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Get A New Pillow...
#1
Now that your recognize that you have sleep apnea, treatment of it means you will need to change pillows.

What has worked in the past isn't necessarily going to work anymore and may even be making your therapy have to go to higher levels than necessary.

Tossing your old favorite pillow may be traumatic but sleep apnea is more so. Depending on what position you insist on sleeping in, or now must sleep in, you will need a pillow that favors that position.

Forgive me for stating the obvious but a side sleeper must have a side sleeper pillow. That means a pillow that gives the proper added lift so that shoulder and arm discomfort are minimized. You may also need a memory foam mattress topper. One little warning here: foam pillows and memory foam toppers are warmer and that can bother some people but there are ways to work around that.

A back sleeper will need a flatter than normal pillow. I suggest either a feather filled one or a combination feather/polyester fill version that will allow you to mold the pillow's contour to suit your needs. These need not be expensive items and although they may not be "store available" you can get them shipped to most major stores and avoid any shipping costs. When selecting one, remember the beer ad, "Less filling, tastes great", and select one with a low fill number.

Finally, if you absolutely must sleep on your back and it causes you to require a very high therapy pressure setting, try sleeping without a pillow and just support your neck with some padding so you remain fairly flat without any head elevation. It can be the difference between failure and success.

Most of the previous is obvious but sometimes new users think/expect the CPAP machine to fix all of their problems. It's better if you give it as "head start" (pun intended) by changing your head support.

Sleep-well
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#2
Surfie, I'm not sure I agree with all this. At least in my case. Sleeping on my back is not an "absolutely must," it's a treasured ability. However sleeping flat, or on a flatter pillow does not bode well with my apnea or my emphysema. I must have my head elevated with a decent pillow if nothing else. Also, sleeping on my side is a pleasure as well, and since I go from back to side to back to side all night, I don't think it would work out too well to have any special sort of pillow to do that.

I had a great pillow that accommodated any of my nighttime needs, but the puppies ate it. Now I have a new one, and it's ok, just not quite the same.

So it comes down to this: Everyone is different. Except me of course, I'm the same. But being different everyone needs to spend some quality time figuring out the best configurations for comfortable sleep. So your ideas above are great.
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#3
Well R_G, If you insist, use a pillow to elevate your head but do so in such a way that it doesn't cause your neck to bend and push your chin down closer to your chest. You can be different and still be the same. Big Grin
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#4
I think SD is worried you will get a crick in your neck. ouch.
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#5
I actually modified my pillow to suit my needs. I opened up the seam and removed some of the filling so that I can more easily mold it into a shape that works best for me.

Warning; Pillow fill can make an awful mess so do this outside the house while the wind is blowing. Great-info
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#6
(09-17-2014, 10:46 AM)Clementine Wrote: I think SD is worried you will get a crick in your neck. ouch.

Not so much..it's more that lowering your chin closer to your chest tends to restrict the airway more.

S_G could possibly get dain bramaged! Grin
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#7
(09-17-2014, 10:48 AM)surferdude2 Wrote: Warning; Pillow fill can make an awful mess so do this outside the house while the wind is blowing. Great-info

Hummpphhh.. Nothin! Foam rubber pillows, "post puppy," is much worse than a few lousy feathers.

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#8
Chiming in here..... I have been using the same pillow I had before my diagnosis. I was in the past pretty much unable to sleep on my back at all. Now I can sleep on my back and on my side. I find the P10 just tucks and rolls with me. I haven't changed my pillow or my sleeping habits much (beyond actually being able to sleep now). I see all the fancy dancy apnea pillows out there with holes here and there and special formations, and it has had me wondering if they are more needed for the FFM or the Nasal Mask, and those larger masks people use as opposed to us lucky enough to be able to use the light nasal pillow masks.
If everyone thinks alike, then someone isn't thinking.
Everyone knows something, together we could know everything.
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#9
Galactus, Your point is well taken...if your therapy isn't such that the pressure is bothering you, you have no good reason to change your pillow, et al.

Some of us more unfortunates need to minimize our pressure requirements for comfort reasons. Doing that and still maintaining effective therapy is a win - win for us. I think that's especially applicable for newbies.

Like you, I do refuse to get some goofy shaped CPAP pillow though.Agreed
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#10
Just think, if you can lower the therapy pressure by 2cm wc by getting a different pillow and another 2 ~ 4 cm wc by changing your sleep position, you may be able to list your CPAP machine on Craigslist and sleep soundly.

I'm kidding but actually there is an element of truth there since some folks can and are handling their apnea by taking steps like that.
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