I Tried 6 Anti-Snoring Devices. The Smart Nora Worked Best.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with nasal polyps, and I regularly snored like a wild boar. I’ve had the polyps removed, but the snoring continues. I’m not alone: According to a chapter on snoring in Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (Fifth Edition), “about 40% of the adult population” snores.
Janet Hilbert, MD, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Yale School of Medicine’s Center for Sleep Medicine, explained that weight gain, alcohol intake, nasal obstruction (from colds and allergies), and even your sleep position can all cause snoring. It’s also a symptom of a disorder called sleep apnea (PDF). Sleep apnea occurs when your airway is blocked or constricted while you sleep, and it can result in poor sleep, high blood pressure, memory issues, cardiovascular concerns, and other serious health problems.
“You can die from it, and it is a risk factor for so many other diseases,” said Erica Carleton, an assistant professor of human resources and organizational behavior at the University of Saskatchewan, who has studied sleep disorders and disruptions in the context of work. “If you snore and it’s pretty consistent, it is something that is likely necessary that you look into.” Testing often includes going to an all-night sleep clinic, where doctors will monitor not just your sleep behavior but also your heart rhythms and oxygen levels, Hilbert explained.
Of course, snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea. “In a classic study of the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in adults aged 30-60 years, habitual snoring occurred in 28 percent of women and 44 percent of men,” Hilbert wrote in an email. But just 19% of those female habitual snorers and 34% of the male habitual snorers had sleep apnea. Other, less serious factors contribute to most snoring.
If your doctor has ruled out sleep apnea—which is often treated with a CPAP machine—you might consider one of the many over-the-counter options that claim to help curb snoring. A year ago, I tried six of them. Only one worked well enough for me that I continued using it—sporadically—over the past 12 months.
To get a baseline measurement of how much I was snoring without any intervention, I used SnoreLab (iOS, Android), a highly rated app that listens for snoring sounds, records clips, and analyzes your resting audio. After calculating an average of 10 nights’ worth of intervention-free snoring readings to get a starting “sleep score,” I slept with each anti-snoring device for several nights and tracked my SnoreLab results against that baseline.
What worked best: Smart Nora
The Smart Nora’s microphone—the tabletop device that looks like a white computer mouse—also works mounted to a headboard or wall. Photo: Michael Hession
The pillow insert, shown atop this pillow, easily tucks into most standard pillowcases. Photo: Michael Hession
If you don’t have sleep apnea and still snore, your doctor may suggest positional therapy. “The worst position is on your back,” said Carleton. “When you sleep on your back, that actually compresses your breathing system more, and it makes it more likely for you to have those gasping sounds or to snore.”
Technically the Smart Nora doesn’t flip you onto your side, but it does slightly move your head when it catches you snoring, in practicality often resulting in your shifting from your back to your side. To accomplish this, the system includes a wireless, mic-equipped device that can sit bedside or be mounted on a wall to detect snoring. Once it does so, the Smart Nora device communicates with an under-bed base station that pumps air through a tube to an insert that lives inside your pillow.
Occasionally, that gentle pillow motion did wake me up, which caused me to switch positions. Controls on the base station allow you to adjust the pillow-elevation level so you’re less likely to be jolted awake if all you need is a tiny nudge. The mic device also has an adjustable sensitivity setting, if your room is noisy or you’re just finding your pillow to be inflating more often than you want it to. I took a break from using the device (or any other anti-snoring device) for a while after we first published this article, before going back to it for follow-up. It continues to work for me as well as it did during my initial testing.
It may sound bizarre, but the Smart Nora was the most effective device I tried, cutting my total snoring in half, according to my SnoreLab sleep scores. At $360, it was also the most expensive device.
I did test five other, less-costly options, though none of them worked as well for me. That doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t help you.
Other things I tried
Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band, $200 at the time of publication
This band straps a small electronic device to your chest. When it senses that you’re on your back, it vibrates so that you reposition yourself. According to American Academy of Sleep Medicine spokesperson Nitun Verma, MD, when you sleep on your back, your chin and tongue are pulled down by gravity, making the space behind your tongue smaller and promoting snoring. As far as I know, I don’t usually sleep on my back, so this Philips device wasn’t a good option for me. Also, I couldn’t always tell whether the band was working because the controls were confusing.
