The Good Night's Sleep Project

Sleep Blog

When Falling Asleep is a Wake-Up Call

Ready to get the sleep you need and deserve? Complete our free 60-Second Sleep Assessment to discover which Custom Tailored Pillow is right for you and receive an instant quote. Start Now »


What I’m about to tell you is a true story.

It happened to a friend of mine. In order to protect his privacy — since he is now, as you shall see, the proud owner of a Custom Tailored Pillow and I know he reads this blog sometimes — let’s just call him “Peter”. But he could be someone you know. He could even be you.

Like a lot of folks his age who work hard, Peter hadn’t been feeling “right” for a good 5-6 months now. It’s hard to describe it in words, but he often woke up with a headache that wouldn’t go away, and generally felt “foggy”.

However, he just dismissed it as tiredness.

He thought those years of working long hours were finally catching up with him, and everything would be fine again after his summer vacation.

That is, until the accident happened.

One morning, Peter was driving along the freeway into work. He remembers feeling cold, and turning the heating up, and then… next thing he knows, he’s opening is eyes again, his car is twisted over at about 30-40 degrees, smoke is coming from the hood, and a man he doesn’t recognize is shouting at him through the broken window, asking if he can feel his feet.

It turned out, Peter had fallen asleep at the wheel.

But that’s not all.

You see, this accident scared the s**t out of Peter, and was something of a wakeup call. People in their late forties shouldn’t just fall asleep at the wheel.

So, he had his doctor run some tests.

In turns out, little did he know it, but he had been suffering from sleep apnea for at least six months. And if it hadn’t been for this, he might not have known.

What is sleep apnea?

It’s when the soft tissues of your throat collapse, while you’re sleeping, blocking airflow. You literally stop breathing in your sleep, sometimes for as long as 30 seconds. And it doesn’t just happen once or twice, but often more than several dozen times in an hour. Choked out of oxygen.

It’s a common sleep disorder, and it’s often associated with people who snore. According to a paper published by Harvard Medical School, around 17.5% of Americans suffer from some form of “obstructive sleep apnea”[i].

Many folks don’t realize they have it. Not until it’s too late.

Sleep apnea can be — potentially — a serious condition.

Because of his sleep apnea, Peter’s brain wasn’t getting the oxygen it needed while he was sleeping. His brain was, literally, being starved of oxygen.

This is why he fell asleep at the wheel, without any warning. (According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, people who suffer from sleep apnea are significantly more likely to be involved in vehicle collisions [ii].)

However, in many cases, sleep apnea can be managed, alleviated, and sometimes even reversed. How? By taking special steps to make sure that, while you are sleeping, your head, neck, and chest are in alignment.

You see, in many ways your airway is like a garden hose.

If it is kept straight, it stays open and the air can flow. However, if you lie for too long in an awkward angle, it can become “kinked” — and you may find yourself waking suddenly, desperately gasping for air, or, like Peter, falling asleep at the wheel and having your whole life come crashing down.

This is why it is so important to sleep on a pillow that properly fits your body.

Because, if you sleep on a pillow that doesn’t support the unique shape and curvature of your spine, your airway could become “kinked” like this.

As far as I know, our Custom Tailored Pillow is the ONLY pillow in the world that is handmade to no less than 14 of your unique measurements.

This is why we can confidently GUARANTEE a perfect fit.

I’m not saying that ordering a Custom Tailored Pillow will, by itself, prevent, alleviate, or even reverse your sleep apnea. Because there are many factors. However, for a lot of folks, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

What about you?

i: Harvard Medical School, “The Price of Fatigue: The surprising economic cost of unmanaged sleep apnea”, (Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School, 2010)

ii: Tregear, S. et al, “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, (Darien, IL, United States: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2009)

Want More Sleep Advice Like This?

Subscribe to our free email newsletter. We will send you more 2-3 articles like this every week.