There is a book that claims that if you raise your head when sleeping, it will help sleep apnea: Get It Up!: http://www.selfstudycenter.org/getitup.htm
The idea is that your apnea (and migraines) will be cured if you raise your head up when sleeping. One way to do this is to use a foam wedge to raise your head about 12".
Here are some links: http://www.selfstudycenter.org/style_flat.htm http://www.selfstudycenter.org/change_flat.htm http://www.selfstudycenter.org/topic_flat.htm http://ezinearticles.com/?Heads-Up!-The ... &id=795155
Here are some quotes:
"Gravity plays an important role in the circulation of the brain. When your head is down, it gets extra pressure because of gravity. When your head is up, gravity helps drain the brain and resist the pressure of blood pumping up from the heart to the head."
"There are two ways by which sleep position can cause sleep apnea.
First, if you are on your back and flat, this unnatural position allows the tongue to fall back and block the throat, causing snoring and obstruction of the airways. This is the cause of obstructive sleep apnea.
Second, brain edema from sleeping too flat for too long may make the brain stem sluggish and slightly dysfunctional. The brain stem is the part of the brain that controls breathing. This leads to difficulties in breathing, especially when the head is down while sleeping and getting further congested. This is the cause of central sleep apnea.
Head elevation has already been used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, although it has been underutilized as a therapy in favor of more costly alternatives, such as the surgical removal of parts of the throat.
We believe head elevation should be tried first for all forms of sleep apnea, including central sleep apnea."
It seems like this could work for more mild cases. The wedge would pretty much force someone to sleep on their back all the time. This is simpler and much cheaper than CPAP. Sleeping on a wedge is not normal, but using a CPAP is not normal either.
Does anyone know anything about this? If it does help, what levels (mild, moderate, severe) does it work for? Is this an acceptable alternative when power goes out and the CPAP stops?