Adjustable beds can offer relief to those who suffer from sleep apnea. By raising the upper body, an adjustable bed can provide relief from snoring, which improves the quality of sleep for a person with sleep apnea as well as their spouse or significant other. In this article, we’ll discuss additional benefits of adjustable beds to help battle symptoms of sleep apnea and we’ll make suggestions for selecting the best adjustable bed for you.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a fairly common condition which causes you to temporarily stop breathing while you’re asleep. There are several different types of sleep apnea, with the most prevalent being obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Symptoms associated with sleep apnea include loud snoring, waking up in the middle of the night (sometimes repeatedly), and making choking sounds in your sleep.
There are several treatment methods, including surgery or using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to pump oxygen into a mask you wear while you sleep.
Sleeping on an adjustable bed is another way to help alleviate some of the unpleasant symptoms of sleep apnea to help you get a better night’s rest.
How Can Adjustable Beds Help With Sleep Apnea?
Adjustable beds can be an effective way to help you breathe while you sleep and reduce the other symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
An adjustable bed is simply a type of mechanical bed that allows you to elevate or lower certain parts of your body.
Using an adjustable bed to elevate your head by just a few inches can significantly reduce the pressure placed on your throat muscles as you sleep, in turn helping keep your airways open and allow for better, smoother breathing.
These beds can be adjusted either via an attached controller or a mobile app which you can easily install and set up on your smartphone.
How Much Does an Adjustable Bed Cost?
Adjustable beds range in price from $800 to over $3,000+, so they are quite a big expense but can be well worth the money for people suffering from sleep apnea.
Keep in mind that this is the cost of the adjustable bed frame; you’ll also need to buy a mattress, though it’s sometimes possible to use an existing mattress (more about this later on.)
Benefits of Adjustable Beds
As mentioned, adjustable beds can be an effective way to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea and help you get better rest. Using an adjustable bed also has other benefits, such as:
An Adjustable Bed Can Improve Blood Circulation
Setting up an adjustable bed in certain ways – for example, with your feet at an elevated position – can improve your blood circulation while you sleep. This improved circulation can decrease edema (swelling) in your legs and improve joint mobility and reduce pains and aches in your legs.
Adjustable Beds Offer Improved Comfort and Support
As adjustable beds allow you to set them up in various different ways, you can adjust them to give more or less support to certain parts of your body.
So, in addition to simply helping you get more comfortable and get a better night’s rest, an adjustable bed can help you alleviate back and leg pain, and help reduce acid reflux and heartburn.
An Adjustable Bed Can Help Improve Posture
Adjustable beds allow you to set them up in a way to improve your posture when you’re sitting or sleeping in bed. Over time, this can help alleviate neck and upper body pain and tension, and even help your body digest food.
Negative Aspects of Adjustable Beds
There’s no denying that adjustable beds are expensive, with the most expensive ones costing close to $10,000. However, most adjustable beds cost between $1,000 to $3,500, which is a reasonable amount to pay for the relief one can provide over many years.
There are some especially cheap options on the market, but it’s advisable to stay away from adjustable beds which cost under $500 as they are likely to be very low quality and prone to getting damaged.
You May Have to Purchase a New Mattress
In addition to the cost of buying an adjustable bed frame, you usually need to buy a special mattress to go with your adjustable bed. This is another expense and it can also be quite costly depending on what kind of mattress you go for.
How to Find the Best Adjustable Bed For You
There are many different adjustable beds on the market to choose from, so it’s good to be thorough and methodical in your search so you can find the best one for you without overspending.
Determine If You Need a Split Adjustable Bed
Split adjustable beds, AKA a dual adjustable bed, can be useful if you are sleeping with a partner and don’t want the entire bed to have the same configuration.
A split adjustable bed is simply one which is divided along the middle so you can place two separate mattresses on the frame and both people sleeping on it don’t have to have the same setup.
So, if only you or your partner have sleep apnea or another condition you’d like to manage by using an adjustable bed, it’s well worth considering getting a split adjustable bed.
