Anti-Snoring Pillows

Solutions

Anti-Snoring Pillows

Can a pillow really stop your snoring? What types of anti-snoring pillow are available and which one is best for you?

Addressing the problems with your sleeping position is a great excuse to invest in a new pillow. There are many specialist pillows available that are designed to stop your snoring in different ways, so it’s best to do some research first.

First, ask yourself what you want the pillow to do. There are many different types with a variety of functions:

A bad sleeping position massively increases your risk of snoring. If you sleep on your back, gravity compresses your airway and sends your tongue and jaw backwards, all leading to a greater chance of obstruction and noise.

Though they are effective for many people, specialist pillows don’t work for everybody. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, pillows are only usually effective if you have the mild or moderate form.

1. Pillows to encourage side sleeping

Some pillows have ridges to encourage users to roll onto their side like the Posiform Anti-Snore pillow (pictured).

These have proven effective in clinical trials through reducing snoring and apnea events triggered by back-sleeping [1].

“[Using a head positioning pillow] both snoring severity and snoring index were found to be significantly improved in normal-weight patients.”

Many people unaccustomed to sleeping on their side find it uncomfortable. Some pillows address this and promote side sleeping with a triangular shape, or by allowing you to insert your arm into a hole built into it.

Not all pillows have to be for your head. Anti-snoring back pillows that behave like a backpack can also be very effective at preventing you from rolling onto your back.Sometimes, clever configuration of normal pillows can help you to sleep on your side. Read Michael’s story, a SnoreLab user who came up with a creative way of using a camping pillow to keep him sleeping on his side.

2. Wedge pillows


“Though experimenting with SnoreLab, I’ve found that by simply raising my head with a wedge pillow, I can cut my snoring by more than half!”
If you always revert to sleeping on your back, fear not. A foam wedge pillow allows you to sleep on your back whilst effectively reducing your snoring.

Wedge pillows prevent you from being entirely flat – the position where your airway is most prone to obstruction and snoring.

Studies have found that even slightly elevating your head can have dramatic effects on both snoring and sleep apnea, with patients showing an average 32% reduction in their AHI score [2].

Indeed, our own findings back this up. SnoreLab has found that the humble wedge pillow can yield dramatic reductions in Snore Score.

 

Read Fiona’s story, a SnoreLab user who dramatically improved her snoring after we recommended her a wedge pillow.

Many other users have also contacted us about their wedge pillows. We received this App Store review:

“When I first started using SnoreLab, my Snore Score was anywhere between 50 and 96. I started to try some of the different remedies. So I bought a wedge pillow and in one night my Snore Score went down to near zero and has stayed near zero ever since using the pillow. I had seen three doctors, two specialists, one dentist and had a sleep study conducted – they all pointed me to dental appliances which I had trouble wearing. No one had suggested a wedge pillow. Thank you SnoreLab!”

Side note: wedge pillows also help acid reflux

Reflux is where stomach acid comes back into your esophagus and throat causing irritation, disrupting sleep and sometimes influencing snoring in the case of “airway reflux”. If you suspect reflux has a part to play in your snoring, make sure you check out our four-hour-fast technique to your evening meal worsening youre snoring.

 

Shop for SnoreLab recommended

Memory Foam Wedge Pillows

3. CPAP mask pillows

CPAP pillows have cutaways in the sides allowing space for CPAP masks. These significantly improve the comfort of wearing a CPAP mask by lessening the pressure and misalignment that a standard pillow can cause.

Whilst these pillows don’t show a direct impact on apnea reduction [3], they can make wearing a CPAP mask much more comfortable.

The indirect benefits of this are massive; one of the main problems with CPAP is that people don’t stick to it. This bit of added comfort can make the difference between giving up or persisting.

 

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CPAP pillows

4. Realignment pillows

“This pillow is amazing! Not only is it comfortable and helped my neck pain and headaches, but it has reduced the snoring too!”

Many people sleep with a pillow that puts their head either too high or too low which can cause plenty of niggling problems.

There are multiple pillows available that align the head and neck correctly to prevent airway compression. This “cervical positioning” technique can improve snoring as well as producing better sleep and reducing awakenings [4].

 

Shop for SnoreLab’s recommended

Cervical repositioning pillows

5. Smart pillows

 

“This product is amazing, it really works to cut snoring. Several times, my scores were off the charts compared to other users, but with Smart Nora, they dropped off incredibly!”

 

Smart pillows detect snoring and act to stop it. Some pillows vibrate, effectively becoming a snore alarm, whereas others move to stimulate your airways.

A revolutionary new system is the Smart Nora device.

This isn’t actually a pillow. Instead, it manipulates your current pillow. It consists of three main parts: an inflatable insert that fits underneath your ordinary pillow, a pump and a bedside unit (pebble) that listens for snoring.

When you snore, the pebble detects this sound and sends information to the insert which then inflates under your pillow. This gently moves your head, bringing back some muscular tone to your airways so they can open up, shutting down snoring. It does this all whilst keeping you and your partner undisturbed and sleeping peacefully.

 

Full review of Smart Nora

Read

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Conclusion

Bad breathing and the snoring it brings can be the result of bad sleeping positions. If you consider that snoring is a problem with your head and neck, it makes sense to address the thing your head and neck are resting on for one third of your life!

By using SnoreLab to gain insights into your snoring, you should have a good idea of what you want a pillow to do. Whether you want to turn onto your side, stay on your back, get better comfort from a CPAP mask or just sleep more comfortably, there are huge selection of pillows to choose from the could make a huge difference to your snoring.

