Pillows & Sleep Apnea
Does a pillow help with sleep apnea or does sleeping without a pillow help sleep apnea? For milder cases of sleep apnea, the American Sleep Apnea Association recommends using a pillow and learning to sleep on your side to reduce airway blockage. Treating more severe cases of sleep apnea may require nightly use of a CPAP or Bi-PAP device. No matter how mild or severe your sleep apnea, using a positional pillow – commonly known as a sleep apnea pillow – can help improve your sleep quality.
Positional pillows are usually a wedge or cervical design. A wedge pillow is most often used for people who tend to sleep on their back, which can make sleep apnea worse. The wedge shape helps elevate the body while in a reclined position, preventing the tongue from dropping into your throat while snoring. A cervical or contour pillow is an ideal choice for side sleepers as they comfortably position your neck to keep your airways open during sleep.
There are also specially designed pillows made especially or those who currently use a CPAP or Bi-PAP device. These types of pillows usually feature cutouts or a moldable design to accommodate the machine hose. So the question is, are sleep apnea pillows worth the investment? Yes. because standard pillows are not designed to support the head or neck to keep the airway open. There are a wide range of materials, firmness, support, and comfort options available for sleep apnea pillows, so you can choose the one that’s right for you, your sleep disorder, and your budget.