ASAA Family Sites:
Sleep Apnea logo sleeptember logo

Recommended Elevated Pillows For Sleep Apnea


#1

Has anyone here tried any type of elevated sleep pillow for their sleep apnea, and would they recommend a certain manufacturer and model of pillow? I know they call them “anti-snoring” pillows, but I am not really a huge snorer (just looking for one for my apnea – if they even work, that is). Also, I heard that actually elevating your bed may help somewhat. Has anyone here had any success with that?


#2

I will raise the head of my bed, with pillows or a wedge, occasionally. Like when congested. It lets my CPAP remain effective at the regular pressure.

I have not tried any of the anti-snore pillows, so cannot answer that.


#3

@Daisygirl - Good question. The goal of some of the pillow products is to keep the upper airway in proper alignment so that no occlusions take place. Although a pillow may keep a person’s head in a certain position, there is no guarantee they will stay in that very same position all night, thus an obstruction or snoring could take place.


#4

That’s good to know that it helps with congestion, zarb; I will file that in my brain for safekeeping! I have also read some literature about what apneic people do when they have a cold; I am sure that elevating the head of the bed like you do would certainly work with a cold, as well (now that I’m on the subject…).


#5

Thank you for your insights, MotherT. I know that while sleeping on my side, I am the type of person that puts my pillow on an angle so that I can tuck my chin down and sleep that way. I am not sure that it’s the best thing for my breathing, even though I have been told that sleeping on one’s side is the best. I am still waiting for my first CPAP mask, so I am still in “discovery” mode – like “a babe in the woods” here…


#6

My sleep specialist recommended that I use bed risers. We used them and my AHI numbers improved and it improved my GERD as well. My husband was skeptical. We took down the raisers. His back hurt so much we put them back up the next night.


#7

The man who fitted me with the CPAP equipment said that a small pillow under your neck when you sleep on your back can help–they also sell foam apnea pillows. You don’t want your head tilted forward as that can make apneas worse. I use a soft down pillow which I bunch up under my neck–so that is higher than the depression in the pillow that my head sinks into. I’ve been doing well–free of apneas–I can’t sleep on my side because of neck/shoulder issues.


#8

When CPR is performed on someone, the neck is tilted back to form the proper alignment of the neck for optimal airway positioning- So there are no obstructions as @mando1 described if the chin is down.

Keep in mind this illustration on “Note 4” of the following link is for CPR, but for upper airway physiology while asleep, you can get an idea of what is the optimal, non-occluded position from this image. :slight_smile: Pillows along with treatment can certainly accomplish this :slight_smile:

http://www.quizmeonline.net/study-guides/Cardio-Pulmonary-Resuscitation-CPR


#9

I have a squishy horseshoe shaped travel pillow I use…alignment of the neck, as stated below, are critical. I too must sleep on my back.


#10

Thank you very much, everyone, for all of your feedback on this “pillow” (and neck) issue. I never knew that neck alignment was important in apnea, but it certainly does make sense now that I think about it. Sleeping on my side with my head/neck/chin scrunched inwards is such a bad habit; even when I tried to stop it in the past (since a chiropractor told me it can cause tendonosis, etc.), I did not succeed. I am going to have to be super vigilant about this now, though. I do have another question concerning the neck position while sleeping: Can a person still have apneas when sleeping in a “neck-scrunched-inward” position (if they do it once in a blue moon while trying to “break the habit”) – even while they have a CPAP mask on their face?


#11

I don’t have any experience with anti-snoring pillows, but my spouse is using an anti - snoring mouthpiece ( http://www.parkerhilldental.com/our-services/anti-snoring-appliances/ ) as per the advice of his doctor. It really worked. Actually, I was unable to sleep because of his snoring, but now, he’s able to control it and we are getting a good sleep. He is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and is using this device as a part of his treatment. I think, we should choose anti snoring devices (both pillows and mouth pieces) according to our sleeping position for the best results.


#12

I also used the stop snoring mouthpiece(http://mouthpiece4snoring.com). It does work well for stopping snoring.


#13

Try Incline bed therapy . I suffer from moderate OSA and I can feel an improvement in sleep without the CPAP . I still suffer from episodes of apnea but it is definitely less than when I was lying on a flat bed.