Can a Latex Mattress Relieve Sleep Apnea Naturally?
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person suffers pauses in breathing or episodes of shallow breathing during sleep. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. In OSA, as sleep apnea sufferers relax into sleep, more relaxed muscle tone around the larynx and esophagus leads to closure of the airways, so that the person with sleep apnea can't breathe.
As blood oxygen drops, the body signals the brain to disrupt your sleep until breathing has resumed. The body wakens either partially or totally to restore oxygen flow. For sufferers of severe sleep apnea, deep and uninterrupted sleep can be rare or nonexistent, since interruptions occur repeatedly. The result can be daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, pain, and long-term impacts on brain function.
How Does Your Mattress Affect Sleep Apnea?
The creation of Talalay latex foam is more labor-intensive than the older Dunlop method of latex foam manufacture. Talalay is formed in a laboratory, where liquid latex is first whipped, then poured into a frame.
Sleeping on your side, or in the 'lateral' position, is recommended to help minimize the occurrence of sleep apnea. Sleep studies published in the journal SLEEP in 2001 and in 2006 found side sleeping to reduce the severity of OSA and the less common central sleep apnea (CSA), in which the brain apparently forgets to tell the body to breathe, at least briefly.
A firm mattress tends to be favored by those who sleep on their back or stomach (known in sleep research as a 'supine' position), and can encourage stomach or back sleeping. A mattress that sags in the middle can also encourage back or stomach sleeping, as your body tries to adjust.
A soft or medium-soft yet supportive mattress with the ability to minimize painful pressure points while still aligning your spine encourages healthy side sleeping. Natural latex foam is one of the few materials that can combine dependable support with body-contouring softness to encourage comfortable, fidget-free side sleeping.
Deep Sleep is Possible..
A 2001 study in the journal SLEEP found that apnea was no more likely to occur in one stage of sleep than another, so it's theoretically possible for people with sleep apnea to get a good night's sleep. With a comfortable mattress thatencourages side-sleeping and minimizes pain, you're more likely to sleep deeply.
Researchers have found that sleep deprivation actually makes OSA worse. A comfortable, supportive mattress that helps you sleep deeply may contribute toward helping you keep your sleep apnea under control.
Why Should You Find Out Whether You Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is more than an inconvenience. Over time, OSA can actually cause high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to a study published in the January 2002 issue of American Family Physician. Sleep apnea has also been associated with long-term damage to portions of the brain that handle memory and spatial orientation, according to research published in Neuroscience Letters in 2008.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
If you tend to snore, jerk sharply awake, or even have dreams that you can't breathe, you may have sleep apnea. If you suffer from daytime fatigue, you may have sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor about the possibility while your case is still mild.
Sleep apnea is a treatable condition. Positive Airway Pressure machines, either Continuous (CPAP) or Automatic (APAP) are the most common treatment; other options are surgeries and maxillofacial splints that adjust your jaw to help hold the airway open. It's possible that sleeping on your side and getting regular, full nights of sleep can help you keep apnea under control naturally. A good mattress can help.
If You Don't Have Sleep Apnea..
According to one study, shorter average sleep duration can increase the chances of sleep apnea. In other words, the less sleep you get on a regular basis, the more likely you are to develop sleep apnea. Get your eight hours on a comfortable mattress that helps you sleep pain-free, and you'll have your best chances of avoiding sleep apnea and the medical complications that go with it.
Overall, botanical Talalay latex is an excellent step forward in latex foam mattress production. Still, an all-Talalay mattress is almost always overkill and a potentially poor investment. Talalay does best as an element in a latex foam mattress with a Dunlop core, or even in hybrid beds with non-latex components. Alone, Talalay can fall in on itself, stressing the inner structure and losing its loft and buoyancy over time.