For your partner, snoring at night can be a nuisance. However, for you, it could indicate a health problem. Fortunately, there are many ways to stop snoring. A simple change in lifestyle could be the solution. Likewise, there are medical options available including surgery and medications should the condition persist or get worse. If you do snore, you should check the pillows you are using. It may be time to buy new pillows or get ones that are designed to help stop snoring. This article will help you find the best pillow for snoring.
The Health Risks of Snoring
When you fall asleep, you transition from a stage of light sleep to one of deep sleep. At the deep sleep stage, the soft palate or the muscles found in the root of your mouth, including the tongue and throat become more relaxed.
Air that passes through these relaxed muscle tissues will cause them to vibrate and produce the growling, harsh sounds associated with snoring. People who have more narrow passageways will be louder snorers because airflow becomes forceful and difficult.
Snoring is normal. It is just that some people may have it worse than others. Keep in mind that when the muscle tissues in your mouth relax, it partially blocks the passage of air. For people who experience excessive snoring, their breathing stops temporarily. This situation often causes them to wake up with a loud snorting sound or gasp.
Others may not be so lucky.
The condition where a snorer suddenly stops breathing is called OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. People who are diagnosed with OSA stop breathing at a rate of 5 times per hour of sleep.
Snoring can lead to a number of health problems:
- Frequent Irritability
- Reduced Levels of Focus and Concentration
- High Blood Pressure
- Increased Probability of Stroke
Excessive weight gain, consumption of alcohol, nasal problems, stress, and sleeping position are factors that can lead to snoring.
Since snoring occurs while you are asleep, it would be best to look into conditions that could affect your quality of sleep. This includes the type and condition of the pillows you are using.
How Sleeping On The Best Pillows Stop Snoring
There are three common sleeping positions: Back, stomach, and side. Of these positions, those who sleep on their back are the ones who are most prone to snoring.
When you sleep on your back, your mouth tends to open wide; your jaw becomes more relaxed and drops backward with the tongue moving toward the back which then blocks the air passageway.
As mentioned earlier, snoring occurs when the muscle tissues of the soft palate, the tongue, and throat relax. This type of condition makes it more difficult for air to pass through and causes snoring.
Excessive snoring can lead to sleep apnea which not only poses serious health problems but can potentially lead to death. For this reason, manufacturers have designed pillows to help with snoring. These special pillows will address the conditions during sleep that lead to snoring.
If you are planning to buy anti-snoring pillows, here are some features that you should look out for:
- The pillow should be made of hypoallergenic materials.
- It must be easy to clean; can be washed and dried at home.
- Convenient to carry around; travel-sized and compact.
- The shape of the pillow should keep your head aligned with your shoulders.
- Likewise, the shape of the pillow should keep your head aligned with your neck and shoulders if you shift position to the side.
Therefore, if you are looking for pillows to prevent snoring find types that keep your head in an aligned position with your neck and shoulders.
If your head is tilted lower, it will increase the probability of your mouth gaping wide open with the tongue rolling back. This position will also lead to neck pains. If you are a side sleeper, a pillow that does not keep your head aligned with the neck and shoulders will result in neck pains, migraines, or headaches.
Most anti-snoring pillows are designed to encourage you to sleep on your side because this will reduce the chances of your mouth opening up during slumber. Anti-snoring pillows are sold in a number of types and shapes:
- Shaped like a right triangle; sometimes called a “wedge” pillow.
- Pillows shaped to provide maximum cervical support.
- Memory foam; pillows made from a material called “viscoelastic” which greatly absorbs energy but remains soft. Memory foam conforms to the shape of your body.
- Straight full-body pillows; these can be bought in various shapes that are designed to help your body maintain optimum alignment while sleeping on your side.
- U-Shaped body pillows; these were designed specifically for pregnant women to help support their stomachs and alleviate lower back pain. Apparently, these types of pillows can also reduce the incidence of snoring.
3 Best Pillows To Stop Snoring
How do you know which type of pillow to buy? The first step is to determine your preferred sleeping position.
Again, sleeping on your back is the position that encourages snoring. Sleeping on your side is generally safe but some people still experience bouts of snoring with this position. As for stomach sleepers, you may not snore as much but your back will be susceptible to chronic pain.
Here are 3 types of pillows that could address your snoring based on your sleeping position:
- Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow – This pillow is made of soft material that moulds to the shape of your head and neck. Therapeutica is one of the best pillows to prevent snoring because it helps keep your spine aligned with your body while you are sleeping. It will also lend support to your upper back so that you can maintain your neck’s natural curved position.
- Arc4Life Cervical Pillow – The design of this pillow helps maintain the natural curve of your neck and keep you from snoring. Regular use of the Arc4Life Cervical Pillow will address any posture problems you might have. This can also alleviate neck and back pain. If you are a side or back sleeper, this is one of the best pillows for snoring. You can wash this pillow at home and it is packaged with its own case.
- Tri-Core Orthopaedic Support Pillow – An orthopaedic pillow is designed to keep your neck and head properly aligned. This position will address problems of obstructed airflow and help you breathe better when you are asleep. Another benefit of this pillow is that it reduces pressure on your neck and helps its muscles relax and avoid unnecessary tension. This is one of the best pillows to prevent snoring.
Regardless of the type or brand of anti-snoring pillow that you buy, these pillows generally function the same way. They have one objective: keep your head aligned with your neck, shoulders, and body in order to maintain air passage flow while you sleep. If your air passageways are blocked, you will snore.
Will these anti-snoring pillows work? Many people have experienced great success from using these pillows. Some report that the incidence and intensity of snoring have improved. Some have said the pillows actually cured their snoring problem.
The fact remains that results could be on a case-to-case basis; if the snoring persists despite regular use of an anti-snoring pillow it might be time to tweak the strategy.
What can you do to stop snoring?
First, see your doctor. Get a complete medical check-up and find out your general state of health. If you are overweight, it might be the best time to exercise and to follow a healthy diet.
Second, do a self-evaluation exam. Are you particularly stressed? Stress can disrupt sleeping patterns. It could throw off your quality of sleep and affect your quality of life. People who are stressed may resort to alcohol to ease nerves. However, alcohol will relax your throat muscles and further induce snoring.
Third, exercise. Whether you are overweight or not, exercise can prevent snoring. Regular exercise improves blood circulation. Your organs will receive nutrients efficiently and become stronger. With exercise, you will also learn proper breathing techniques, reduce stress levels, and have a more balanced emotional state.
If you are a light snorer, go ahead and buy an anti-snoring pillow. However, if you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, it would be best to have your doctor prescribe the best treatment.