A wedge pillow for sleep apnea can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated each morning. Keep reading to learn why a wedge pillow can minimize sleep disturbances caused from sleep apnea.
Why use a wedge pillow for sleep apnea?
Sleeping flat on your back is the cause of sleep interruptions in 65-87% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Bed wedges for sleep apnea combat this problem by positioning your body at an incline. Sleeping at an incline alleviates pressure on your lungs. This pressure alleviation makes it easier for you to breathe, leaving you less likely to experience breathing disturbances.
Studies have also shown that sleeping on your side significantly reduces the amount of airway collapse that can occur when sleeping on your back. When you sleep flat on your back, gravity pulls down on your throat structures. If you have any sort of disturbance in these throat structures, the pull of gravity can overcome them. This can lead to airway collapse which presents as snoring, sleep apnea, or both.
Because side sleeping at an incline decreases gravity’s ability to narrow your airway, you can make it easier for your airway to stay open by making a few simple changes to your sleep position! To effectively make these changes, you are going to need a pillow that keeps your body in the right position.
The best wedge pillow for sleep apnea is one that positions you on your side and on a slight incline. This is best accomplished with a contoured incline pillow for side sleepers.
The contours on a sleep wedge for sleep apnea are strategically placed so that your curves are fully supported. This virtually eliminates pressure on your hips, low back and shoulder so you sleep comfortably. When your body is comfortable, it won’t toss and turn. Additionally, when side sleeping is comfortable, there will be less of an urge to roll onto your back.
Pairing a wedge for sleep apnea with a leg separator pillow
A wedge pillow for sleep apnea should be paired with a leg separator pillow in order to achieve maximal relaxation. A leg separator pillow should fully support your leg, knee, and hip so that your lower body is in perfect alignment. Perfect alignment equals total muscle relaxation, allowing your body to truly rest and rejuvenate.
Using a wedge pillow for sleep apnea and a leg separator pillow are the first steps to eliminating symptoms of sleep apnea. If you are waking up with a headache, feeling fatigued, having difficulty remembering things, or having difficulty concentrating, its time to start treating your sleep disturbances.
Start using a wedge pillow for sleep apnea and find yourself waking up happier, healthier, and more energized!
-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy