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Sleep Apnea Avoidance Pillow Effects on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Snoring


The study was performed to determine the ability of a new inclined pillow to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The SONA Pillow®is a triangular pillow with space to place your arm under the head while sleeping on the side. Twenty-two patients with nocturnal polysomnogram (NPSG)-proven obstructive sleep apnea syndrome were included in this study; the group included 11 mild, 8 moderate, and 3 severe sleep apnea patients. All patients had a second attended NPSG performed while utilizing this specific inclined pillow. The pillow was found to be an effective and easily used treatment for mild (respiratory disturbance index [RDI] 5 to 19) and moderate (RDI 20 to 40) obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. In this group, RDI ranged from 5.1 to 35.2 and decreased on the average from 17 events per hour to fewer than 5 events per hour while utilizing the inclined pillow (< 0.0001). Also, a statistically significant difference was noted in rapid eye movement (REM) RDI decrement in all patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea (p= 0.001) and the increase in SaO2was also significant (p= 0.004). Overall, snoring was decreased or eliminated (p= 0.017). Conclusion: A uniquely designed pillow (SONA Pillow®) is effective in reducing the number of events in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Using this pillow also reduces snoring.

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Correspondence to Najeeb A. Zuberi M.D..

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Zuberi, N.A., Rekab, K. & Nguyen, H.V. Sleep Apnea Avoidance Pillow Effects on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Snoring. Sleep Breath 8, 201–207 (2004).

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  • Apnea treatment
  • snoring
  • pillow
  • obstructive sleep apnea syndrome