Many snorers seek a snoring remedy for the benefit of others: spouses, family members, or roommates who have had enough of their nighttime disturbances. However, snoring is sometimes an indicator of breathing troubles in the snorer, and the person snoring may be experiencing less-than-ideal sleep themselves. In fact, WebMD says that 75% of snorers are likely suffering from some degree of sleep apnea, a condition that causes frequent breath stoppage during sleep. So, besides for being considerate to others, finding a snoring solution will probably be good for the snorer, too. A great place to start looking for that solution may be with an anti-snore pillow.
Snoring is the result of some sort of blockage in the airway. For habitual snorers, it is likely that some part of the airway itself, whether throat muscles or tissue, the palate, tonsils, or the uvula, is so large or so relaxed that it is impeding the free flowing of air, and the noise of the snoring is the vibration of air moving across the blockage. The key to stopping snoring, then, is to keep the airway entirely clear, and the right pillow can help with that.
A pillow is a great place to start searching for a snoring solution because it is relatively inexpensive and non-invasive. Mouth guards or other mouthpieces, CPAP masks, and surgeries are more drastic and invasive solutions, so why not begin with a pillow?
What types of Anti Snoring Pillows are Available?
One way a pillow could reduce or eliminate snoring is by promoting a new sleeping position. Many snorers find that sleeping on their back results in the most snoring, but either don’t want to change sleeping positions or find that they always revert to a back-sleeping position in their sleep. Some anti-snoring pillows, then, make back sleeping difficult or uncomfortable to ensure that the sleeper stays on their side all night.
Another anti-snoring pillow option focuses on support, even in a back sleeping position. These pillows use lower-resistance materials such as memory foam to allow sleepers to remain in a natural position that will keep the airway open. Since memory foam conforms to the shape of the head and neck, it should not force the head or neck into an unnatural position. Yet, because memory foam is so dense, it will also provide strong support for the head and neck in their natural position, so the neck will not droop or shift into a position that closes the airways. Air or water are sometimes also used to achieve these goals.
Shape is another factor that some anti-snoring pillows employ to eliminate snoring. They may be contoured, with an extra support provided under the neck, or they may be intentionally lowered in the middle for the same reason: keeping the airway open rather than tipping the head and neck forward, obstructing the airway. Other shape variations are designed to achieve the goal of changing sleep positions, as mentioned above. For example, one popular brand is designed to encourage side sleeping by providing a notch for sleepers to put their arm through.
How to Choose the Best Pillow for Snoring
To decide which anti-snoring pillow may be best for you, get to know yourself as a sleeper, either with the help of a medical professional or informally. A visit to a doctor, and perhaps even a sleep study, can help determine a more exact cause for your snoring to help you find a more customized treatment. However, even if you can’t or don’t want to go through all that, some simple observation could help. With the help of a family member or friend, try to determine whether you snore more under certain conditions, especially in certain sleeping positions. For example, if you learn that you only snore on your back, you can seek out an anti-snoring pillow that will keep you sleeping silently on your side. You may even be able to learn whether your snoring grows worse if your head is tipped forward or backwards, which would lead you to purchase a pillow that discourages those positions.
You should also consider your preferred pillow material. While many people enjoy memory foam, a few people find it uncomfortable. The prospect of filling a pillow with air or water may sound difficult to you, too, so you could filter those options out if that is the case.
Look for a pillow that suits you
Other orthopedic issues should also be taken into account when choosing a pillow. If you are prone to back or neck pain for example, read user reviews for the product you are interested in to make sure that users haven’t found this pillow to worsen pain in those areas. On the flip side, some anti-snoring pillows may also be designed to reduce certain types of pain, so you could take care of two problems with one pillow purchase.
Of course, trying a pillow out is the only way to know for sure whether it will help your snoring. Look at return policies and warranties when purchasing, as many pillows cannot be returned. Many anti-snore pillow users would tell you that a new pillow is worth a try; they report a drastic difference in their snoring habits immediately upon switching to a new pillow. This means you could be one purchase away from a silent, restful sleep.