As we have become more aware of the dangers of sleep apnea and its relation to snoring, more people have begun producing anti-snoring technologies. That includes special pillows that are advertised to help control snoring.
But it would be best not to put too much faith in a pillow to save your sleep or a partner’s. Instead, let the Omaha sleep dentists at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center help.
First, Get Tested for Sleep Apnea
Home care for snoring can be dangerous. You might take steps to treat snoring but not know about undiagnosed sleep apnea. If you are snoring loud enough to wake others (and maybe even yourself), then you’re at high risk for sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly condition that requires medical treatment. About 80% of people with the condition don’t know that they have it. Therefore, it’s important to get tested for sleep apnea before you consider any home remedies for related problems, such as snoring. At the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center, our Omaha sleep dentists can help you get a comfortable at-home test for sleep apnea.
Pillows Could Help Control Snoring
Once you have eliminated the possibility of sleep apnea, trying some home care for snoring is reasonable, and your pillow is not a bad place to start.
Perhaps most importantly, a pillow can help you sleep on your side. Positional therapy is an effective way to treat snoring. Side sleepers need greater elevation and more support from their pillow to help them maintain comfort and an open airway during sleep. If your pillow doesn’t properly support your head, you may lose all benefits from side sleeping because your neck will be craned to the side, which will narrow your airway as much or more than relaxation at night.
Some pillows are designed to ensure that they hold your neck in a horizontal position so that your airway stays open. Small studies have shown that these might be effective, but the results are far from conclusive. Getting an evaluation of your airway might help you find the optimal sleep position to treat your snoring.
Old pillows could also harbor allergens, which may contribute to inflammation while you sleep.
If you’re going to shop for a pillow that can help control snoring, go in knowing what you’re looking for. Talk to salespeople about the specific characteristics you need. See if you can try a pillow before you buy it–you might not know if it works until you take it home.
There are several different types of pillows that might help reduce your snoring, including:
- Side sleeping pillows
- Wedge pillows
- Realignment pillows
- Smart pillows
Side sleeping pillows are configured to encourage you to sleep on your side. They come in several different shapes and sizes, and it might take several attempts to find the one that works best for you.
Wedge pillows can reduce snoring by elevating your upper body. This reduces the tendency of gravity to pull your airway closed, so you can breathe more easily and more quietly.
Realignment pillows work by holding your head at the right height to keep your airway straight.
Smart pillows have sound sensors. When these detect snoring, the pillow can respond by changing shape to either elevate your head or encourage you to roll onto your side, depending on the design of the pillow.
Avoid online, TV, and catalog offers for pillows that supposedly treat snoring. These claims are likely untested, and even if they offer you the ability to return the pillow, you’re likely to run into the same problems as with a free trial.
Lower Your Expectations
You have to go into pillow shopping knowing that it likely won’t help your problem. When asked to comment on the value of pillows for sleep, Afshin E. Razi, spokesman for the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, said, “I personally have not found any good data to suggest [what pillows] are good for what [conditions]. It’s all marketing.”
But getting a new pillow is a relatively harmless approach to trying to treat snoring at home. (Much better than attempting your own surgery!)
Effective Snoring Relief in Omaha
As with many home remedies for snoring, sleep pillows are not especially effective. If you are tired of unhelpful home remedies for snoring, the Omaha sleep dentists at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center can help.
Please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.