Sleeping Position and Snoring

Causes

Sleeping Position and Snoring

Sleeping on your back makes you more likely to snore or experience sleep apnea.

Side sleeping is the best sleep position for snoring. This is because side sleeping reduces the compression of your airways.

Back-sleepers can try a variety of techniques to prompt themselves to sleep in healthier, quieter positions …

How to improve your sleeping position

If you find yourself sleeping on your back and snoring, it’s time for some “positional therapy”. Simply put: try sleeping on your side!

Making this basic change, without the need for any invasive techniques, complicated devices or significant expenditure could have a huge impact on your snoring or sleep apnea.

Side note: a history of side-sleeping

It has long been known that side-sleeping prevents snoring. Soldiers in the American War of Independence and in the First World War were advised to wear their rucksacks filled with bulky things whilst they slept. This was to stop them rolling onto their backs and snoring, giving their position away to the enemy [1].

Your sleeping position is an ingrained habit, so can be hard to change. That said, there are techniques that can make a huge difference.

You can try to change your sleeping position with hacks you engineer at home, specially designed pillows or even vibrating training devices that tell your subconscious mind that it’s time to turn over.

1. Homemade hacks

Before you buy something to help you sleep on your side, give some of these free tactics a go:

  • Tennis ball therapy. Tape one or sew a pocket for one to the back of your pajamas to make sleeping on your back difficult.
  • Inflatable pillow prop. Stuff a fully inflated camping pillow into an empty pillowcase. Lie on the empty portion of the pillowcase with your back resting on the inflated pillow. We learnt this trick from SnoreLab user Michael

“I use a small inflatable camping pillow, about half the size of my normal pillow. I blow it up to just short of its maximum so it is very firm and difficult to roll on to and push this inside a normal pillow case all the way to the end which leaves a tail. Sleeping on this tail stops the camping pillow from rolling away whilst propping me up and stopping me from rolling onto my side. If I want to get onto my back it’s quite a struggle and doesn’t happen by accident.”

  • Bed head elevation. For stubborn back sleepers – slot some books underneath the head end of your bed to create the couple of degrees of elevation that could make a real difference.

 

SnoreLab’s full article on homemade hacks to improve your sleeping position

Read

2. Specially designed pillows

Some pillows are designed to keep you in more favourable positions to stop your snoring:

  • Wedge pillow. For the stubborn back sleeper who simply can’t sleep on their side; wedge pillows elevate your head which lessens the effect of weight on your airway. Check out SnoreLab’s recommended memory foam wedge pillow.
  • Neck realignment pillow. If you find side-sleeping uncomfortable on your neck and back, try one of these. SnoreLab’s approved pillow has adjustable height and aligns your airway to reduce the chance of snoring.
  • Pillows to promote side sleeping. Some pillows make it difficult to sleep on your back either with ergonomically designed ridges or with arm holes to stop you turning in your sleep.

“I was recommended a wedge pillow to elevate my head. I saw on the app that this could let me still sleep on my back but in a more elevated position so I was drawn to this idea. I found the position comfortable as I could go back to my preferred sleeping position. It’s also quite firm so my head was nicely elevated which gave me instant success.”Fiona, SnoreLab user.

 

SnoreLab’s full article on specialist anti-snoring pillows

Read

3. Vibrating training devices

These are devices that attach to your body and vibrate when they detect that you are sleeping on your back – the automated equivalent of a nudge in the ribs from your sleep-deprived bed partner.

The subtle vibration creates a subconscious prompt for you to roll onto your side. Evidence for their effectiveness is growing, with tests showing positive results for mild obstructive sleep apnea comparable to using a mouthpiece [2].

“The efficacy of sleep position training therapy was maintained over 12 months and was comparable to that of oral appliance therapy in patients with mild to moderate positional OSA.” [2]

The Snooor wearable trainer is a small and discreet device that sticks to your head or chest. We believe it has the potential to be one of the most effective snoring remedies available:

  • Non-invasive. Simply stick it to your forehead or breastbone. You’ll soon forget it’s there.
  • Easy to use. Simply press the button to turn on and then start feeling the vibrations after 20 minutes.
  • Lightweight and discrete. Measures only 40mm x 40mm.
  • Affordable. Unlike other positional trainers, the Snooor wearable doesn’t require a prescription and is far cheaper than alternatives.

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The science bit – why does sleeping on your back worsen snoring?

When you sleep on your back, your mouth has a tendency to fall open. This changes the shape of your upper airway.

The effect of gravity on your face, head and neck starts to compress your airway; this is particularly poignant if you are overweight due to the excess fat on the neck.

Researchers have measured these altered airway dimensions meticulously: using MRI, radiography and infra-red analysis of the upper airway [3][4]. They found that when you sleep on your back:

  • Your jaw recedes, compressing the upper airway
  • Your tongue falls back
  • There is more oval shape of the upper airway

All of these factors combine to compress the airway, disturb airflow and cause vibration – i.e. snoring. In the worst-case scenario, they cause complete blockage and sleep apnea.

Sleep-breathing problems are often related to an unhealthy sleeping position. More than half of all obstructive sleep apnea cases are referred to as “position-induced” sleep apnea [5], where the severity of the condition is massively reduced when switching to side-sleeping.

Conclusion

If you think your sleeping position is influencing your snoring, it may be time to consider positional therapy to start to sleeping in quieter, healthier positions.

Of course, there are many people who sleep on their side and still snore. Snoring has many causes so it’s important to explore them all.

Remember to check out our guide to specialist snoring pillows and clever hacks to help you sleep on your side.

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