It’s a common phrase to say that we’re “catching some Z’s” when we go to sleep – but sometimes those Z’s can be a symptom of a larger sleep problem that you may not be aware of.
Sleep apnoea is a serious sleep disorder that is often overlooked by many people. The most common type – obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) – is caused by relaxation of tongue and throat muscles during sleep that obstructs your body’s airways.
What are the causes and symptoms of sleep apnoea?
While most people only attribute sleep apnoea with heavy snoring, this serious condition can cause death due to difficulty breathing and can only get worse as you age or because of other factors like obesity, smoking, genetics, or the use of alcohol and drugs.
Snoring is only one of the possible symptoms. Some other effects of sleep apnoea include gasping and choking in sleep, morning headaches, irritability, sore throat and dry mouth when you wake up, and many more depending on the severity of the case.
What can you do?
There are studies concerning sleep apnoea with helpful treatments that may aid you depending on the severity of the case. It usually involves a lifestyle change in diet and sleep habits, or the use of mouth guards and breathing apparatuses to aid in keeping breathing pathways unobstructed.
Treating sleep apnoea is about clearing your body’s airways, and when figuring out how to treat it, every little bit helps, including looking at how you sleep and what you sleep on.
Take a look at how your mattress can link to obstructive sleep apnoea.
Disclaimer: If you suffer from sleep apnoea, please consult your doctor for properly prescribed medical treatment.
Mattress and Me
We all have a personal relationship with our bed. We prefer different sleeping positions and levels of mattress firmness, so what might work for one person may not necessarily work for another.
Studies have shown however that a large number of sleep apnoea sufferers sleep with a supine position. Back sleepers tend to experience this more since lying flat on your back causes the tongue, pharynx, and soft palate to block your airways so it’s preferable to lie on your side or stomach to prevent sleep apnoea.
To keep yourself from rolling onto your back while asleep, there are certain characteristics of your mattress that should help keep you in the right sleep position.
We recommend that the mattress be firm or medium-firm. A soft mattress or a sagging mattress can cause several issues for your sleep quality. One of these is incorrect spinal alignment when sleeping, making you toss and turn, and possibly ending up in a supine position.
Make sure it isn’t too firm though. Firm mattresses can be really uncomfortable for side sleepers.
Get Support from Memory Foam
Try memory foam mattresses. Or at least look for a mattress that supports pressure points well. Just like the right mattress firmness for spinal support, it's important to find one that provides cushioning for your body. It prevents back pain, by supporting your lower back and shoulder areas to keep your body from stress in the middle of the night, making you lie on your back.
Find a mattress that forms to your body shape well while still being firm enough to support you - and memory foam is a great option for that.
Go for Adjustable Bases
Look for a mattress that works well with adjustable bed bases.
Several studies have delved into the helpful effects of head-of-bed elevation of sleep apnoea. This prevents your tongue and throat muscles from obstructing your airways when you sleep compared to lying supine. If your mattress can work with adjustable bed bases, you will be able to elevate it enough to help get your body in a better position, giving you a more restful sleep.
Many studies have been done and are still being done regarding sleep apnoea. And while it’s always recommended to visit a health professional if you are experiencing this sleep disorder, you might find the link between it and your bed helpful in alleviating the problem. It can help you in picking out the best mattress for you.
You might also find that the Ecosa waterproof mattress is what you’re looking for – layers of memory foam, three different firmness level options to choose from, and fit for different bed bases.
Have a good night's sleep!