Is a pillow the cure to your snoring curse?

December 25, 2012 6:34:07 PM PST
Do you have a hard time sleeping because you snore, or the person next to you in bed does? There are new specialty pillows promising to help you sleep. But do they really work?

Matthew Hall doesn't do it on purpose, he doesn't even realize it's happening. He snores. And when he starts, his wife is sure to let him know it.

"When I get swatted I know that, uh, it's time to roll over," Hall said.

Now there's a growing market of specialty pillows to help people like Hall.

"Minimizing snoring or minimizing sleep apnea, pillows that can supposedly provide better support for the neck for people who have things like neck strain," neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. Clete Kushida said.

The Sona Pillow is designed to keep sleepers on their side. Its contoured design claims to cradle the head to create optimal breathing alignment.

It promises to cut down on snoring and mild sleep apnea are FDA-cleared. But can this kind of technology could actually work?

"Pillows that kind of, you know, force a person to sleep on their side might provide some benefit," Dr. Kushida said.

Another model by Brookstone promotes a built-in support system to cradle your head and neck, promising to keep your chin out and airway open. .

"Putting the head and neck in a CPR-type position, you could actually help open up the airway to a degree," Dr. Kushida said.

Both the Sona and Brookstone tout clinical tests to back up their claims, but Dr. Kushida points out...

"Take it with a grain of salt because a lot of those studies are based on just a few patients," he said.

He does say if you have serious sleep issues, don't pin your hopes to a pillow.

We had Hall test the Brookstone pillow for two weeks. It didn't work for him. When we told Brookstone that, the company reiterated it promises, stating the pillow had been clinically tested to make sleeping more comfortable and reduce snoring.


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