White bed sheets and pillows

Don’t Count on Pillows to Control Snoring

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.

White bed sheets and pillows

First, Get Tested for Sleep Apnea

Home care for snoring can be dangerous. We’re not primarily focused on risks like those associated with earplugs, but more about the risk of undiagnosed sleep apnea. If you are snoring loud enough to wake others (and maybe even yourself), then you’re at a high risk for sleep apnea.

Since sleep apnea is a potentially deadly condition that requires medical treatment,it’s important to get tested for sleep apnea before you consider any home remedies for related problems, such as snoring.

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. 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 benefit 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.

Old pillows could also harbor allergens, which may contribute to inflammation while you sleep.

Shop Smart

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.

Avoid online, TV, and catalogue 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!)

But if you’re looking for a proven effective treatment for snoring, please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with Omaha sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.