Sleep apnea can affect so many different aspects of your health. It’s regularly depriving your brain of oxygen to the point that you are unable to get replenishing and rejuvenating rest that you need at night. That means you wake up feeling groggy, lethargic, and unmotivated. So if you are suffering from this condition, it’s important to look for an effective solution.
The chin strap for sleep apnea is one of the best choices for immediate relief from sleep apnea. In this quick buying guide we’ll answer your most pressing questions like “Is a chin strap effective for sleep apnea? How does it work? Which one should I buy?” Keep reading to learn more!
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How Does A Chin Strap Work For Sleep Apnea?
The way a chin strap works is actually pretty simple but surprisingly ingenious. It is a soft fabric strap that wraps around your head (usually leaving a slit open so that your ears remain uncovered). Once in place, it gently tugs your lower jaw forward.
What this does is prevent your jaw and soft palate from collapsing down onto your airway and blocking air from going through. It also keeps your mouth closed through the night. This forces you to breathe through your nose which is actually the more effective and healthier way to breathe.
In fact, one of the problems with most sleep apnea patients is that they breathe through their mouth more often than their nose. So this chin strap provides a lot of benefits over other options:
- Less intrusive. This wraps around your chin and the top of your head which is much less intrusive and uncomfortable than a sleep apnea face mask or even a sleep apnea mouthpiece.
- No side effects. A face mask and mouthpiece can both cause uncomfortable dry mouth in some cases. Surgery comes with its own list of side effects and painful recovery time. But a chin strap doesn’t have any side effects for you to worry about.
- Can be combined with other methods. Because it doesn’t get in the way and doesn’t have any side effects, it can easily be used in combination with other methods. Whether you are also using a sleep apnea face mask or you are trying out herbal remedies, a chin strap not only doesn’t get in the way but can even help those other methods!
So this can be a highly effective way to stop your sleep apnea. However, if the obstruction causing your sleep apnea is located elsewhere, it may not work as well. For example, if it’s your tongue or your chest that is causing the problem, a chin strap will not be particularly effective.
So that means that the best way to determine if a chin strap really will work for is to request a sleep study from your doctor. In a sleep study, your breathing is monitored while you sleep in order to figure out exactly where your breathing is getting obstructed. This way, they can pin point exactly what is causing the sleep apnea.
If it is due to your lower jaw or soft palate, a chin strap will be extremely effective in preventing your sleep apnea!
Tips For How To Use The Chin Strap For Sleep Apnea Treatment
In order to make sure that your chin strap is as effective as it possibly can be, you need to be sure that you are using it the way it is intended to be used. Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the full benefits of a chin strap for sleep apnea:
Get The Right Size
If it is too big for your head, it will be too loose to effectively pull your jaw forward. And if it is too small, it will be too tight for you to comfortably wear it throughout the night.
Trial And Error
When you first get it, strap it on and adjust it to a comfortable setting. Wear it for at least one hour. You might feel a little silly but you only have to do this once a week. If after that hour, it still feels comfortable, you’re good. If it starts to feel too tight or too loose over time, adjust the settings.
By the end of that hour, you will know exactly which settings will keep you comfortable and supported throughout the entire night. You will have to repeat this process each time you wash it (see below) since that will affect the settings you had.
Wash It Regularly
When your brand new chin strap arrives, you should wash it once or twice. This helps improve the flexibility right from the start. After that, you should wash it at least once a week because oil from your skin and hair are seeping it into and this can end up causing you to break out along the area where your chin strap touches.
Wrap A Piece Of Fabric Around It
For people with longer hair, make sure that your hair doesn’t get caught in the clasps by wrapping a thin piece of cotton or other fabric around the clasp points. You can cut this fabric from an old shirt. It should be thin enough not to affect the overall fit of your chin strap. You can also use a piece of ace bandage for this.
In addition to the stand alone chin strap, you may also look into getting a respironic chin strap for sleep apnea machine. This is a chin strap that is compatible with a sleep apnea machine. It can make the mask you have to wear more comfortable and more secure.
And it can also keep your mouth closed through the night so that you don’t have to deal with the dry mouth symptoms that a CPAP machine can cause.
Our Top 3 Picks For Best Chin Strap For Sleep Apnea
Now that you know more about how it works and how to use it, you’ve got a better idea of what kind of chin strap would be right for you. Now you can check out a short chin strap for sleep apnea review for each of 3 favorite sleep apnea chin straps below.
SleepWell Pro Adjustable Stop Snoring Chin Strap (Medium, Black)
SleepWell Pro is one of the most reliable names in the market which is why our top 3 picks are actually all from this same brand!
- Medium size
- Itch-free material can be worn comfortably throughout the night.
- No pinching or excess constriction
- Adjustable for different head shapes and jaw shapes
This will gently pull your jaw forward while keeping your mouth closed. That way, you are not only preventing your airways from becoming obstructed but also breathing through your nose which helps you get more oxygen into your lungs already.
So it’s a comfortable and reliable way to immediately relieve your sleep apnea and avoid waking up throughout the night!
SleepWell Pro Large Adjustable Stop Snoring Chin Strap (Black)
This is another sleep apnea chin strap from SleepWell Pro.
- Large size
- Adjustable Velcro straps
- No itching or pinching thanks to the soft, flexible material
- Compatible with a sleep apnea face mask and CPAP machine
- Cut out design keeps your ears uncovered so you don’t overheat
This is an expertly designed sleep apnea chin strap that fits comfortably around your chin and over your head. It leaves the rest of your face and your ears exposed so that it won’t trap heat in. That means you can still wear it even in summer!
It’s also compatible with a sleep apnea full face mask which is great because it means you can use it to keep your mouth closed during the night when you use your CPAP machine. This will prevent dry mouth in the mornings!
SleepWell Pro Adjustable Stop Snoring Chin Strap (Blue)
This is our third and final sleep apnea chin strap from SleepWell pro that we absolutely love.
- One size fits most.
- Adjustable for customized comfort
- Soft material that won’t get itchy.
- Smooth stretchy design that doesn’t pinch or squeeze.
Just like the other SleepWell Pro chin straps above, this one will gently pull your chin forward and keep your mouth closed so that you breathe more evenly and naturally throughout the night.
This will not only help manage your sleep apnea but also prevent you from snoring. So no more waking yourself or your partner up in the middle of the night because of your snoring!
Whichever chin strap you choose, the important thing is that it fits well and remains comfortable and in place throughout the night. We think one of the above 3 are your best picks but you can also do more research and see if there is something better suited to your needs. Once you’ve got the perfect chin strap, you’ll notice the difference immediately. So get yours today!