Millions of Americans have difficulty sleeping through the night, and their quality and quantity of sleep, as well as overall health, suffers because of inability to get to or stay asleep. A large portion of these people who experience sleep difficulties snore. In fact, nearly half of all adults snore once in a while, and 25 percent of adults are habitual snorers. Most snorers are men, though women make up one-third of snorers in the younger population, with the gender gap closing once women face menopause. Although snoring may be annoying to partners in the bed, snoring can indicate a larger underlying issue: obstructive sleep apnea.
Though the majority of snorers will not go on to develop sleep apnea, snoring can be detrimental to sleep, health, and your relationship. In most cases, snoring worsens as one ages. More and more homes are being built with double master bedrooms or smaller snore rooms for the offending partner. Snoring is beginning to become an epidemic in our country. The good news for snorers and partners alike is there are some pillows on the market that can greatly reduce one’s likelihood of snoring, thereby increasing the amount of restorative sleep that one gets during the night and reducing the potential for relationship woes due to bothersome snoring.
Why Does Snoring Occur?
Snoring happens because of upper airway turbulence. As air flows in, the uvula and soft palate vibrate. Muscle tone and anatomy figure into one’s proclivity to snoring. As we age, we lose muscle tone, causing the soft palate to become more flabby and easier to vibrate as we breathe at night. Additionally, allergies, weight, and alcohol consumption play a part in determining whether or not you’re a snorer.
Best Pillows for Snorers
There are a few pillow designs that can help prevent snoring. Snoring is most likely to occur when you sleep on your back. If you are able to shift and sleep on your side, it is less likely that you will snore. Some folks just aren’t side sleepers and should look for pillows specifically made for back sleepers that elevate one’s head enough to prevent snoring while still keeping the neck and spine in a neutral position. The good news is that snorers don’t have to be pigeon-holed into choosing just one type of pillow for their needs. There are a variety of pillows for back sleepers and snorers that are available in fiberfill or memory foam. One key difference to note between pillows catering to back sleepers and pillows that work best for snorers is the height of the pillow – snorers should avoid a very flat pillow.
If you prefer fiber filled pillows that are fluffable, make sure to choose a high loft fiber filled pillow. “Loft” in this case refers to the height of the pillow. Snorers need to keep their heads elevated to prevent snoring. Sleeping on an old, flat pillow will likely contribute to worse snoring as compared to a high loft pillow.
If you prefer the feeling of memory foam, try to avoid the block memory foam pillows and opt for a pillow that has a contour on one side. The contour creates a cradle for your head whilst providing the pressure relieving support that you need for your neck and head through the foam material.
No matter what your pillow preferences are, there are a variety of pillows available online and in stores to help reduce the risk of snoring and allow snorers and their partners get a better night’s sleep and improve their overall health.