Sleep disorders play a significant role in the health – and often happiness – of many Americans, often becoming a major obstacle to a restful night’s sleep. One of the common sleep disorders is sleep apnea, which affects an estimated 22 million or more Americans, nearly 80 percent of which go undiagnosed.
In addition to impeding the quality of your sleep, suffering from sleep apnea can also affect you in many other ways. Chronic lack of sleep can contribute to a whole host of health issues, negatively impacting both your short- and long-term health. In addition to physical ailments, sleep deprivation also has a marked effect on many people’s mental health, often detracting from their overall quality of life.
However, there’s good news: Understanding the symptoms and potential contributors to sleep disorders can help you take a proactive role in restoring your health and reclaiming the high-quality sleep you want and need.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is one of many conditions categorized as a sleep disorder and is among the most common causes of chronic sleep problems in America. When a person has sleep apnea, their normal breathing pattern is disrupted during sleep during interruptions referred to as “micro-arousals.” While they’re sleeping, their breathing stops and restarts, completely outside of their control.
Sometimes, the person may wake up fully as a result of the disruption, but more often, their deep sleep is simply disturbed without them realizing it. These breathing disruptions can occur dozens, or even hundreds, of times per night, significantly reducing the quality of sleep on a regular basis.
Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, you may be losing out on up to one-third of your sleep time every single night. This means that even if you’re physically in bed for eight hours per night, your body (and mind) is only benefitting from about five and a half hours of sleep – that’s a big difference!
But how do you know if you have sleep apnea? Because the condition is most noticeable when you’re asleep, it can often go undiagnosed. Often, a partner will notice the sleep disturbances before you do, but there are a few symptoms to be aware of:
- Chronic snoring
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Irritability or moodiness
- Physical exhaustion
Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to a wide range of health concerns, including heart disease and stroke, making it critical that you speak to a doctor if you believe you may be suffering from the condition.
Sleep Apnea and Mattresses: Is There a Connection?
Thankfully, if you or a loved one are dealing with sleep apnea, there are many lifestyle adjustments you can make to minimize the condition and its effect on your nightly sleep. You may need to undergo a sleep study to determine exactly which treatment methods will work best for you, and a long-term plan will generally be put into place by a medical professional.
However, there is one thing you can do right away: improve your sleeping environment by investing in a high-quality mattress. When you’re shopping for a mattress to improve sleep apnea, there are three key factors you’ll want to consider:
- Breathability: Since sleep apnea is a breathing-related issue, it makes sense to choose a mattress made from materials designed to support healthy breathing. Memory foam or latex mattresses can be ideal because they are dust mite-resistant and hypoallergenic, though some hybrid mattresses may also be effective.
- Support: For those suffering from sleep apnea, a side-sleeping position is commonly recommended (and usually necessary for those who use CPAP machines). As a result, proper support is very important, especially to relieve pressure points. A mattress that can contour to your body, while still providing moderate firmness, can provide both comfort and spinal alignment.
- Adjustability: Keeping your airway open is important for anyone with sleep apnea and options such as adjustable base beds make it easier than ever to find your perfect sleep position.
The Best Mattresses for Sleep Apnea
If you’re searching for a good mattress for sleep apnea, you may want to consider one of our top picks:
Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt Medium Hybrid
Tempur-Pedic mattresses are known as some of the best in the world – and for a good reason. With innovative sleep technology, this mattress can adapt perfectly to your body’s shape and positioning to offer optimal, customized comfort.
Additionally, this mattress is compatible with the Tempur-Pedic adjustable bed bases so that you can find your ideal sleep position. If you and your partner prefer different sleeping elevations, you might want to consider the split king model, which allows you to adjust each side individually to suit personal preferences.
Sealy Essentials Conform Upbeat
With a combination of Sealy ComfortSense Memory Foam and Sealy Support Gel Base Foam, this premium mattress is impressively comfortable – and surprisingly affordable. It’s firm and supportive, encouraging healthy alignment and pressure point relief, but still lets you sink into just enough softness to enjoy a relaxing night’s sleep.
Scott Living Latex Cozy Luxury (Firm)
Expertly crafted with premium latex and made for multi-zone support, this top-quality, hypoallergenic mattress is an excellent option. Another benefit to the Scott Living latex mattress is its durability, making it a smart long-term investment that will provide years of comfortable sleep.
Other Tips for Improving Sleep Apnea
Once you’ve found the best mattress for sleep apnea, there are still other ways you can continue to improve your condition. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, you may find that one or more of the following lifestyle changes can help your symptoms:
- Choosing a high-quality pillow that provides proper support. Much like selecting a well-suited mattress for sleep apnea, upgrading to an excellent pillow can also make a difference in your sleep. Many people don’t realize that mattresses aren’t the only thing that’s received a major boost from recent advancements in sleep technology – pillows have also come an impressively long way.
- Achieve (and maintain) a healthy weight. One of the biggest contributors to sleep apnea is excessive weight, especially for people that tend to carry the weight in their upper body. Studies have shown that even a small to moderate amount of weight loss can help sleep apnea sufferers avoid more invasive treatment options, such as surgery or long-term CPAP machine therapy.
- Try switching up your sleep position. Although many people sleep on their back, it’s actually the worst position for those dealing with sleep apnea. Instead, try sleeping on your side, and consider purchasing a pillow and mattress that supports you properly in that position.
Get a Better Night’s Sleep with MATTRESS360
Ready to take back your life and take charge of your sleep apnea symptoms? With the right mattress and support from your healthcare provider, it’s more than possible to achieve an excellent night’s sleep. At MATTRESS360, we carry a wide variety of premium mattresses to support healthy sleep, including several ideal options for sleep apnea.
Our team is happy to help you find the right mattress to suit your specific sleep needs, and we’ll have you back to sleeping soundly in no time. For more information about how to help sleep apnea with the right mattress, and to check out the lowest mattress prices in Phoenix for yourself, stop our showroom in Glendale, AZ today or call (623) 376-8360.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Alena Ozerova