good night sleep with a sleep apnea pillow

A sleep apnea pillow is designed to try to keep the patient (snorer) from sleeping on his/her back. The main goal of an apnea pillow is to place the individual in a way where his/her position causes the throat to open the airway passage. It is important to also try to make sure the pillow elevates the torso in order to further relieve the pressure at the throat (that causes the obstruction) due to the change of center of gravity.

It is safe to say that the brand name in sleep apnea pillows is the Sona Pillow. The Sona Pillow is a clinically proven (FDA Cleared) medical device which has been extensively studied through research and sleep studies to treat snoring and mild sleep apnea.

Brookstone Sona Pillow makes the following claims about their product and sleep apnea:

  • Makes you sleep better.
  • Decreases and stops snoring.
  • Promotes sleep on the side.
  • SONA pillow may be utilized for the treatment of snoring and mild sleep apnea.
  • The only non prescription treatment available to help control snoring and mild sleep apnea.
  • Medically proven treatment for Snoring and Mild Sleep Apnea
  • Treating snoring and sleep apnea promotes healthy longer living.
  • Treating sleep apnea and snoring decreases cardiovascular and other risk factors associated with snoring and sleep apnea.
  • This product is medically proven and was designed and created by a sleep specialist to help patients with snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea.

The SONA apnea pillow is actually cool looking, something you would see on Star Trek. A two-layered triangle instead of a solid rectangle, this sleep apnea pillow looks like a double pyramid more than a pillow. The angular design, though, is what makes this pillow helpful in treating sleep apnea. The shape is intended to maintain a sleeping individual in the side position. Two inclined surfaces make up the primary sleeping surface, with a flatter lower surface in the center.

Each lower part of the triangle of the apnea pillow has a training arm sling. To properly use the pillow lie on either side, extend your arm in the open space under the pillow. Your arm should be kept extended while sleeping and the head should be maintained on the same side as the extended hand.

Initially, you may use the training arm sling to maintain this position by placing the arm in the space between the pillow and the sling. For additional sleep compliance, you can use a body pillow to hug over, or to put between the legs to help maintain the side sleeping position. Using the sleep apnea pillow in this manner allows the jaw to be pulled forward, preventing the tongue from falling backward and obstructing the throat.

Sleep apnea pillows promote sleep on the side. This is because sleeping on your back can cause your mouth to drop open and makes you more likely to breath through your mouth, which makes you more prone to snoring. Gravity also flattens out the airway increasing the tendency to vibrate. These apnea pillows can keep your body in a position more conducive to restful sleep. A recent study has shown that this type of positional therapy alone can be successful in treating 50% of Obstructive Sleep Apnea cases.

There are now pillows that people who use CPAP have available that will help them position themselves more comfortably and avoid those annoying air leaks associated with CPAP machines.

The redesigned Contour CPAP Pillow (formerly Contour CPAP Multi-Mask Sleep Aid) boasts a more cushioned and supportive molded foam base plus a dual fabric design. The silky, quilted material follows the pillow’s contours so your CPAP mask and shoulders easily glide over these areas as you move throughout the night, while your head is cushioned by soft velour. This sleep apnea pillow promotes proper support and contact free CPAP use.

Sleep Apnea pillows are not for everybody. Like most devices they are better at treating mild sleep apnea symptoms. People with severe sleep apnea do not benefit from using the SONA sleep apnea pillow as a solo therapy. Obese individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 will not get the snoring relief obtained by thinner patients suffering from sleep apnea. The Contour Pillow would be more likely to help severe sleep apnea cases as it is used in conjunction with a CPAP machine.

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