Though millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, it has recently been a well-known condition. Its previous obscurity was due to the fact that it’s difficult to diagnose without a relatively modern sleep check, not to mention the fact that its victim sleep right through it. Sleep apnea appears when soft tissue at the back of the throat complicates the airway during sleep, causing duplicated temporary breathing stoppages. These frequent breathing obstructions, several per hour, can cause issues as minor as snoring & fatigue (due to interrupted sleep quality) as major as heart trouble, due to poor nighttime oxygenation & system stress. Sleep apnea may affect everyone, but some groups particularly at risk include men, elderly individuals and people who are heavier. Snoring & unexplained fatigue are 2 signs that may point to sleep apnea.
The disorder has been diagnosed, treatments for sleep apnea can include oral devices similar to mouth guards, automated masks worn at night designed to give pressure on the airways, or even surgery. Depending on the severity of one’s sleep apnea, a adjustment in pillow can also make a difference in the symptoms and may be a good selection to try before exploring more drastic solutions.
The necessary of a good pillow
A worth pillow can help symptoms in some different ways. Some are designed to boost, or even force, the sleeper to sleep on their side rather than their back. Some sleep apnea sufferers just experience apnea when they sleep on their backs, therefore this pillow makes side sleeping the only option and attempts to make that experience cozy. Pillows designed to aid sleep apnea & snoring can help by providing an appropriate level of help to keep the head & neck at an angle that can help keep the airway open.
These who are using CPAP masks to aid their sleep apnea will likely want to explore options for special pillows. These pillows allow space for mask-users to sleep on the sides or even stomachs, which cold be very difficult for CPAP users. These pillows may have special features to accommodate the important cords that keep the CPAP mask working during the night.
How to select the Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea & are considering a pillow as a treatment selection, speak with a doctor first, preferably the one who helped to analyze your problem. He or she can provide helpful insights that can determine how effective a pillow can be in reducing your symptoms. Since they could have a good method of your condition’s severity, they can provide advice as to if a more aggressive response could be pursued immediately. Whether a sleep study was used to analyze your apnea, the doctor could likely tell you if you experienced apnea only when on your back. This information can help you decide if a pillow that facilitates side sleeping may be helpful.
In addition to knowing about your condition, you want to get a good method of your sleeping habits. How often do you sleep on your side? Your back? Your stomach? Note how you wake up every morning (or during the night) to get a method of what position you gravitate towards.
Armed with the information, you can start to research which pillow would be best for you. The FDA has accepted one pillow for the treatment of snoring & mild sleep apnea, so that may be a perfect place to start. Pillows marketed as “anti-snore” are quality looking into as well, since the reason of snoring are similar to, when not synonymous with, sleep apnea. Pillows that offer extra support / firmness can be considered as well, since those could help keep your head at an angle more helpful to a clear airway. Of course, online reviews are plentiful and you can likely gain information about what type of sleep apnea sufferers found every product successful for their needs.
Are you using a CPAP mask?
If you are using a CPAP mask, a search for CPAP pillows can turn up several products designed for use with this device. If you’re new to using a CPAP, you may want to try it for some days before purchasing a pillow to aid you learn what issues you want your pillow to aid solve. For instance, you may find that you turn to your side more often, so you can need a pillow that is specially designed to accommodate side sleeping in a mask. Whether you find that the cord is bothersome, you may look for a pillow designed to hold the cord.
Getting to know your individual condition & your own sleeping habits are key to finding the sleep apnea pillow that can give you a good night’s rest.