphragm to expand the lungs.
Decrease Acid Reflux
It is estimated that in the United States roughly 60 million Americans get heartburn at least once a month and that 20 million Americans suffer from GERD. Acid Reflux comes in a differing levels of severity but unfortunately no matter how bad you have it it is common. There are a variety of ways to help with acid reflux but it has been shown that changing the incline of your bed by just 5 degrees can drastically reduce how it affects you while you sleep. In a study done by the National Library of Medicine they found that when the subjects slept on an incline it reduced esophageal acid exposure and acid clearance time. This led to relief from heartburn and fewer sleep disturbances. When sleeping on an incline it allows gravity to act upon the stomach acid and keep it in the stomach. When acid does escape, gravity helps to pull it back down into the stomach leading to quicker relief. It is necessary that the entire body is elevated to ensure gravity can act upon your stomach. Products that elevate just your head and neck fail to position the body so that gravity can do its work.
Sleep how you want to
When sleeping there are a variety of positions that people find comfortable, but sleeping on a traditional inclined bed doesn’t allow for many of them. When the bed is bent in the middle, sleeping on your side or stomach is bad for your back but not all people can sleep on their back. Many people are rotisserie sleepers constantly turning through the night to maintain comfort or they just want to sleep on their side. Some of these positions even allow for health benefits of their own. Sleeping on your left side has been shown to reduce the effects of GERD, to decrease snoring, and to align the spine in a healthy way which helps to decrease back pain. Slope Sleep™ allows for its users to sleep in any sleeping position so they can be as comfortable as they want to be while maintaining the ability to benefit from other sleeping positions.
Helps with Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition where your breathing starts and stops repeatedly while you sleep. There are 3 main causes of sleep apnea 1 Obstructive sleep apnea which happens when muscles in your throat relax, 2 Central sleep apnea when the signals in your brain dont send the signals properly causing your body not to breathe, and 3 Complex sleep apnea syndrome where both 1 and 2 are had at the same time. People with these go through many symptoms including loud snoring, completely restricted breathing, gasping for air while sleeping, and insomnia. By sleeping on an incline the affects of this have been found to be more mild and it greatly improved sleep. In a study done by PMC Labs 52 patients with sleep apnea slept on an incline. When observing the patients they found that by sleeping on an incline they significantly improved the severity of obstructive sleep apnea without interfering with sleep architecture. The patients were found to absorb more oxygen and have slept more efficiently and effectively. Inclining your bed will actually benefit people with sleep apnea in a similar way to those who snore. The body is in a position that allows the airway to remain more open while asleep because gravity doesn’t push down as directly on the airway. When the muscles relax the tongue muscle can go down and block the airway, but when elevated even slightly the muscles won’t be pushed directly back.
As was said before the effects of snoring can be aided by sleeping on an incline. Slope sleep allows the user to reduce the effects of gravity on the body and leads to better less restricted breathing.
Detoxify your Brain
When you sleep a toxic protein called beta amyloid is removed from the brain by the glymphatic system. Some studies suggest that when you sleep at an incline it can assist in this process and help your body more efficiently clear out harmful toxins such as the toxins B amyloid and Tau proteins. While we are awake these proteins build up in our brains because they are meant to serve a purpose.
The purpose of Tau proteins in a brain is to help to hold together the microtubules that act as the support structure in the brain. This protein however has been tied to Alzheimers disease. In people with Alzheimers these proteins will stick together instead of supporting the microtubules. They then over time form long strands within the brain that block the ability for brain cells to communicate.
The purpose of B amyloid is to assist in the growth and repair of brain tissue, but this protein has also been linked to Alzheimers. Later in life it can actually do the opposite of its intended function and destroy nerve cells which leads to loss of memories and impacts thoughts.
While we sleep the glymphatic system clears out these toxins from the brain. This system functions by causing the cerebrospinal fluid and the interstitial fluid to interact and drain out the potentially harmful substances. Studies have shown that by sleeping on an incline gravity can aid in the process of removing these toxins. Being elevated by just 3-6 inches will position the body so that the fluids can more efficiently drain from the brain.