Best Pillow for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that deserves medical attention. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then you may wake up during the night because of restricted breathing.
In this post, you’ll learn about the best pillows for sleep apnea and ways in which they can provide you relief.
Sleep Apnea Pillow for Symptom Relief
Sleep apnea stops breathing temporarily while a person is sleeping. It’s classified as:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: because of a blockage in the upper airway, the airflow gets restricted, leading to breathing problems and snoring.
- Central sleep apnea: because the CNS fails to send proper breathing signals to muscles, the breathing pauses.
Since obstructive sleep apnea is the one associated with snoring, you usually only find special pillows for this sleep apnea.
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Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea Include:
Foam pillow for sleep apnea
Contour pillows for sleep apnea offer symptom relief by promoting better and more relaxing sleep.
Sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness are common problems among those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
Here’s how foam pillows help with sleep apnea:
- Better support: foam pillows mold to the shape of your head and neck and provide firm support to them.
- Better alignment: good alignment of neck with the rest of the spine is necessary to prevent strain on muscles and joints.
- Hypoallergenic: the pillows are usually made of memory foam, which rarely causes allergies, as it is naturally dust and dust mite resistant.
Foam pillows last for a very long time and by contouring, they can provide you some relief from symptoms that accompany sleep apnea.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Pillows for Sleep Apnea
CPAP pillows for sleep apnea facilitate mask wearing when you go to sleep.
CPAP is the frontline treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Utilizing positive airflow, it keeps the upper airways open. But to deliver the airflow, it requires the user to wear a mask.
Unlike traditional pillows, which cause discomfort when you’ve your CPAP mask on, CPAP pillows are designed in such a way that you won’t feel discomfort when you’re wearing the mask.
If you use a CPAP machine, then this is the best sleep apnea pillow for you.
Wedge Pillow for Sleep Apnea
Wedge pillows elevate your upper body to:
- prevent the tongue from sliding into the throat
- reduce the compression in the upper airway.
Wedge pillows come with memory foam, so they can contour to the shape of your body and provide good support.
If you suffer from excessive sweating, then you should go for a gel infused pillow that prevents the buildup of heat.
Other Tips for Symptom Relief from Sleep Apnea
- Don’t sleep on your back: First of all, ensure that you don’t sleep on your back. Sleeping on the back can exacerbate the symptoms of OSA.
- Maintain a healthy weight: according to research, reducing weight moderately can eliminate the requirement of long-term CPAP therapy or surgery of the upper airway.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking: smoking is a risk factor for sleep apnea. And alcohol can relax your tongue muscles, so it may slide down into your throat.
- Try oral appliances: several custom made oral appliances are available that readjust the jaw to increase area for airflow.
These three varieties of special pillows for sleep apnea can provide you relief from some symptoms. Foam pillows offer comfortable sleep; CPAP pillows facilitate mask wearing; wedge pillows elevate your upper body to prevent the tongue from sliding down into the throat.
Go through the advantages of each of these and then select the best sleep apnea pillow for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Should I go with a solid or shredded memory foam pillow?
Ans. When selecting a foam pillow, you must decide upon shredded vs solid memory foam. While solid ones are cheaper, shredded ones offer customizability.
You can adjust the height and firmness of a shredded memory foam pillow, but you can’t do the same with a solid memory foam pillow.
Also, a solid piece of memory foam prevents the hot air built into the pillow from escaping. This can overheat the pillow and become a problem if you suffer from night sweats or body heat.
But either type of memory foam pillow is good for sleep apnea.
Q. Do body pillows work for sleep apnea?
Ans. Body pillows are generally used by pregnant women, as it supports multiple sleeping positions. Body pillows don’t offer any benefit for sleep apnea, so they aren’t generally recommended for this condition.
Q. Can I use foam pillows if I use a CPAP machine?
Ans. Yes, you can. However, CPAP pillows are better suited to provide comfort when wearing a mask. However, if you don’t wear a mask regularly, then you can go for a normal memory foam pillow. If comfort is the main criteria, then go with a shredded memory foam pillow.