Loud and persistent snoring is not only an embarrassing condition, and one that can put a strain on relationships, but it can also be a signal of more serious health conditions. Snoring can lead to dry mouths, parched throats, and increased bacteria that can cause other illnesses. Most importantly, snoring can lead to the development of obstructive sleep apnea, which in turn can put you at increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart arrhythmia, and chronic acid reflux disease.
Snoring occurs when the flow of air of through the nose and mouth is physically obstructed or impeded. Such physical obstruction can be caused by a number of factors, such as obstructed nasal passageways, poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat, bulky throat tissue, and a long soft palate and/or uvula.
Snoring problems can be addressed through painful surgery or expensive medication, but the simplest way to address this issue may be through the use of an anti-snoring device. These range from simple devices like anti-snoring mouthpieces to more complicated ones like CPAP machines. Most of these devices are more or less effective.
However, all of these devices require you to put something in or over your mouth, and many people are not too keen on this idea. Because of this, snoring pillows are a popular alternative to more intrusive devices, but the question is, do they really work?
The function of an anti-snoring pillow is to address one of the major factors related to snoring: sleep position. Since snoring tends to get worse when you’re lying on your back, the anti-snoring pillow is designed to keep you lying on your side, in a position that keeps your airway open. Anti-snoring pillows are typically made from soft and pliable memory foam that allows you to move around somewhat while still remaining in the proper position.
Theoretically, this is a simple fix, but the assumption when you use the anti-snoring pillow is that you will a) not move around too much and b) not slide off the pillow altogether. For people who tend to toss and turn, this is a pretty big assumption. Putting the success or failure of a product on the backs (or in this case, the sides) of people who obviously have no control over their bodies when they are sleeping is just setting that product up for failure. You should be wary of anyone who sells you a product that doesn’t work and then blames you for not using it correctly.
In addition, many people who use anti-snoring pillows complain that they are simply not comfortable, which is obviously the single most important factor for any pillow. Users have reported waking up with stiff necks, sore shoulders, and even headaches. Others have complained about unusual chemical smells in some anti-snoring pillows.
It’s not necessarily the case that anti-snoring pillows don’t work at all, it’s just that there are too many variables that have to be accounted for in order to see effective results. Anti-snoring pillows are an attractive option because they seem to be the easiest one, but if you truly want relief from snoring, you’re probably going to have to take some more concrete steps. You need a device that works in one way and only one way, a device whose function can be explained and diagrammed and backed up by research. In this case, you are better off with a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) or a Tongue Stabilizing Device (TSD). These devices do not depend on your sleeping position, but instead work by moving your jaw forward (in the case of a MAD) or keeping your tongue in place (in the case of a TSD). Since these are the most common reasons for airway obstruction, these devices work by addressing the problem directly.
Bottom line: anti-snoring pillows are a waste of your time and money.