How to choose a bed pillow for COPD & sleep apnea

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to choose a bed pillow for COPD & sleep apnea
A restless night of sleep makes you want to hit the snooze button frequently. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Sleep difficulties are a common side effect to health problems such as sleep apnoea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Your quality of life can be adversely affected if you cannot get the proper sleep each night to restore your body. Choosing the correct type of bed pillow helps reduce the symptoms of these diseases so that you can rest better. Sleep apnoea is a condition that blocks or partially blocks your air passageways when you are trying to sleep. COPD refers to different diseases that restrict the proper airflow to your lungs, thus making it difficult to breathe.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cervical pillow
  • Dust-mite proof pillow case

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  1. 1

    Shop at places that carry a large assortment of different styles of pillows. Excellent places to find special pillows are department, bed and bath or health supply stores.

  2. 2

    Look for a cervical pillow. This type of pillow supports your head and keeps it in one position to help prevent sleep apnoea breathing problems.

  3. 3

    Check the label to determine what materials the cervical pillow contains. Foam rubber is best for sufferers of COPD, since the material does not harbour dust mites as much as a goose down or feather pillow. Dust mites aggravate breathing due to frequent coughing.

  4. 4

    Purchase a pillow case that is dust mite- or bed bug-proof. These materials reduce dust mites that aggravate the COPD symptoms. Your cervical pillow may come with its own cover, but may not be dust mite-proof.

Tips and warnings

  • Sewing a tennis ball to the back of your pyjamas helps keep you from rolling onto your back while sleeping. Raising the head of your bed four to six inches also helps the patient to breathe better.
  • Wash the pillow case and your bed linens at least once a week in hot water. This helps get rid of dust mites that settle on the bedding.
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom may help with COPD symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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