Snoring can be incredibly distressing, and it has forced many couples to sleep separately so both parties can gain the quality sleep they require to get through the following day. Sometimes snoring occurs due to temporary ailments such as blocked noses and colds, but if the problem becomes persistent, it may be desirable to take action by looking for root causes and seeking out solutions. Fortunately, there are many products available that you can use if snoring has started to cause problems, even if the snoring itself is related to a long-term health problem.
Facts about snoring
Loud snorers are capable of producing noise up to 80 decibels, which is comparable to the volume produced by an alarm clock or a dishwasher. Around 40% of people will snore at some point in their lifetime, and around a quarter do so frequently. Anti-snoring devices will not cure snoring permanently, but they can bring it under a great deal of control. The partners of people who snore can experience various conditions such as insomnia and depression because of snoring, which explains why snoring can be the cause of so much friction within the home. Some studies suggest that snoring can worsen over time if attempts to control it are not taken. The blood vessels within neck and throat muscles can be damaged due to prolonged snoring, reducing control further and making the issue worse. All the evidence suggests that getting under control rather than simply ignoring it is the best option for you and your loved ones.
Why does snoring happen?
It’s important to remember that snoring doesn’t just stop others from getting a good night’s sleep, as it can wake you up too. Even when snoring doesn’t wake you up, your sleep quality may be compromised as you fail to get all the oxygen you require. It is important to gain a deep understanding of why snoring occurs in the first place. Snoring happens when air is unable to freely make its way through the nose and throat during sleep. The air causes the tissues around the nose and throat to vibrate, resulting in the sound of snoring. Snoring can become particularly loud when tissue is floppy, as this makes it vibrate more. The sound of snoring can come from your tonsils, the soft palate, your tongue, the soft tissue hanging from the roof of the mouth known as the uvula and nasal passageways.
The vibrations linked to snoring can occur for a variety of reasons. People snore for a variety of reasons, and there is no one-size-fits-all cure. One common reason for snoring is being overweight. Being overweight normally means excess weight being carried all around the body, on the inside and outside. Fatty tissue can start to block the pathway of the air, leading to inevitable results. Not all snorers are overweight. There are many other physical problems that can cause snoring to occur, including large adenoids. Men are also more likely to snore than women as their passages are usually far smaller. The partners of snorers visit their doctors more frequently than the partners of non-snorers.
Common causes of snoring
Some people snore more because of drinking, smoking or taking certain medications such as lorazepam and diazepam which cause their muscles to relax and therefore vibrate. The throat also becomes narrower with the passing of time, which is why so many older people snore. The position you sleep in can also worsen snoring. You may be more likely to snore when you are sleeping on your back due to the way the tongue relaxes, moving to the back of the throat and blocking the airways. Sleeping on your front or side may lessen snoring in some circumstances. If you snore when your mouth is closed, the problem may be caused by your tongue. However, if the issue occurs when the mouth is open, you may have a problem with the tissues in your throat.
Diagnosing problems with snoring
One of the best ways to start combatting snoring is to find out exactly what you snore. Another common cause of snoring is sleep apnea, a condition where people stop breathing whilst they sleep. Sleep apnea involves the obstruction of the nose and throat. People with sleep apnea often wake up several times in the night so they can breathe again. One symptom of sleep apnea is experiencing extreme tiredness or fatigue throughout the day. If you suspect your problem is related to sleep apnea, it is incredibly important to consult a medical professional at the earliest opportunity as the condition can be life-threatening.
Allergies and diets
Allergic reactions can also cause snoring. For instance, hay fever can cause the inside of your nose to swell, forcing you to breathe through your mouth. Your diet may also be linked to snoring due to its strong relationship with your weight. Eating rich foods shortly before bedtime can also exacerbate snoring. A calorie deficit can ensure stored calories are used by the body so your levels of body fat are reduced. It is better to opt for a long-term diet plan rather than a quick fix, so choose something sustainable and realistic to avoid putting weight back on. Your immune system can gain a valuable boost when you embark on a healthier diet, making you less likely to experience the colds and flu that might make you snore. Exercise may also help you tone up the neck muscles and reduce the fatty tissue around the throat.
Smoking is notorious for irritating the tissues in the nose and throat, causing them to inflame and making vibrations worse. Alcohol can also worsen snoring due to the way it relaxes the throat muscles. If you have made behavioural changes, such as lying on your side, given up or reduced your consumption of alcohol, cut down on or stopped smoking, started exercising more and adapted your diet, it may be time to consult a medical professional. Whether they are able to diagnose a medical reason for snoring or not, there are many aids on the market that can help you reduce or diminish the problem.
There are many different anti-snoring devices available on the market, including masks, pillows and other devices. Some only cost a few pounds or so, whilst others may require you to make a more substantial financial investment. The NHS may also provide you with an anti-snoring device if your problem is linked to a medical condition like sleep apnea. Some solutions need to be fitted by medical professionals, such as dentists.
