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Do anti-snoring pillows really work?

An estimated 25 percent of all adults snore regularly, while another 45 percent are occasional snorers. If two people sleep in the same bed, there’s a pretty good chance that there will, eventually, be some snoring going on. Living in a city as busy as Hong Kong, most people might not have time to investigate deeper into their snoring but instead look for a quick fix, such as buying a pillow to reduce their snoring. Before rushing to the department store to buy your anti-snore pillow, it might be good to quickly research how these products really work and whether it’s the best solution for your problem.

Do pillows really affect snoring?

According to existing research, there are several ways that your pillow could affect your snoring. How you position your body during sleep can cause (or reduce) snoring noticeably, and some pillows are more capable than others of making you sleep in a certain position.

Most people who snore tend to sleep on their back, which is a position that tends to pull the tissues around your airway downward and make it narrower. The base of your tongue and soft palate could also collapse back to your throat. These scenarios can obstruct your breathing and, over a long course of time, even increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can also cause you to snore.

This is not to say that sleeping on your back is the main cause of your snoring, but your sleeping position could be a possible cause, especially if your current pillow is not the ideal fit. If your pillow (or pillows, if you are using two) keeps your head and jaw too far forward or too far backward, your breathing could become obstructed, and the snoring would occur.

With that being said, any well-designed pillow can potentially help reduce snoring and have a positive impact on your sleep quality. What you should find out, then, is whether the “anti-snore” pillow you are looking to buy has the right design to keep you in a position that could potentially reduce snoring.

The verdict: Do anti-snoring pillows really work then?

While many pillows out there are marketed as anti-snore, it is very likely that some or many of them will not be able to reduce your snoring.

Before buying a pillow marketed as “anti-snore”, you might want to ask for relevant clinical studies and tests that support the product’s claims. There is research on positional therapy for obstructive sleep apnea and the effect on snoring of using a pillow to change the head position that you can reference, but the efficacy of each product will vary.

Another key note to keep in mind: pillows that have a better chance of reducing your snore will be the ones that can keep you sleeping on your side while keeping your neck in neutral alignment. This is because sleeping on your side can help avoid the obstruction in your airway that is often caused by lying on your back.

Anti-snore pillows that effectively keep you sleeping on your side can potentially bring a decisive change to your snoring if sleeping on your back is the root cause. But if your snoring is caused by advancing age, alcohol consumption, weight gain, or any nose and throat conditions, anti-snore pillows might not have such a significant impact on reducing your snore.

What other products can help reduce snoring?

If noise is your biggest concern and you want immediate results, the most scientific solution readily available might just be a pair of earplugs.

Because of how prevalent snoring is amongst adults, many products that have little effect on reducing snores will take advantage of people’s desire to look for an immediate remedy by promising a quick fix. An article by Healthline from 2019 tested several “anti-snoring devices” sold on amazon, and the results were simply disappointing.

Permanently reducing your snore will most likely require more than just an anti-snore pillow or any devices. Taking the time to investigate your snore’s root cause can help you permanently tackle the problem.

Rather than relying on your pillow to help with your snoring, rectifying bad habits and treating conditions such as apnea will bring many health benefits to you in the long run.

Find out what is causing you to snore

It is estimated that 26% of people aged between 30 and 70 suffer from sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder whose symptoms include frequent snoring. While snoring is by no means a disease, your frequent and heavy snoring might be a symptom of a larger problem. It might be wise to investigate this possibility in addition to looking for a pillow to help with your snoring.

People with sleep apnea often suffer from one or more of these symptoms:

  • Heavy and frequent snoring
  • Mouth breathing during sleep
  • Frequent nocturnal urination
  • Morning headaches
  • Tiredness during the day
  • And other symptoms listed here

Aside from causing snores and headaches, sleep apnea could also lead to more serious health problems, such as increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Fortunately, sleep apnea tests are very accessible in Hong Kong and, once diagnosed, can be safely eliminated through treatment. Learn more about snoring and sleep apnea, testing and diagnosis, and treatment now.

The information above contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.