Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Sleep Apnea Health Center

Font Size

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Gadgets and Devices

Tennis Balls for Sleep Apnea?

About half of people with sleep apnea experience most of their breathing problems during sleep while lying on their backs, experts have found. To stop people from sleeping on their backs, some doctors suggest putting a couple of tennis balls into a tube sock and pinning it to the back of your night gown or shirt.

A 2006 study of the tennis ball technique showed it did help some people. Of the 50 people who used the tennis ball method and reported back, 38% said they were still using it after six months.  Those who were using it reported better sleep quality, more daytime alertness, and a decrease in the loudness of their snoring.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)

CPAP machines use a mask that fits over your nose or nose and mouth. The mask is held in place with straps and blows air at a pressure determined by your doctor. The pressure keeps the airway open during sleep.

Over the years, these devices for sleep apnea have become smaller, lighter weight, and much quieter. There are some common side effects -- such as nasal congestion, dry mouth, and skin irritation. But all can be treated.

The key to using a CPAP is making sure it’s comfortable. Because there are several different models sold, you should be able to find a mask that works for you.

CPAP is highly effective, according to the National Sleep Foundation. But the key to success, as doctors emphasize, is to use the machine every night.

1|2

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on June 24, 2013

Today on WebMD

Sleep Disorders What Are They
SLIDESHOW
Man sleeping on plane
SLIDESHOW
 
Sleep Fact or Fiction Test Yourself
QUIZ
Woman asleep with cpap mask on.
ARTICLE
 
Pet scan depression
VIDEO
Nighttime Heartburn
SLIDESHOW
 
Fight Fatigue Sleepiness On The Road
SLIDESHOW
Sleep Apnea Appliance
VIDEO
 
Foods That Help Or Harm Your Sleep
SLIDESHOW
Sleep Apnea Clues
FEATURE
 
Insomnia 20 Tips For Better Sleep
SLIDESHOW
Breus Sleep Apnea
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections