Considerations for Apnea Sleepers ?

Good Evening Phoenix, This is my 1st post since discovering the site yesterday. I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea and a tech is coming over with a CPAP machine in two days. The sleep study said I stop breathing 28 times per hour which can become problematic over time. Otherwise, I’m a healthy, active 59 yr. old – who’s 6 ft 1 inch & 195 lbs.

The prospect of being to tethered to a breathing machine is not very appealing and a very nice salesperson in a Sleep America suggested I invest in a new mattress (she was advocating a Serta I-Comfort). It seems clear from what I’ve gathered on this site that the I-Comfort series is NOT for me and I’m hoping that a locally-manufactured, latex mattress might significantly improve the quality of my sleep. I’m prone to pressure sensitivity from 2 shoulder & 1 knee surgeries, from pushing too hard in the gym (soft tissue soreness), & from mental, work-related stress. I’m told my apnea is primarily “obstructive”.

I’m pretty sure you’re not a doctor but maybe you have some insight or experience to share regarding apnea-prone folks. There’s a lot of us out there and many who do not even know that the quality of their sleep in compromised by breathing irregularities.

Do you have any specific suggestions and can you recommend a local (Phx, AZ) manufacturer? The mattress will be shared with my “most wonderful in the whole world” wife who’s a mere 138 lbs.

I appreciate that you are “up-front” regarding your biases and I sense that you’re a person of integrity. I look forward to hearing from you.

Goodyear Travels

Hi Goodyear Travels,

Post #4 here and this thread should help you find some great choices in Phoenix :slight_smile:

You’re right that I’m not a doctor of course but I know enough about sleep apnea and the importance of sleep itself to know that it can be a difficult and important issue. The obstructive version at least can be a little “easier” to deal with.

As you know, back sleeping can sometimes aggravate snoring and/or obstruction and with your pressure sensitivity there is a chance that you are not able to spend as much time on your side as you would otherwise spend while you are sleeping. A new mattress can certainly help with this … assuming you normally spend time on your side. If a mattress is correctly constructed for your individual needs (weight distribution, body proportions, and sleeping positions), then it can both relieve pressure and keep the body in alignment both of which can help you stay in a beneficial sleeping position for longer. Enough softness and thickness in the upper comfort layers to relieve pressure while on the side (if this is a normal sleeping position) and enough firmness in the support layers to keep the spine in alignment in all sleeping positions are both important. A good pillow that helps keep your head and neck in good alignment is also important.

An adjustable bed with the head raised slightly has also helped some people with the obstruction of the airways and snoring while sleeping on the back.

Melatonin and other natural hormones which are involved in the natural sleeping rhythms have also helped some people.

There are various devices which can help keep the nasal passages open to encourage breathing through the nose if this is part of the issue. Diet can also play a role in keeping the airways open and making nasal breathing easier as can investigation into any low level chronic allergies which may be affecting you.

Sometimes a series of little things added up can make a big difference and encourage deeper and more restful sleep. These include diet and eating habits, lifestyle changes (including weight control which doesn’t seem to be a real issue in your case), relaxation techniques, and looking at other habits (when you eat, when you go to bed, and other habits that can affect your sleep). Sometimes when you do certain things are just as important as the things themselves.

Sleeping microclimate (temperature and moisture regulation) can also make a difference in how deeply you sleep and the use of natural fibers instead of synthetics and especially the use of wool in a mattress quilting or mattress pad can help encourage deeper sleep. Temperature, humidity levels, darkness, noise, and dust or other air contaminants can also play a big role in the quality and depth of sleep.

Bear in mind that these are only general ideas that may prove beneficial and that there are many more that may apply to your specific circumstances.

One final comment is that a side to side split construction may also be beneficial. It is important in your case to address your specific needs in a mattress and with a split construction … you can each choose the layering that is best for you without having to “compromise” by choosing a construction that is an “average” between the two of you…

Your one advantage is that Phoenix has some great choices in high quality and excellent value mattresses.