The simple answer to whether a pillow can help with sleep apnea is, ‘YES! Pillows not only help with sleep apnea; but a sleep apnea pillow is an essential accessories in CPAP treatment.
A sleep apnea pillow can be very useful in managing and reducing obstructive sleep apnea episodes through head positioning.
Specially designed sleep apnea pillows help with CPAP (or other machine) treatment for central sleep apnea as well as obstructive sleep apnea in a number of ways.
How a sleep Apnea pillow helps with obstructive sleep apnea
- Pillows can help you adjust and maintain sleep positions that allow you to position your head best to keep your airways open. This can reduce the number of sleep apnea episodes you have during the night. It also helps to reduce snoring.
- Pillows can help you maintain a side sleeping position, with your head slightly elevated. Side-sleeping is a good position for sleep apnea, as long as you don’t roll over on to your back. Pillows can help create sufficient head and neck support, as well as arm comfort, to discourage movement and help you sleep soundly on your side through the night.
- If you have a tendency, or if you prefer, to sleep on your back, an elevated wedge pillow is necessary to tilt your head upwards to keep your airways open. A soft pillow would not be sufficient to help prevent apnea episodes with back sleeping. In this case, a dense wedge-shaped memory foam pillow is essential to help with sleep apnea.
In CPAP treatment, using pillows to position the head helps with the efficiency of the treatment.
Are Sleep Apnea Pillows essential in CPAP sleep apnea treatment
Pillows are not a replacement for CPAP treatment for sleep apnea. However, as accessories in CPAP treatment, sleep apnea pillows are essential in aiding CPAP treatment.
CPAP pillows help to keep your head in position and minimise movement. CPAP pillows are also useful to reduce discomforts associated with having to sleep with a mask attached to tubes.
In addition to correct head positioning, CPAP sleep apnea pillows:
- Help to ensure the airflow is not interrupted by keeping tubes and attachments in place.
- Prevent the CPAP mask slipping, or developing an air leak.
- Maximise comfort and reduce chaffing from the CPAP mask
- Help to maximise the efficiency and benefits of CPAP treatment.
Pillows certainly do help with sleep apnea – whether you are in CPAP treatment or not. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you should refer to your doctor for a sleep test. However, using a pillow to keep your head positioned correctly will help the reduce apnea episodes in the meantime. This will help you (and your partner) get as much sleep as possible until you get a diagnosis.