The main snoring solutions
1) Nasal strips
Many people start with nasal strips when they are attempting to win their battle against snoring. These will only set you back a minimal amount of money, but are only likely to help you if your snoring is emitted from your nose. These strips look similar to plasters and should be placed over the nose before you go to sleep. They are designed to keep the nostrils apart, preventing blockages when airways narrow. Nasal dilators are devices made from plastic and metal that sit on the nose to push apart the nostrils, though some people regard them as uncomfortable. These solutions won’t work for many people, but they can be a helpful step on the way to diagnosing the real cause of your problem if they are ineffective.
2) Anti-snoring mouth pieces
Anti-snoring mouth pieces have proved to be effective for some people whose snoring comes from their mouth or tongue. There are three main categories of anti-snoring mouth pieces, which you can read about below.
• Vestibular shield – this shield limits the amount of air permitted to get through the mouth, making your breath through your nose. If you do snore through your mouth, a vestibular shield may be worth experimenting with.
• Mandibular advancement device (MAD) – this device pushes the jaw and tongue forward, reducing the restriction of the throat. If your problem is caused by a vibrating tongue, this could be the solution.
• Tongue retaining mouthpiece – a tongue retaining mouthpiece moves the tongue to stop it blocking the airways. This may also be a great option for people who snore when their tongue falls back and blocks the airway, causing vibrations.
A number of studies have shown MAD devices to be efficient, and many health authorities have recommended them. Nonetheless, a significant number of people do describe them as uncomfortable and say they can cause soreness and stiffness. It’s thought that around seven-in-ten people persevere with them after their first few attempts. If off-the-shelf MAD devices don’t work, you may wish to have a similar solution custom-made for you.
3) Chin straps
Chin straps have proved beneficial for a wide range of people over the years and are designed for those that snore via their mouths. They are not normally advantageous for people who snore through the nose or people suffering from congested nasal passages. You won’t normally be advised to wear chin straps if you have sleep apnea, although doctors do occasionally recommend that apnea sufferers wear them with CPAP machines. Chin straps keep the jaw firmly in place to prevent the tongue and tissues in the throat blocking the airways. The straps are generally affordable and you may wish to shop around for the right solution to deliver the comfort you require.
There are many pillows on the market designed to prevent snoring. If you lay flat whilst in bed, your tongue or soft tissue may drop back, blocking the windpipe. Special pillows are available to raise your head, though you may wish to experiment with an extra pillow before you buy one specifically designed to prevent snoring.
5) CPAP Machines
CPAP machines are mainly targeted towards people who suffer from sleep apnea and can help reduce or eliminate snoring. The machines can be expensive but you may be given access to one by the NHS, your equivalent health service or through your health insurance if your doctor deems it appropriate.
6) Surgical procedures
Surgical treatments may seem like the last resort, but they may help you gain the right outcome if all else has failed. There are various surgical options for preventing snoring available, though you may need to show robust evidence to show that your problem is having a substantial impact on your day-to-day life or that of your family.
With Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), excess soft tissue is removed from the mouth and the uvula. It may also be taken from your tonsils in some circumstances if they haven’t been removed already. You will normally be placed under a general anaesthetic. Around half of all operations are successful in curing snoring. You may experience substantial discomfort for some weeks after the operation.
In Uvulopalatoplasty, lasers or other high-frequency radio waves are used to remove the soft tissue. This procedure has a lower success rate than UPPP, and you may still experience discomfort whilst you recover.
If the soft tissue in the back of the mouth has been confirmed as the cause of your snoring, you may wish to opt for soft palate implants. You will be placed under a local anaesthetic before certain materials are injected into your soft pallette. This procedure is designed to stiffen it so it doesn’t vibrate when breathing occurs.
Radiofrequency Ablation is also designed to stiffen the soft palate, this time via radio waves rather than an injection.
None of these procedures have a 100% success rate, so it’s essential to think very carefully about whether surgical treatment is right for you and make sure you have exhausted all other options. Nose and mouth sprays are other affordable solutions you may wish to try out before opting for more expensive or drastic measures.
There may be steps you, your partner or others affected by snoring can take in order to reduce its impact. These can include using high-quality earplugs to minimise the noise and playing music through noise-cancelling headphones. These treatments may only be suitable for modestly-loud snoring but have proven beneficial for some people sleeping next to or close to snorers.
The market’s top anti-snoring products
NEW My Snoring Solution Anti Snoring Chin Strap Supporter
This highly-rated product has won a sizeable number of positive reviews over at Amazon and includes a patented strap to support proper jaw alignment and stop snoring immediately. The product has helped many couples achieve a great night’s sleep and has resulted in partners no longer having to wear earplugs to get the rest they desire. The strap is manufactured from soft material, with many reviewers saying it has also stopped them grinding their teeth. The strap is machine-washable and there are three different sizes available.
Bed Wedge, FitPlus Premium Wedge Pillow 1.5 Inches Memory Foam
This pillow is designed to help people with snoring and the symptoms of acid reflux. The removable cover makes washing simple, and many reviewers claim it has helped them eliminate and reduce their snoring. The pillow is topped with 1.5 inches of memory foam that works with your body shape, with its 28-inch length helping to prevent muscle strain.
Apex Medical XT-FitCPAP Machine with Heated Humidifier
Said to be one of the market’s smallest travel CPAP machines, the device is also ideal for home use and comes with an internal power supply, meaning only the cord is external. The compact machine comes with a humidifier to improve the quality of air. The humidifier can be removed for travel purposes. The product has a 6” hose.
Maximum Comfort CPAP Strap for Masks - Anti Snoring
This ultra-comfortable neoprene strap is renowned for its softness and is designed to eliminate irritation. The product offers the perfect fit, distributing just the right level of pressure for your needs and prevent leaks. Many consumers have opted to upgrade their original straps to this product as it will work with any four-point connection mask.
Sleep Strips by SomniFix Instant Snoring Relief
Although sleep strips may not be for everyone, there’s no denying that a substantial number of people have achieved highly-desirable results when using them. These particular sleep strips are amongst the sleep industry’s biggest sellers and are designed to help you breathe through the nose whilst sleeping. The strips aim to promote consistent deep sleep, reduce snoring and provide you and your partner with more rest, whilst supplying more oxygen to the blood. Easy to apply and remove, they are hypoallergenic and completely safe to use. A central vent enables limited mouth breathing, whilst the transparent nature of the strips mean they are barely visible when worn. All parts of the product are recyclable.
Zz Snore - Stop Snoring! Nasal Spray
If chin straps, mouth guards or head straps are not required but a simpler solution is in order, you may well wish to invest in the Stop Snoring! Spray from Zz snore. The spray is patented and FDA registered, which means you can rest assured that you’re buying a reliable product from a reputable brand. Clinically proven to boost the quality of sleep and reduce snoring, the product should be used every evening before bed. Click the solution between 4 to 6 times into each nostril after tilting back your head and wait until you can sense the solution in the throat. You may need to wait a week or two for the product to deliver the full effect, but it comes highly-rated across several leading review sites.
Anti-Snoring Chin Strap & Jaw Support Belt
This product is made from high-quality material that is friendly to skin and resistant to bacteria. Designed to keep you comfortable all night long, it caresses the jaw and head gently and comes with four wide adjustable Velcro straps to help you achieve the perfect fit. Its triangle design enables it to remain solid without sliding off, whilst its strengthening edge reduces snoring substantially. The strap can also boost the efficiency of CPAP machines thanks to the way it keeps your mouth closed during sleep, preventing the air from the system escaping and encouraging the wearer to breathe through the nose. If your snoring comes from your mouth, this solution may be for you. It’s wise to wash the strap and belt every 3-5 days.
SNOREBUSTER: Smart Snore Stopper Device
One of the newer innovations to hit the market, this device aims to stop you snoring without the use of chin straps, mouth pieces, nose vents, strips, earplugs and other solutions. The device works with a smartphone app that detects the sounds of snoring and sends a signal to your wristband. When the wristband receives the signal it vibrates gently, causing you to move from your back to your side. If your snoring is worse or only occurs when you sleep on your back, the device could prove to be a valuable solution. The package also comes with various other features such as a free calorie counter for those wishing to lose weight and a free step and distance calculator, bound to be of benefit to those who are using exercise to reduce their snoring. The solution works with the iOS and Android platforms.
SOMNOVA Smart Anti Snoring Solution Sleeping Mat
This smart sleeping mat has been created to enhance the quality of sleep and reduce snoring. It works by analysing the frequency of your snoring and helping you move to your side during sleep. Many people regard the product as a valuable alternative to masks, strips and suchlike. The product sends you to your side by inflating automatically when snoring is detected. The inflatable mat is designed to lay under your bedsheets and operates in complete silence to avoid disturbing peace. Perfectly portable, the mat can easily be packed up and taken away when sleeping away from home. You can use the app to check your sleeping data on most iOS and Android devices. Information includes data on snore levels and times as well as deep and light sleeping.
There are many products available to help you whether you are a light snorer, a deep snorer or you have obstructive sleep apnea. New innovations are constantly in development, and it may take a while for you to find the perfect solution for your requirements. Nonetheless, very few people are unable to find the right solution for your circumstances eventually, whether they require special pillows, strips, sprays, masks, straps, machines or, in extreme circumstances, surgical treatment.
Don’t forget that a combination of lifestyle changes and anti-snoring products could be the perfect fusion for ridding you of your problem. Most snoring is not caused by anything serious, and the solution for your issue could be far simpler and more affordable than you think. Don’t give up if the first solution that you experiment with isn’t effective, as the right one could be just around the corner. If the solutions above don’t work and you haven’t consulted a medical professional, yet your symptoms persist, talk to a doctor who can help you get to the root cause and determine the best solution for your specific needs. With the right help in place, you could eliminate or at least diminish snoring for good.