REM-Fit Zeeq Smart Pillow, $85 at the time of publication
This memory-foam pillow pairs with a smartphone app that detects snoring and causes the pillow to vibrate, prompting you to shift positions. (The Zeeq can also stream music, white noise, or podcasts from your phone via Bluetooth, if you find such audio helpful for falling asleep.) The pillow comes with extra shredded memory foam you can stuff inside to help mask the electronics; out of the box, it’s comfy, although it is difficult to squeeze into a standard pillowcase. The Zeeq’s vibrations didn’t reduce my snoring.
Venyn Original Nose Vents, $22 for a set of four at the time of publication
Venyn’s Original Nose Vents are basically tiny silicone funnels that sit inside your nose to dilate your nostrils. The set comes with four different sizes to optimize the chances of a perfect fit. They didn’t totally keep me from snoring, but they did reduce my noise output by a third during one of the three nights I used them; the other two nights I saw lesser decreases. I disliked how they made the inside of my nose crusty each morning, though. It sounds gross, but the vents are easy to clean with soap and warm water.
Breathe Right Nasal Strips Lavender Scented, $12 for a pack of 26 at the time of publication
This stiff, bandage-like adhesive strip pulls the sides of your nose to open your nasal passages. It promises instant relief from congestion—and it delivered that, although I’m not sure whether the result was due to the actual strip, the pressure needed to apply it, or the pleasant lavender smell. However, by morning, the strip was always peeling off, which may explain why I found no significant change in my snoring overnight.
Copeaky Anti Snoring Chin Strap, $9 at the time of publication
This device looks like something you might wear for a wrestling match: The chin strap pushes your mouth shut so that you’re forced to breathe through your nose. It doesn’t come with instructions, but I managed to squish my face into this thing and (somehow) fall asleep, only to wake up at 3:00 a.m., uncomfortable and drenched in drool. It also did nothing for my snoring.
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1. Erica L. Carleton, PhD, assistant professor of human resources and organizational behavior at the University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business, Zoom interview, January 15, 2021
2. Janet Hilbert, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, Yale School of Medicine, email interview, January 18, 2021
3. Christopher Li, Victor Hoffstein, Snoring, Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (Fifth Edition)
4. Nitun Verma, MD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, phone interview, January 22, 2020
Tiny device could help people who suffer from chronic breathing problems
This is an Inside Science story.
Your nose is a vital piece of your anatomy, yet most of us ignore it until we get hit with a cold, and then it’s our own worst enemy -- putting us at war with congestion, a runny nose and difficulty breathing.
A cold will taper off after a while, but some people suffer chronic nose breathing problems, such as sinus infections and snoring.
Now a new invention by a group of college students could help millions of people breathe easier.
“So, this is something that I experience personally. I kind of dealt with it my entire life,” said Clayton Andrews.
Andrews, a student at Johns Hopkins University, is talking about having a common condition called nasal airway obstruction.
"Which is kind of a medical way to say that you have difficulty breathing through your nose due to an anatomical condition, whether it’s a deviated septum, or if you have narrow or kind of weak nasal cartilage,” said Andrews.
It’s something millions of people suffer from every day, and surgery or breathing aids don’t always provide relief.
“It first kind of came to our attention in the undergraduate design team program at Hopkins. We’re all biomedical engineering undergrads. And the project was introduced to us by Patrick Bern, who’s the director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He’s an ENT, or an ear, nose and throat specialist. So, this is something that he’s seen in his practice for over 20 years, is patients coming to him not being able to breathe through their nose,” said Andrews.
Andrews, along with other undergraduates at Johns Hopkins, has created a device that acts like an internal breathing strip to help people breathe better and also snore less.
The device, called Assist-ENT, is a small, reusable ring that fits into the nostril to open it up for a clearer airway passage. It’s inserted and removed easily by the user with a little pair of forceps but it can survive sneezing, vigorous exercise, and a good hard snore.
“So, the device is essentially designed to be worn up to 24 hours -- it can’t be worn any more than 24 hours. But at that kind of 24-hour mark, you would take it out, clean it in warm soapy water. There’s no kind of special cleaning solution,” said Andrews.
“One of our key kind of design criteria was making it as unobtrusive to your life as possible. And so we wanted a device that you could, like, take off the shelf, use immediately and use every day and kind of have it fit nicely into your daily routine,” said Andrews.
“It has such a kind of widespread appeal, whether you are just a snorer, whether you have nasal obstruction that affects you 24/7 and you want to always be able to breathe better through your nose, or whether you’re an athlete kind of looking for a competitive edge. There’s so many people who are just waiting to get their hands on this,” concluded Andrews.
The invention won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for best product in a consumer technology category. The prize is awarded to young inventors around the country. Andrews and the team are still testing the device with the goal of selling it online after completing clinical trials.
Inside Science is an editorially-independent nonprofit print, electronic and video journalism news service owned and operated by the American Institute of Physics.
We Tried It: 3 Popular Anti-Snoring Devices
After years of sleeping next to a snoring partner, can putting an end to noisy nights really be as simple as clicking “Buy It Now” on Amazon?
We’ve all seen those devices. You know, the ones in infomercials and Instagram ads that are somehow each “clinically proven” to be a miracle snoring solution.
I used to roll my eyes every time I came across a commercial for one of these contraptions. But then I started to live with someone who snores.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been jolted awake in our San Francisco home thinking “the big one” just hit California, only to realize the rumble that shook me out of my dream was simply my husband, John, snoring less than a foot away.
Suddenly, those ads for over-the-counter snoring gadgets began to look pretty promising.
So, after a particularly noisy night, we recently looked at some of the top options on Amazon and decided to give three different devices a try.
What is it?
Anti Snore Chin Strap
The first device we ordered gave us both a good laugh when it arrived. John tried it on the second we opened the package, and yes, the Anti Snore Chin Strap looks every bit as ridiculous as you think.
It’s a simple neoprene strap that fits under the chin, wraps around the sides of the head, and fastens with adjustable Velcro straps at the back.
The purpose of the strap is to hold the wearer’s mouth closed as they sleep in order to keep open-mouth snoring from occurring throughout the night.
2 in 1: Anti Snoring & Air Purifier
Made of plastic and medical-grade silicone, this anti-snoring gadget comes in a reusable case and is supposed to fit snugly in the wearer’s nostrils.
The packaging claims the front “snore reduction vents have been scientifically designed to maximize airflow through the nasal passage ways” and the silicone prongs that are inserted into the wearer’s nose “comfortably fit different size of nasal passages.”
Right out of the box, the 2 in 1: Anti Snoring & Air Purifier gave off what John described as a “gross plastic chemical smell” when he held it up to his nose. In fact, it was so strong he couldn’t try it on until we thoroughly washed it with soap and warm water twice to reduce the harsh scent.
Breathe Right Nasal Strips
These clear plastic adhesive strips are worn over the bridge of the nose and have “spring-like” bands that lift the nasal passages, supposedly opening them wider to improve airflow.
Each strip is individually packaged and has a peel-away backing (similar to bandages) for easy application over the nose.
However, because these disposable strips are only good for one use each, there’s quite a bit of unnecessary waste associated with this product.
Anti Snore Chin Strap
Though the Anti Snore Chin Strap is advertised on its packaging as being made from a “breathable” and “comfortable” material, John found the device made his head feel “a little too warm” in the spots it covered about 15 minutes after he put it on.
He described it as, “not the worst thing, but definitely not comfortable either.”
Shortly after John fell asleep that night, he began to snore. However, I quickly noticed the sound of his snoring was different. It came in starts and stops, a choppy noise that wasn’t like his normal snoring at all.
In fact, it sounded like he was having a more difficult time breathing.
Concerned, I woke him up and had him take it off. Not only did the Anti Snore Chin Strap fail to stop John’s snoring, it was now keeping me awake with worry it would interfere with his breathing while he slept.
2 in 1: Anti Snoring & Air Purifier
The instructions that came with the next device we tested claimed it would keep the wearer’s airway open to “improve nose breathing and reduce snoring.”
