Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing halts and resumes during sleep without his or her knowledge. According to studies, more than 18 million American adults suffer from symptoms of sleep apnea. Loud snoring is one of the many symptoms that could potentially lead to long-term sleep apnea. Sleep apnea if left untreated can lead to various health issues like ailments of the heart, lungs, and liver. It is a lesser known fact that not using the right type of mattress can induce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
The muscles around the throat and neck region relax involuntarily, thus blocking the air passage. As a result, less air is inhaled. So the body gets a limited supply of oxygen. The brain then sends signals that trigger the person to wake up so that they can resume breathing. The person tends to snort, choke or cough as a result. This process can repeat from 5 times in an hour, up to 30 times in severe cases. The ultimate result is that you do not get enough sleep that is consistent and restful. This invariably results in fatigue during the day. Studies have shown that it could lead to complications like blood pressure or ailments of the heart. Not only your sleep, but your partner’s sleep too is equally disrupted due to frequent coughing, snorting, and snoring.
There are many factors that increase the risk of suffering from this sleep disorder. Some of the major risk factors are:
Some of the important factors to consider while choosing a mattress to help prevent sleep apnea and its symptoms are as follows:
1. Body Support: Sleep apnea can be controlled when slept turning to one side, research says. Even though the throat muscles relax, it does not block the air passage or cause difficulty in breathing due to a side position. It is also important that your mattress supports the natural frame of your body when you sleep on your sides. A non-supportive mattress can lead to further complications like chronic back, neck and body ache. On the other hand, a supportive mattress makes sure that the major pressure points of your body (neck, shoulders, back, and hips) is aligned naturally for a better sleep.
2. Motion Isolation: Use a mattress that protects you from disturbance due to movement. If you are consciously trying to sleep on your side to reduce sleep apnea and your partner moves during sleep, you tend to re-adjust your position to sleep on your back if that is the habit you are used to. This again increases the chance of the air passage getting blocked. If you use a mattress with motion absorption, you can comfortably sleep in the same position without disturbances.
Nuvanna, designed by a mattress scientist, is one such mattress which supports the natural frame of your body. The innovative 3 layer construction of the mattress is designed to give you maximum comfort.
3. Adjustable Base: Use an adjustable base for your mattress. Elevate the mattress in such a way that your waist is higher and the feet are lower. This way, there are lesser chances of the airway getting blocked. When the head and neck region are considerably elevated compared to the lower half of the body, sleep apnea can be controlled effectively. If you are comfortable with your upper torso being elevated, this is one of the best options that you can consider.
4. Use An Appropriate Pillow: Keeping the head region elevated during sleep helps to keep the breathing airway unobstructed. Try out pillows of different heights to find the one that is ideal for you. Try the pillow on the mattress that you sleep on. You wouldn’t be able to judge the comfort level if your pillow is used on a different mattress. It is always a good idea to rest your head on the pillow on your own mattress to judge the comfort level fairly. Try to lie on your side to get the maximum benefit of the elevation. Pillows of the right height for you can help in curbing sleep apnea.
As additional pointers, some tips that you can do to avoid sleep apnea. Avoid sedatives that dull the senses so that you can be aware of the apnea symptoms. Exercise to lose weight as a flabby neck could be conducive to blocking the airway. Quit smoking if you are a smoker. Smoking increases your risk and symptoms of sleep apnea. In severe cases, treatment along with lifestyle changes too are necessary. By using the right type of mattress with an adjustable base that elevates your upper body, and a comfortable pillow of the right height can help in reducing this serious sleep disorder. Being woken up by symptoms of sleep apnea may soon be a thing of the past.