THE GROWING WORLDWIDE SLEEP APNEA EPIDEMIC
Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, is the most prevalent sleep disorder. More than 100 million people around the world have sleep apnea. Surprisingly, this includes children as well. While it is a rather prevalent sleep disorder, it also happens to be one of the most dangerous.
WHO GETS SLEEP APNEA?This surreptitious syndrome is one of equal opportunity. It can affect anyone at any age across all different types of races. However, studies have shown that there is a certain demographic that is more prone to sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is more common in men who are overweight and over forty years of age. While doctors now know what this sleeping disorder is and who it affects, many of those who suffer will typically not know they have it. This is because there has been a lack of awareness for years concerning sleep apnea. Fortunately, with the recent increased awareness of sleep apnea, people are being diagnosed more often.
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA VS. CENTRAL SLEEP APNEA
The act of breathing is something that is involuntary. However, when it comes to patients who display sleep apnea symptoms, that involuntary breathing gets interrupted. In fact, the word “apnea” is a Greek word meaning without breath. People with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, stop breathing while they’re sleeping because their airway gets obstructed when their throat muscles relax. And it is not just a one time breathing interruption. For some patients, they may stop breathing more than 500 times in one night. Each of these interrupted breathing episodes can last for a minute or more. Along with that, the person experiencing sleep apnea normally doesn’t know they’re not breathing. This is one of the primary reasons they may not immediately seek treatment.
Another type of sleep apnea that some people may encounter when sleeping is central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is when you stop breathing at night as well. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, this inability to breathe is not because of a pathway obstruction but because of blocked messaging. When there is a faulty connection between the muscles that control your breathing and your brain, you may stop breathing throughout the night. Unlike OSA, central sleep apnea is way less common.
HOW DOES AN APNEA PILLOW WORK?
While all this might sound a bit scary, there is some good news. Treatment is as easy as making some simple adjustments to your sleeping routine. Among the options for treatment of sleep apnea is investing in a great sleep apnea pillow. Pillows for sleep apnea relief allow those who suffer from sleep apnea to have a little more confidence throughout the night that nothing serious is going wrong. Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition and when left untreated, this disorder can be life threatening. Thankfully, with the help of appropriate pillows for sleep apnea, people who are affected can minimize the threat this sleeping disorder poses.
Sleep apnea pillows work in two different ways. One of the main differences in a sleep apnea pillow from a standard pillow is in the overall design. Sleep apnea pillows were designed so that they can accommodate the CPAP sleep masks and the tubes that may come along with them (more on that later). Unlike standard pillows, pillows for sleep apnea make sleeping with such equipment possible, and in some cases even comfortable.
In addition to that, these pillows help encourage the best sleep position for sleep apnea sufferers. For those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, this can be super helpful. Having the proper position when sleeping can be a determining factor in keeping your airways unobstructed. That being said, if you find that restlessness is a contributing factor to not being able to fall asleep, another option is to introduce essential oils like lavender to your sleeping routine. These can help relax you for good night’s rest as well.
CAN A PILLOW ACTUALLY HELP ME WITH MY SLEEP APNEA?
Depending on the severity of sleep apnea, many people have to sleep with a CPAP machine (a "continuous positive airway pressure” machine). This machine keeps a person’s airway open while they sleep. In milder cases, someone with sleep apnea may only need a mouthpiece that prevents snoring and helps their airway stay open without needing a CPAP machine. While on the topic of snoring, it should be noted that this is a typical sign of sleep apnea. However, not everyone who snores actually has obstructive sleep apnea. If you are concerned that your snoring is the cause of sleep apnea, then you may want to speak to your doctor about it, as well as a treatment plan. Whichever treatment you use for sleep apnea, there are sleep apnea pillows that have designs for both sleep apnea and snoring.
There are additional risk factors that make you susceptible to sleep apnea. Many are anatomical such as enlarged tonsils, a restrictive, small jaw bone, acid reflux, a deviated septum, and a family history (suggesting a genetic association). Different pillows for sleep apnea relief include a pillow wedge for sleep apnea, bamboo pillows, and contoured pillows for use with a CPAP machine. In addition to the CPAP machine, these pillows for sleep apnea help promote the positive airway pressure that sleep apnea sufferers require. Here are our reviews for top rated pillows for sleep apnea that we found.
Best Sleep Apnea Pillow Reviews 2017 - Comparision table
CPAP Pillow - New Memory Foam
22.4" long x 14.6" wide x 4.5" high
InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow
25" long x 24" wide x 12" high
Tri-Core Cervical Pillow
16" long x 24" wide x 3" high
Acid Reflux Wedge Pillow
34" long x 30" wide x 7" high
Sleep Innovations Memory Foam Pillow
20.8" x long 14.2" x wide x 4.8" high
Our customer often prefer the following products when searching for Pillow For Sleep Apnea.
Don’t Take Sleep Apnea Lightly!
If you sleep all night, but wake up exhausted and never seem to regain energy during the day, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. If you think this is the case for you, then you must make it a point to schedule an appointment to see your doctor. One of the primary ways to test for sleep apnea is by undergoing sleep apnea testing. Interrupted sleep and waking up hundreds of times a night puts people at a higher risk for work-related mistakes and accidents. This unintended sleep deprivation can have lasting effects on your body and should not be taken lightly. Not only that, but the lack of a good night’s sleep can contribute to compromised driving skills, high blood pressure, weight gain, and other dangerous medical conditions.
SLEEP APNEA TESTING: HOW DOES IT WORK?
Typically, testing for sleep apnea includes participating in a sleep study. A sleep study will generally be conducted by a trained sleep specialist and reviewed by a medical doctor. With the sleep study test, you will be assessed to see how well you sleep when you go to bed at night. In addition to that, a sleep study will take a detailed account of how many times you stop breathing and wake up during your sleep. Sleep studies can be done at home with a portable monitor you wear to sleep or by staying overnight in a sleep center. The overnight sleep study involves monitoring your oxygen levels, heart rate, chest movement, and how often you wake from breathing troubles. See your doctor if you think you may need testing for sleep apnea.
SHOULD I USE A PILLOW FOR SLEEP APNEA EVEN IF I DON’T HAVE SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep apnea can be chronic and requires treatment for long-term health management. Your lifestyle, doctor’s recommendations, and pillows for snoring and sleep apnea can reduce the effects of sleep apnea. If you snore or haven’t been diagnosed with sleep apnea, sleeping with a pillow that helps with snoring will help you breathe better and get more oxygen at night. This translates into better concentration during the day, lower blood pressure, and fewer health risks that come with sleep apnea.
Pillows that are meant to help with sleep apnea or snoring may also be helpful for people who need better neck support. If you need to sleep in an upper position for a shoulder surgery or injury, or have acid reflux and need to keep your head and neck elevated, an anti-snore pillow is the best choice. Click this link to download a free guide to healthy sleep by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
In the meantime, take some time to investigate the different type of sleep apnea pillows we have listed to help you better sleep through the night.