Positional sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that should not be taken lightly. It can cause a variety of health problems and even affect those around you. A major contributor to sleep apnea is the way you sleep. Sleeping in the supine position flat on your back) causes the muscles in your throat to relax. Too much relaxation blocks the airways, and this is how really loud snoring and sleep apnea occurs.
Positional therapy was designed for people whose sleep apnea is due, in large part, to the position that they habitually sleep in. This treatment option trains you to sleep on your side/stomach, and usually uses some device that can be worn around the waist, chest, or neck. One of the most common positional therapy devices is a sleep apnea t-shirt.
In this article will explore how a sleep apnea shirt can help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. We'll also take a look at some top-rated sleep apnea shirts that are an ideal alternative to CPAP machines.
How Can a Sleep Apnea Shirt (aka “Tennis Ball T-Shirt”) Help My Sleep Apnea?
The sleep apnea shirt is one of the best and most common ways to manage sleep apnea. Because your sleep position has a major impact on this disorder, it helps to have something, like the tennis ball shirt, that will keep you in a position that lessens the symptoms of sleep apnea.
The sleep apnea shirt is also referred to as the Tennis Ball T-Shirt because of the way it works. Tennis balls are placed in a pouch that’s attached/built-in to the back of your shirt. This causes a gentle discomfort when you roll onto your back and encourages you to sleep in the lateral position (on your side). You can either buy these shirts pre-made, or you can make one yourself. Using this method will train your body to naturally sleep in healthy positions that can eliminate snoring and sleep apnea.
Now, while this method of positional therapy is effective for most people, it’s important to note that it’s not for everybody. A study conducted in 2008 showed that there wasn’t a vast difference in results between patients who use a CPAP machine and those who use the “tennis ball technique”. The best way to know which method will work for you is to talk to your doctor, or sleep specialist, to see what options are better suited to your individual needs.
Best Positional Sleep Apnea Shirts
The Rematee Anti-Snore T-Shirt is one of the most popular sleep apnea shirts that will keep you sleeping on your side. It’s outfitted with a full set of inflatable Bumpers that can easily be adjusted to give you the most comfortable fit. The shirt is made out of high-quality cotton and has a velcro top cover to hold the bumpers in place.
Other features include:
The Rematee Anti-Snore T-Shirt is perfect if you’re looking for a highly effective sleep apnea shirt that’s easy to use. Though the shirt is designed to make sleeping on your back/stomach uncomfortable, the breathable fabric provides an extra measure of comfort whether you’re lounging around or sleeping. The Anti-Snore T-shirt is equipped with standard features that will quickly get you in the habit of sleeping on your side.
The Sleep Solutions Stop Snoring T-Shirt is a widely recognized sleep apnea that’s recommended by health experts. It offers a simple, yet effective, way to help you eliminate snoring, and practice better sleeping habits. If you don’t like the shirt, or you find that it’s just not for you, you’re covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Sleep Solutions Stop Snoring T-Shirt is the best choice for people who snore mostly when they sleep on their backs. There’s a pocket on the back of the t-shirt that’s meant to hold a tennis ball. Sleeping with a tennis ball in the pocket will prevent you from sleeping on your back, and soon your body will naturally go into sleeping positions that won’t obstruct the airways in your throat. It’s also ideal for people who are looking for an inexpensive alternative to other leading brands.
The Whole Nights Magnetic Ball Sleep Shirt Clip is a revolutionary sleep apnea product that will relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea and stop snoring. Its sleek design makes sleeping on your side comfortable, and it easily clips to any shirt you want to sleep in. The Magnetic Ball Sleep Shirt Clip uses rare earth magnets that will help you stay in the lateral position for the entire night.
Other features include:
The Calma Whole Nights Magnet Ball Shirt Clip is great for people who experience their worst snoring when they’re on their backs and are looking for a product that makes their comfort a priority as well. It’s made from strong Earth metal and materials that won’t irritate the skin. And, it’s not too big that it would cause pain or discomfort.
If you’re also looking for something that won’t shift in the night, then the Calma Magnet Ball Shirt Clip is perfect for you. The magnets are strong, and long-lasting, so you won’t have to constantly wake up in the night to adjust your device.
The Roll Over And Stop Snoring Shirt is a simple sleep apnea product that’s designed to adjust your sleeping position and eliminate snoring. It comes with three removable balls and five sleeves that hit specific pressure points on your back that nudge you to roll over without disrupting your sleep. Doing this provides a natural and peaceful way to stop snoring.
If you’re looking for a shirt that’s easy to use and does what it says it does, the Roll Over And Stop Snoring Shirt is perfect for you. You’ll love the basic features that this shirt has to help with your snoring. Also, the balls work effectively to comfortably urge you into a better sleeping position without waking you up. It’s a comfortable, straight-forward, and cost-effective alternative to CPAP machines and other sleep apnea devices.
Sleep Apnea Shirt DIY: How to Make Your Own Tennis Ball T-Shirt
Step-by-step instructions on how to modify a shirt so it forces the user to sleep on their side
You’ll need a shirt that you don’t mind sleeping in, three socks, three tennis balls, six safety pins, and iron.
- 1Put a tennis ball in each sock.
- 2Attach two safety pins to the top of each sock
- 3Fold the shirt in half (vertically).
- 4Make a crease down the back of the shirt using the iron. This will be a guideline for where to attach the socks.
- 5Place the shirt on a flat surface with the backside facing up.
- 6Place socks along the crease line that you made.
- 7Use the two safety pins on the top of each sock to attach them to the shirt.
If you don’t want to use safety pins, there may be more comfortable alternatives that you can use. This short video will demonstrate how you can make your own sleep apnea t-shirt using cheap and easy-to-find materials.