Hamilton entrepreneurs snore solution
A lifetime of feeling sleepless and embarrassed at snoring lead a Hamilton entrepreneur to take action.
It took her nearly five years of experimentation, but Frances Anderson finally launched her own anti-snore pillow.
Called the Patney Pillow, it is a sleep-positioner that is non-invasive and can help control snoring for those who sleep on their back or side.
Anderson had tried many different products, including surgery, to ease her own habitual snoring.
“I try to stay fit and healthy, but my snoring was something I couldn’t fix with exercise or diet.
“Snoring is something that can’t be cured but it can be controlled, and it was something I was always embarrassed about,”’ she says, experiencing broken sleep and consequent fatigue because of her problem.
She says she has mild sleep apnea, a disorder which causes breathing to stop and start while sleeping.
Her husband told her he had been scared because she stopped breathing during the night, which was when she decided to create her own solution.
With a love for design and textiles and a background in manufacturing, logistics and project management, Anderson set out to come up with a solution.
The pillow is made from sustainable natural latex and supports the head, neck and shoulders to promote an open airway for freer breathing.
Its effectiveness has been validated by an independent study by the WellSleep Centre at Otago University.
“The results were extremely encouraging. Incredibly, 89 per cent of people who completed the study reported a reduction in their partner’s snoring. This is as much about the person who lives with the snorer as the person who snores.”
Around 40 per cent of New Zealanders suffer from snoring and partners and families struggle to put up with it, which has a negative effect on the household’s sleep.
The problem is worsened when couples are forced to sleep apart from each other, says Anderson, as the snorer feels abandoned and guilty, so people would rather put up with the problem than sleep apart.
Anderson has now turned her invention into her business, running sales for the Patney Pillow from her home at Tamahere.
“After purchasing a Patney, a husband reported back to me saying ‘I enjoy spending time with my wife in the mornings now, she’s in a happier mood, I can now get more sleep and have more energy the next day’.”