Sleep apnea is a condition that really must be diagnosed by a physician. Some of the symptoms include incessant snoring and sleep disturbances that can leave you feeling drained of energy in the morning. There are different treatments available to reduce the incidences as you sleep. Can pillows help sleep apnea?
The answer to this question is that it depends on a few different factors. In some cases, it can.
How pillows help sleep apnea
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Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder. Pillows can help in positioning the body for the enhancement of respiratory functioning. They can be used to help increase your comfort level and keep your airways in a position that is better for your respiration. It is a fairly well known fact that sleeping on your back results may increase the occurrence of sleep apnea. This is because your airways are more subject to collapsing when you are in this position. Using pillows to prevent rolling onto the back can help reduce apnea in this way.
Pillows are an aspect of what is known as positional therapy. While not all people with sleep apnea are helped with the use of pillows, many can be. Studies have shown that people who have the most severe cases may not benefit from this type of treatment and may in fact need to use a CPAP machine. For those with less severe cases, positional therapies have been shown to be effective to varying degrees. There are also CPAP pillows available for use, these are contoured so they help people sleep better while using their CPAP machine.
Additional benefits of positional therapy
This type of treatment can help you get a better quality of sleep than you do without any type of therapy. When you get a more restful night’s sleep with an adequate flow of oxygen, your overall health is improved and you awake feeling much better with higher energy levels. In addition, your partner, if any, will be thankful for the break in snoring that can keep others from getting a good night’s rest.
The best pillows for helping sleep apnea
The most highly recommended pillows for use in positional treatment for sleep apnea are neck pillows. Make sure that the pillow you select is well made of sturdy and high quality materials. Hypoallergenic is preferable so you don’t irritate your airways. You will need a pillow that provides firm neck support that is not so firm that it is uncomfortable. A good rule of thumb to observe when shopping for a neck-supporting pillow is that you generally get what you pay for. You will want to pass up the cheaper brands and go for one that is moderately priced and provides the features that will give you the best possible results.
Some sleep apnea sufferers can find relief from the use of pillows. People with mild to moderate forms of this condition are the most likely to benefit from this type of treatment. Those who have more severe cases would probably not see a big difference. It’s a good idea to check with your physician for recommendations on whether or not positional therapy using pillows for sleep apnea is a good choice for you.