Watch CBSN Live

Goodnight, Awful Snore

It may be possible to end a bad case of snoring with something as simple as a new pillow. The Food and Drug Administration is advancing this notion by endorsing a pillow designed to help stop both snoring and breathing problems, reports Correspondent Dr. Michael Breen of CBS Station WBBM-TV in Chicago.

To improve your health, and maybe even save your marriage, use of the FDA approved pillow allows your head to lay flat and opens up your throat airway. The head sits in the so-called CPR position-- a position that naturally opens the throat.

The product is called Pillow Positive manufactured by Lifesleep Systems, Inc. of San Francisco, California. The clinically-tested product aids sound sleep, even for those who sleep on their side, by opening optimal airways.

"It's supposed to allow you then to breathe easier," says Dr. Marc Weissbluth of Northwestern Children's Practice in Chicago. "In a Stanford sleep lab, patients with the pillow not only breathed easier, they also snored less."

Snoring is caused by loose muscles in the throat which vibrate like a reed. When the muscles become very loose, you develop what is called "mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome" (OSAS).

"Sleep apnea would be complete airway obstruction. You have respiratory pausesÂ…silent periods when you're not breathing," says Dr. Weissbluth.

Sleep apnea can happen twenty times an hour and the result is daytime fatigue and a higher risk of heart disease. It affects nearly 20 million Americans and can lead to serious medical complications, such as hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and depression.

Dr. Weissbluth says the pillow appears to be effective but recommends seeking your doctor's advice before trying it.

People with a serious sleep apnea condition will need more involved treatments. For less severe cases, it is a non-invasive treatment that can reduce snoring and related problems.

The cost of the FDA approved snoring-aid is around $200 dollars. It can be found at sleep clinics, physician and dental offices, and medical equipment dealers.

View CBS News In