Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sleep apnea pillow

If you are like me you have tried many things to help with your sleep apnea. Throat exercises, losing weight, cpap masks are among the few things that I have tried, although I haven’t tried to play the didgeridoo (maybe some day). I am now wondering if my sleep apnea would be better if I changed pillows.

Like most people who have sleep apnea and acid reflux I sleep with 2, sometimes 3 pillows stacked behind my head. That seems to help relieve the acid reflux more than the sleep apnea because with my head pushed forward my throat becomes even more blocked. If I don’t have the pillows my head leans back and my throat does seem more open but the acid reflux would really be worse.

Years ago I slept on my stomach, it was bad on my back but I got a lot more rest. Unfortunately my back problems put an end to that. And I have also tried sleeping my side but with Meniere’s disease that sometimes throw off my balance.

I am thinking about changing pillows. Does anyone have any suggestions on a particular type of pillow that might ease the sleep apnea a little bit? Let me know.

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1 comment:

  1. If you're forced to sleep on your back, then your best pillow option is one of the "contour" type pillow, where the part under your neck is higher than what touches the top of your head. By forcing you to tilt your head back, it opens up your airway behind the tongue. We do this for CPR. I also do this routinely with patients on their backs to see what effect this mild tilting effect has on the airway, and in most cases, it's dramatic. Many of these pillows are made of high-tech memory foam.

    Most regular pillows end up flattening out and by the end of the night, as you slide down, your head ends up tilting forward, which closes your airway.

    Another option is to get one of the husk-filled roll-type Asian pillow. It does the same thing. When I travel, I roll up a towel to just the right height and I sleep great.

    There are also options for CPAP users, but I don't have any experience with them.