SLEEPING face down can improve symptoms of coronavirus, experts say.
Researchers from Zhongda Hospital in China urged Covid-19 sufferers to re-think their sleeping position to ease the condition, including the common signs of a fever and dry cough.
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It comes as cases of coronavirus continue to surge across the world – with the number of cases reaching over 8,000 in the UK alone.
In the study, the researchers from China analysed 12 coronavirus patients on ventilators, and found that lying face down was better for the lungs.
Professor Haibo Qiu, who led the study, said: “This study is the first description of the behaviour of the lungs in patients with severe Covid-19 requiring mechanical ventilation and receiving positive pressure.
“It indicates that some patients do not respond well to high positive pressure and respond better to prone positioning in bed (facing downward).”
While the study only assessed 12 patients, the researchers hope the findings will encourage people showing symptoms to re-think their body positioning in bed.
Professor Chun Pan, co-author of the study, added: “It is only a small number of patients, but our study shows that many patients did not re-open their lungs under high positive pressure and may be exposed to more harm than benefit in trying to increase the pressure.
“By contrast, the lung improves when the patient is in the prone position.
“Considering this can be done, it is important for the management of patients with severe Covid-19 requiring mechanical ventilation.”
The government is also urging people who have coronavirus to separate themselves from other people in the house and stay in a designated ‘sick room’.
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This room should be well-ventilated with a window to the outside that can be opened.
If you live in shared accommodation with a communal kitchen, bathroom and living area, you should stay in your room with the door closed, only coming out when necessary.
You should use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household, if available, and avoid using the kitchen while others are present.
You should also not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home when you have used them.
Health bosses say the best way to protect yourself from catching the bug in this way is to wash your hands with soap and water for the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.
Happy Birthday takes about 20 seconds to sing twice and is said to be the perfect number to clean your hands to thoroughly.
You should also not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.
Dr Daniel Atkinson, clinical lead at Treated.com, said: “Hygiene is incredibly important to ward off any viruses.
“Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly – for at least 20 seconds – and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
“If you can, avoid contact with sick people and avoid shaking hands with anyone displaying flu-like symptoms.”
Globally, there are currently over 435,000 cases of coronavirus and nearly 20,000 deaths from the bug worldwide.