Snoring a Pain in Your Neck?

Have you ever tried to fall asleep while your partner is laying there snoring? It has to be one of the most frustrating times. You try and try to fall asleep burying your head in your pillow hoping that noise will just go away and it won’t, finally out of desperation you move or shake them, even wake them to try to get them to stop snoring and it does help, but only for a little while. If you are lucky enough to fall asleep during that short period, good for you, but some of us are not so lucky.

Studies show an estimated 45% of the population snores occasionally. But snoring can cause great distress and tension for the bed partners of snorers, which is why 80% of couples end up sleeping in different rooms. This is not an ideal situation for a good relationship or marriage.

Snoring is a sign that your body is having to work harder than it should to breathe and as you get older, gain weight and lose muscle tone, snoring can lead to periods of not breathing at night. This is called sleep apnea.

Most people snore more loudly when they’re on their back. Most loud snoring will cease when the snorer is rolled onto their side. There are several companies that manufacture neck pillows, collars and even mattresses that will position your body to reduce snoring and improve sleep quality for the snorer and the partner.

Neck Support Pillow Reduces Snoring When the head and neck is placed in flexion, as in the poor neck posture position, there is a slackening effect on the suprahyoid muscles resulting in possible occlusion of the airway as the hyoid bone and larynx drop down and back against the throat. Using a neck support pillow, the head and neck extension pulls the hyoid bone up and forward which may also relieve occlusion resulting in the restoration of air flow and reduction of snoring.

Doctors know that snorers need their heads and necks properly cradled and elevated, this is called proper neck posture, so these pillows actually contain elevated panels for proper neck posture positioning. These pillows are designed to gently and easily position the sleeper’s head to the side, keeping their body in a position more conducive to restful sleep. This lowers the chances of the sleeper’s airway being obstructed which reduces the chance of snoring due to a less struggle for air which makes breathing easier.

Although anti snoring pillows will not always work, many people have benefited from this simple addition to their bedding ensemble. Proper positioning of the neck often leaves an airway unobstructed, causing the throat to open the airway passage. You may actually begin to enjoy a higher quality of sleep while your partner enjoys a more peaceful night’s rest. If your snoring persists even after sleeping on a snoring pillow, this may or may not be a symptom of a more serious problem and you may want to contact your doctor.

However, the use of a neck support pillow to assist in airway opening should be standard practice in the management of upper airway dysfunction related to sleep (1).

The diagram above illustrates the improvement in airway obstruction and reduction of snoring while sleeping on your back. The form of the pillow is a contour support pillow. The pillows below conform to this configuration as an anti snoring pillow.