How to Choose a Mattress for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious but often undiagnosed sleep disorder that affects millions of American adults. The most common type, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the soft tissues of the throat collapse, temporarily closing the airway during sleep. This causes the sufferer to repeatedly rouse to catch their breath due to low oxygen, though usually not to the point that they fully awake. This pattern repeats throughout the night, making it difficult to reach the restorative stages of sleep.
Some signs that you might be suffering from sleep apnea are loud snoring, waking up with a dry mouth, insomnia, excessive sleepiness during the day, and/or waking up with a headache. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can lead to more serious health concerns, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, and liver problems. It’s always best to consult your doctor if you feel you might have sleep apnea—a sleep study, performed at either a sleep center or via at-home monitoring, can help determine if you do have the condition, and allow you to get the help you need to address it.
Having the proper mattress can play an important role in treating sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back exacerbates obstructive sleep apnea, by allowing your tongue and soft palate to rest against the back of your throat and block your breathing. Experts recommend sleeping on your side, as this sleep position naturally reduces incidents of obstructed breathing in the night. If this isn’t your preferred sleep position, or if you find that you start out on your side and tend to roll onto your back in the night, it’s important to find a mattress that will allow you to comfortably sleep on your side throughout the night.
Ideally, a mattress for a side sleeper will be firm enough to keep the spine aligned properly throughout the night, but have enough give to prevent sore spots from developing at pressure points like the shoulder and hip. In general, a mattress with medium firmness will offer the right combination of support and give to make side sleeping comfortable. If you’re not sure of the exact degree of support you need, or if you and your partner have different needs, an adjustable air mattress will allow you to experiment until you find the exact right firmness.
Despite their best intentions, some sleepers find that they simply can’t shift to a side-sleeping position. If this is the case with you, there is another possible solution. An adjustable base that elevates the head of the bed can help you sleep comfortably on your back without risking episodes of obstructed breathing.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, IDLE Sleep can help you find the right mattress and base to give you a restful, healthy night’s sleep. All of our mattresses incorporate the latest in pressure-relieving, cooling foams, and our IDLE Air and adjustable bases offer countless options for customizable firmness and positioning. At IDLE Sleep, we know that to have a great day, you need to start with a great night’s sleep. Click here to find out which IDLE Sleep mattress is right for you.