What is a CPAP Pillow
CPAP pillows — not to be confused with CPAP nasal pillows, which are a type of low-profile mask — are pillows designed to accommodate a CPAP mask. They vary in design, but most have cut-outs or curves so that CPAP users can sleep on their side without their mask digging into their face.
We most often see snoring in a comedic situation, whether it’s a cartoon or sitcom, but, in all seriousness, snoring can sometimes have a massive impact on a person’s sleep quality, leading to further health complications. Many are plagued by poor sleep caused by snoring and go through a million different remedies. However, what many don’t know is that you can address your snoring by starting from the most obvious place, the pillow you are sleeping on.
What Causes Snoring?
To appreciate just how important your pillow is and understand how your pillow can help you deal with snoring, we must first understand what causes snoring. In simple terms, snoring is the sound you hear when air is trying to pass through constricted airways. Physiologically, the muscles of the tongue, mouth, and throat relax in a state of sleep, but for some people, they relax to the point where they cause an obstructed airway. This happens more likely among people who sleep on their back, are obese, smoke, and drink excessively.
What the right pillow does, in addition to aligning your body properly, also positions the head and neck in such a way that it keeps the airways unobstructed, keeping you from snoring and improving your breathing. There are many pillows available in the market today that are specifically designed to address snoring. You’ll also find these pillows in hypoallergenic options for those who have severe allergies.
Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam pillows mold to the shape of your head, allowing the head and spine to be in almost perfect alignment. Not only are you enjoying sleeping on a comfortable cpap pillow that is literally designed for any head that sleeps on it, but the aligned head and spine also mean unobstructed airways which means reduced snoring.
Memory foam cpap pillows are also great if you’re experiencing neck and shoulder issues. Because the pillow will mold to the shape of your body, you’re basically sleeping on a pillow that is specifically designed for your head and neck. This allows for near-perfect alignment of the body no matter whether you sleep on your back or side.
What is the Best CPAP Pillow?
Orthopedic pillows tend to be a bit hard and molded into a specific shape. That shape is such that it provides to the neck mainly, allowing the head and spine to align during sleep. This is not to say that your head isn’t lying in a comfortable place, it’s just that the support is focused around the neck area mostly. Moreover, by aligning the head with the spine during sleep, you keep your airways unobstructed and reduce snoring significantly.
Just like wedge pillows, orthopedic pillows also have other advantages in addition to helping with snoring. Elevated pillows can cause stiff necks for some, which isn’t a problem with the neutral surface that orthopedic pillows provide. Orthopedic pillows also ensure that there is no motion distribution, which means that you won’t be disturbed in case someone else on the bed, like your partner or kids, is also moving in their sleep.
For those who prefer to sleep on their back, a wedge pillow is the best option. Being triangle shaped when you look at it from the side, the slope of the pillow elevates not only the head and neck but also the torso. The elevated position helps reduce snoring and also aids other respiratory issues quite significantly. One can find wedge pillows at different heights, letting you choose the preferred angle of slope.
In addition to helping with snoring, wedge pillows have a wide range of advantages. If you prefer to sleep on your back, but also experience back pain, a wedge pillow can go a long way to relieving that pain. By providing elevation for the back and lifting the knees, the strain on your lower back is reduced significantly. By using two wedge pillows, you can also sleep in a zero-gravity position by tucking one pillow under your knees. By mimicking the sensation of no gravity, it takes a significant amount of strain and pressure off of your body. Wedge pillows are also really helpful in reducing swelling in the legs and heartburn.
Some Other Methods to Help Reduce Snoring
As we mentioned above, snoring is most prevalent in people who are obese, smoke and drink excessively. Exercise, in addition to keeping you healthy overall, could also help in reducing snoring as you would be reducing weight. Smoking is just a health hazard, plain and simple, and one would have a much healthier and illness-free life if they were to stop smoking. Drinking, while acceptable in some situations, should always be done responsibly and in moderation. In addition to worsening your snoring, excess alcohol can lead to a variety of health problems. Changes in your lifestyle could not only just help with your snoring, but also help improve other areas of your life as well.
Visit a Doctor
If adjusting your pillow, sleeping habits, and making changes to your lifestyle isn’t making a difference, then you should consider visiting a doctor. Snoring can sometimes also be triggered by allergies or sinus issues, which can be addressed easily by a doctor.
While not necessary, it’s also possible that your snoring could be a symptom of an entirely different health issue altogether, like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea could be a potentially serious sleep disorder, as it causes the breathing to repeatedly stop and start. If you are snoring excessively and feel like you aren’t even getting a full night’s sleep, you could be suffering from sleep apnea and you should visit a doctor.
There are some extreme and rare cases where snoring is caused by excessive loose muscles in the mouth and throat. For such cases, surgery is also an option, but it should be considered very carefully and in consultation with a licensed medical professional. Surgery is a lot more than just going into an OR and coming out. You need to look at all factors, including recovery, and make an informed decision on the matter.
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