A simple device to stop you sleeping on your back may be a new treatment for sleep apnoea.
New research shows that after three months, six out of ten patients who used the device had fewer symptoms.
In sleep apnoea, which affects up to a million people in the UK, the upper airway or pharynx collapses repeatedly at irregular intervals during sleep. These events - known as apnoeas - can occur hundreds of time a night.
During an apnoea, the muscles in the soft palate, tongue and other tissue relax to the point where the airways close completely. As a result, breathing stops for about ten seconds, sometimes longer, until the brain senses what is happening and wakes up the sufferer.
People who have the condition may complain of excessive daytime tiredness which results in falling asleep at work, while driving, during a conversation or when watching television.
Other symptoms include loud, heavy snoring, often interrupted by pauses and gasps, irritability, restlessness and morning headaches.
The condition may also be linked to high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.
Researchers at the State University of New York found that body position during sleep can affect the frequency of apnoeas.
In up to half of cases, lying on the back may increase the problem.
Source - Daily Mail