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Sona pillow counters sleep apnea, snoring.

WATERFORD, N.Y. -- The Sona pillow from Soft-Tex Manufacturing is designed to promote a more natural and comfortable sleeping position for people who snore or who have sleep apnea.

Within 30 days, says Soft-Tex president Art Perry, most users report that they and their bedmates are sleeping more soundly, with many reporting improvement in one night.

The Sona was created by Harvard-educated neurologist Dr. Najeeb Zuberi after a decade of research and development.

Zuberi was looking for a treatment for sleep apnea, which causes people to temporarily stop breathing. He designed the pillow in order to help patients with mild sleep apnea and/or excessive snoring.

The pillow changes the jaw position and helps opening the airway for freer breathing and more comfortable sleep. In one study, researchers observed an average decrease in snoring from 17 episodes an hour to less than five.

The pillow's distinctive design promotes a comfortable side sleeping position. In this posture, the slope of the pillow realigns the jaw for optimal breathing. A back support and contoured arm openings help maintain the side sleeping position through the night.

By contrast, a conventional pillow allows sleepers to easily move from their side to back, collapsing the airway and potentially producing snoring and/or exacerbating sleep apnea, according to Perry.

Although the Sona is designed for snorers and people who suffer from sleep apnea, anyone can use the product for a better night's sleep, he adds.

The pillow's unconventional design gives some people slight discomfort during the first few nights of use. People accustomed to sleeping on their back may take longer to adapt to sleeping on their side.

Persistent trouble with sleeping on one's side may have more to do, however, with a mattress than a pillow, according to the company.

A mattress that is too hard can press against shoulders or hips, which can be uncomfortable or, in some instances, painful. A softer mattress or a soft mattress topper may help.

Many sleep apnea sufferers experience health, social and workplace problems from inadequate sleep. But fatigue is not the only medical concern.

The condition negatively affects the heart, giving many sufferers a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure and arrhythmias. What's more, sleep deprivation is posited to be a leading cause of auto accidents.

Even for people without sleep apnea, mild and chronic snoring can be harmful to one's self and to one's sleeping partner. Snoring affects millions of Americans, especially people who are overweight or over age 50.

The Sona can help people with either mild and chronic snoring or mild sleep apnea. People who believe they have a more serious sleep-related condition are advised by Soft-Tex to see a doctor or visit a sleep clinic.

The pillow, which can be used for up to two years, can be spot cleaned, and the pillow case is machine-washable and dryer-safe.

As a transition to the Sona, Soft-Tex has launched the Side Sleeper pillow. Part of the company's new Sleep Styles pillow line, the Side Sleeper was developed in conjunction with a sleep laboratory to optimize comfort for side sleeping.

Sleep Styles, which is slated to be in stores this summer, also comprises the Back Sleeper and Stomach Sleeper. All of the pillows in the line were tested in Zuberi's sleep laboratory for support and comfort for the associated position.

In addition, Soft-Tex has created the Spinal Support pillow, which is designed to provide lower back support along with reduced shoulder stress. According to Perry, the product is ideal for pregnant women or anyone who wants to help reduce lower back pain when they sleep.

The original Sona stop snoring pillow is $59.99; the side, back and stomach sleeper pillows sell for 29.99 each; and the spinal support pillow sells for $69.99.

Soft-Tex Manufacturing

428 Hudson River Road

Waterford, N.Y. 12188

Key contacts:

Robert O'Connell, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Eric Hasper, Product Manager

Website: soft-tex.com

Phone: (800) 366-2324

Fax: (518) 235-0778

Primary business:

HEALTH CARE

Sleep aids

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Title Annotation:Marketplace 2011/Corporate Profiles
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Date:Jun 27, 2011
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