However, aside from being Instagram gold (John looked like he was wearing scuba diving gear straight out of a science fiction film when he shoved this thing in his nose), the 2 in 1 device was completely useless.
In fact, John said he had more difficulty exhaling out of his nose with the device in, making it more difficult for him to fall asleep.
Once he did fall asleep, the device kept falling out as he tossed throughout the night. The two ribbed silicone tubes that gently hug the wearer’s nasal septum don’t apply enough pressure to hold the device in place as they toss and turn throughout the night.
It neither improved his breathing, nor did it reduce his snoring.
Breathe Right Nasal Strips
The final treatment we tried was also the one we were most skeptical about: Breathe Right Nasal Strips.
Though they did not “stop” John’s snoring, I was pleasantly surprised to see (and hear) they did seem to mildly reduce the severity of it.
John did snore a little more quietly and he felt he could breathe easier through his nose when he wore the strips.
I was happy we found something that seemed to make a small difference, but I wanted to know more.
Why did the nasal strips seem to affect John’s snoring when the other devices failed? And why didn’t any of these devices turn out to be the “snoring solution” their bright packages claimed they were?
What the experts think
Why do we snore anyway?
Dr. Brandon Peters-Mathews, a board-certified physician in both neurology and sleep medicine who currently practices at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, explained that snoring occurs due to the vibration of tissues within the throat when the airway muscles relax during sleep.
“Most commonly, this is due to turbulent airflow affecting the soft palate, uvula, or base of the tongue,” Peters-Mathews said.
“Difficulty breathing through the nose may predispose toward mouth breathing and snoring. If the mouth comes open at night, the lower jaw and tongue may shift backwards, affecting airflow through the throat,” he added.
So, could snoring be dangerous?
“If snoring occurs infrequently without other associated symptoms, it alone may not be problematic,” Peters-Mathews said. “However, it is often a sign of underlying problems breathing during sleep. It may be a warning sign of associated sleep apnea (a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts).”
When I told him about our experience using the different devices we tried, Peters-Mathews said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
“Both external and internal nasal dilators may increase airflow through the nose and reduce snoring,” he said. “Unfortunately, these would not be expected to adequately resolve associated sleep apnea.”
He also advised against using a chinstrap to treat snoring. He pointed out that while a chinstrap may stabilize the jaw in a forward position, mouth breathing could become necessary if a nasal obstruction is present or if the person has difficulty breathing through their nose.
This seemed to explain why the sound of John’s snoring changed when he tried the chinstrap. He may have been having difficulty getting enough air through his nose and was struggling to breathe. I was doubly thankful I had him take the device off when I did.
Instead of turning to over-the-counter devices, Peters-Mathews advises that all chronic snoring should be evaluated by a sleep physician.
He said “even mild or intermittent snoring may be a problem if it is associated with other symptoms” such as:
- gasping at night
- unrefreshing sleep
- frequent waking up
- peeing more than once at night
- teeth grinding
- night sweats
- morning headaches
- daytime sleepiness
- memory problems
- high blood pressure
- atrial fibrillation
“These findings may be suggestive of sleep apnea. It is best to err on the side of caution and get it checked out,” Peters-Mathews said. “Treatment options may include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, an oral appliance from a dental specialist, or even surgery. Fortunately, effective therapy can resolve snoring and improve sleep.”
Would we try it again?
Basically, no. None of the devices worked well enough to put into regular use.
Since our experiment, John has undergone a sleep study, but the doctors didn’t identify a clear cause for his snoring.
At the moment we’re still looking for a snoring “solution,” but I don’t think we’ll be relying on Amazon this time.
Out to be at its best. After the next performance of the songwriters, they performed some kind of striptease on the road. Female striptease and mixed. Slightly drunk girls discussed the show, and Lenka professionally evaluated the artists.
Apparatus nose breathing
- only Tanshka was able to splash out. It hurt me too, but not for long and I felt that something wet and sticky poured on me from the vagina, I could not see it in the. Dark.Nose Breathing Apparatus
But she did. Okay. Now at least I know that he does not think anything so terrible about me.
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