Snoring & Sleep Apnoea
There are a number of sleep pillows on the market aimed at treating snoring and mild sleep apnoea. They each aim to maintain an open airway during sleep by using positional therapy.
Some are designed to keep the upper part of the body elevated, relying on gravity to reduce the tendency of the throat to collapse when lying horizontally. While other pillows encourage you to sleep on your side and include a moulded form in the pillow that aims to keep the chin out and the airway open. A variation on the theme is the 'sleep pillow' shirt, in the back of the shirt is a pillow that discourages the wearer to sleep on their back.
Research into the effectiveness of sleep pillows is currently very limited. Positional therapy could potentially offer some relief in mild cases of sleep apnoea and snoring. However during the course of the night the sufferer can move at any time. A sleep pillow cannot be as effective as a mandibular advancement appliance at holding the lower jaw and tongue forward during the course of the night.