Can a Wedge Pillow Help Sleep Apnea?


Hey Sleep Warrior! 

Today, we're diving into a common question: Can a wedge pillow improve your sleep apnea? The short answer: you guessed it - it depends. 

You’ve seen them – those pictures of people resting comfortably on a wedge pillow in bed - maybe you’ve even been tempted to try one for yourself. But, with prices ranging from $50 to over $200, it’s crucial to consider if it’s the right solution for you. 

Let's unpack who should and who shouldn’t consider these comfy-looking bed buddies.  

Wedge pillows are designed to elevate your upper body, helping to mitigate symptoms of acid reflux and potentially easing sleep apnea in some users. It helps by minimizing the backward gravitational pull on the tongue and throat, which can lead to obstruction of the airway in untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The slight elevation of the wedge can make breathing easier and reduce the severity of apnea episodes.

So, who should and who shouldn’t use a wedge pillow? Whether you use CPAP or not, 

Those who may benefit from a wedge pillow include: 

#1) Those who primarily sleep on their backs

#2) Those who have significant acid reflux, or heartburn


Those who should probably avoid a wedge pillow include:

#1) Side Sleepers or people who are trying to sleep on their sides. If you are sleeping on your side, using a wedge pillow might not be ideal. It could force you to shift to sleeping on your back—increasing the likelihood of airway obstruction. This is because sleep apnea is generally better on your side already (thanks to the whole gravity thing!). So, this change in position might actually exacerbate your sleep apnea symptoms. Of course there are some wedge pillows specifically designed for side sleepers. 

Of course, if you are using your auto-adjusting CPAP machine, it should accommodate for whatever position you chose to sleep in, wedge or not. 

So, in summary, should you buy a wedge pillow? If you suffer from reflux and predominantly sleep on your back, a wedge pillow might be a good addition to your sleep toolkit. But, for side sleepers with sleep apnea, wedge pillows can shift you to your back, potentially worsening obstructive sleep apnea. 

As always, consult with a sleep specialist to tailor any sleep accessories specifically to your needs.

Thanks for being here, I’ll see you next week.

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Due to the recent recall and general delays in healthcare services, many people are forced to wait to get their CPAP machines. There are things you can do to prepare, so download the first of its kind guide with actionable tips you can start on today.


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