Decide Which Features You Want
Adjustable beds have various different features, so it’s worth spending some time to decide if you any must-have features or preferences. This will allow you to narrow down your options when browsing and comparing different adjustable bed frames.
Popular adjustable bed features include:
Some adjustable beds can massage you at the click of a button, which can be a nice extra feature to have for some people. On the other hand, for people who just want an adjustable bed for medical reasons, this feature is usually just a waste of money.
Buying an adjustable bed with Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect your smartphone to it and easily make configuration changes from your phone.
Another option is going for an adjustable bed that has a corresponding mobile app which can be downloaded to give you an easy way to adjust the various sections of the frame to suit your individual health needs and preferences.
Zero Gravity Configuration
Many adjustable beds come with a zero gravity configuration as the default setup. This setup is designed to mimic the effects of zero gravity to reduce or completely eliminate snoring and the other unpleasant symptoms of sleep apnea.
Decide What Type of Mattress is Best For You
At this stage, you should start to think about what type of mattress you want to buy for your adjustable bed.
There are four main options:
Late foam mattresses are a bit more rigid than some of the other options, such as memory foam, but they are nevertheless a comfy, robust and relatively affordable option. These mattresses are usually very durable and typically last several years before needing to be changed.
Memory foam mattresses are very popular nowadays, especially when being used on an adjustable bed. These mattresses adjust to the shape of your body for maximum comfort and to provide maximum support as you sleep, but they can be quite pricey.
Air bed mattresses are a very affordable option and they can sometimes be suitable for an adjustable bed, but they are far from ideal due to their rigid nature which can make it difficult for them to adjust well with the bed frame.
Innerspring mattresses are another popular choice, but they are quite rarely used on an adjustable bed. This is because, by design, they are quite rigid.
However, if you can find an innerspring mattress that is reasonably flexible or thin, you should have no problem using it on an adjustable bed.
Compare Beds and Shortlist Suitable Options
Once you’ve decided what kind of adjustable bed you want, what your must-have features are, and what type of mattress is best for you, you can start comparing different adjustable bed models and mattresses.
If you can find a combination that goes well together and are within budget, add it to your shortlist and then narrow down your selection by the process of elimination.
Do I Need a Special Mattress?
People usually buy a new mattress when they purchase an adjustable bed, but that’s not strictly necessary.
For example, if your existing mattress is latex or memory foam, or thinner than roughly 12 inches, it should be flexible enough to be compatible with any adjustable bed.
Can I Buy an Adjustable Bed With Medicare?
Medicare may cover the cost of buying an adjustable bed in some circumstances. For example, if your doctor agrees that sleeping on an adjustable bed is medically required to help you manage or alleviate the symptoms of an illness, there’s a good chance Medicare will foot the bill.
Will My Insurer Pay For an Adjustable Bed?
As with Medicare, it is sometimes possible for your insurance company to cover the cost of your adjustable bed. You’ll need to provide a prescription or letter from your doctor to support your claim to your insurer.
An adjustable bed is a pretty unsophisticated but nevertheless great invention, and it can be a very effective and simple way to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea and help you get a better night’s rest.
While they are undeniably an expensive purchase, if you are really struggling with sleep apnea and are keen to get help, it’s almost certain that buying an adjustable bed will be a good, worthwhile investment for you.
A Quick Summary
- Sleep apnea is a condition that sometimes causes you to stop breathing while you’re asleep and has other symptoms, such as snoring and waking up in the middle of the night.
- An adjustable bed can help alleviate these symptoms by elevating your head just a few inches to improve airflow.
- Adjustable beds also have other benefits and uses, such as improving circulation and helping reduce tension in your neck and upper body.
- They are quite an expensive purchase, but most people who buy one find it to be well worth the money due to the relief it provides.
- You don’t always need to buy a new mattress for an adjustable bed – especially if your existing one is quite thin or made of memory foam – but most people do.
- If you have a partner, you should consider getting a split adjustable bed so you can have a different configuration on each side of the bed.