Anti-Snoring Device Reviews
Information on How to Stop Snoring
Welcome to Stop Snoring RX!
Are you looking for solutions to stop snoring? Perhaps you're reading this at 2 a.m. because your partner's snoring sounds like a chainsaw next to you and you can't sleep? Fortunately, we’re here to help!
My name is Chris, and I snore … or so my long-suffering wife kept telling me! I’d wake up tired, and would often have a dry mouth because of it, but it was her quality of sleep that really suffered. After enduring years of interrupted sleep, we'd had enough! I was determined to fix this problem once and for all.
Finding a cure to my snoring was a very trying process, but eventually I figured it out, so I decided to start this website to help others do the same. Along the way you’ll find my honest reviews of the various anti-snoring devices I've used plus other helpful articles related to sleep and snoring.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. The owner may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This comes at no additional cost to you and does not affect the recommendations made by the author.
What Causes Snoring?
The way snoring is depicted in the movies and popular media, you can be forgiven for thinking it is only overweight men or the elderly who snore. The reality is often far removed from this stereotype. Many young people, both men and women, and even people who are very skinny may snore – my two year old even snores. This is not difficult to understand once you get the basic idea of why we snore.
When you fall into a deep sleep, the muscles in your mouth cavity relax, and this can cause them to fall back, blocking the airways. As the air forces its way across these tissues, there is a forced vibration that causes the typical sound of snoring.
Snoring can be caused by any of these factors:
Health Risks of Snoring
Snoring is often the butt of jokes, but it could be a sign of very serious conditions and cause health risks. Talk to your doctor, who can refer you to a sleep specialist. They will find out why you snore, and recommend some solutions.
Potential health risks include:
How to Stop Snoring
As we've seen, there are several factors to determine whether you snore in your sleep. The treatment for snoring therefore depends on identifying the cause and finding the right method of action to help you (and your family members) get a quiet, good night of sleep.
Lose Weight – Because excess weight presses down on your throat, losing excess pounds can help alleviate this.
Have an Early Dinner – Heavy digestion can also be a factor, so don’t have a large meal within two hours of bedtime.
Avoid Alcohol and Sleeping Pills – These substances loosen your muscles too much … you’ll have to also treat the way to try and fall asleep if you rely on these too much.
Don't Smoke – Smoking irritates and inflames your airways. If you smoke … quitting could eliminate your snoring problem.
Perform Throat Exercises – Strengthening the muscles of your throat could help reduce or eliminate your snoring problem. By tightening the skin around the throat, you reduce the amount of vibration that occurs during sleep. You can try these several times a day to tone and strengthen the muscles:
Anti-Snoring Devices – This is perhaps the most common method to stop snoring and our personal recommendation if the above lifestyle changes were unsuccessful – using a specific device that helps treat your condition. This can be either a pillow to help align your neck a certain way, a chin strap to keep your mouth closed, a device to widen your nasal passages, or a special mouthpiece designed to reduce vibrations, among others.
Surgery – In extreme cases, you can have surgery to remove your over-sized tonsils (if that’s causing the problem) or surgery to cut away excess tissue, widen your airway or fix a deviated septum. Be warned that surgery is not without its risks and should only be considered if you have exhausted all alternative treatments.
What Type of Snorer Are You?
Before you know which snoring device will work for you, you need to find out what type of snorer you are – what is the reason you snore? Do you snore with your mouth open on your pillow? Suck wind through the nose and let it out with a blast? Or do you feel the rumble deep in your chest?
According to sleep experts, there are different types of snoring, and each needs different treatment. Once you figure that out, you can find a solution. Listed below are the main types of snoring and what you can do about them.
The Mouth Snorer
“Mouth snoring” is usually caused by excess tissue in the mouth or throat, an improperly placed jaw, an improperly positioned head and neck or over-relaxation of the muscles in the vault of the mouth.
What To Do About It – Try a snoring mouthpiece. This is a comfortable but firm item that forms to the mold of your teeth. Place it in your mouth at night and it will keep your jaw pulled forward, in your normal awake position, so that it doesn’t slip back at night and cause snoring. If you or your partner notices that you do not snore if your mouth is closed, you can also try a chin strap – which is far more comfortable than a mouthpiece, but is only effective if it is due to the position of your jaw. If you feel incorrect placement of your head and neck are the problem, try an ergonomic anti-snore pillow.
The Nasal Snorer
Issues originating from the nose can disturb sleep patterns and cause snoring. Conditions that cause nasal snoring may include a deviated septum (misaligned bone in the nose), blocked sinuses or nasal polyps (tiny, non-cancerous growths in the nose). Your partner may notice a whining sound coming from your nose when you snore, and you may snort and awaken yourself.
What To Do About It – Nasal snorers are the category that will most benefit from breathing strips. These are placed across the bridge of your nose in order to keep it open at night. Nasal inserts and/or sprays may also be helpful. If you suspect a deviated septum or nasal polyps, see your doctor. Both can easily be fixed via surgery. Blocked sinuses could indicate allergies or narrow cavities – see your doctor as well.
The Gasping/Breathing-Impeded Snorer
If you’re being jerked awake by your own snoring, or if your partner has noticed that you snore deeply, then seem to stop breathing for a few moments, a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be present.
During an OSA episode, you do in fact stop breathing, even if only for a few seconds. These lapses in oxygen are followed by a “panic” reaction in your body that makes you wake up so you can breathe in sharply. This constant sleep / waking up can have long-term health consequences.
What To Do About It – See your doctor. Your doctor may suggest a sleep study to determine whether or not you’re having OSA episodes, and if so, how often. Some OSA sufferers have only a few episodes per night; others have many per hour.
A sleep study is easy. Electrodes are attached painlessly to your head, chest and sometimes to your pulse points using a sticky conductor gel. You are then asked to sleep. Many people have trouble getting to sleep initially under these conditions, but eventually, you’ll tire and doze off. While you’re sleeping, technicians will be awake to watch out for snoring, possible OSA and to monitor your heart and blood pressure.
After the sleep study, the results will be sent to your doctor. She can then guide you through the process of trying different techniques to help stop your OSA episodes. Many OSA sufferers utilize a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device so they will receive enough oxygen during the night. In some cases, surgery on excess fleshy tissue may help as well.
How to Discover Your Snoring “Style”
There are a few hints as to where your snoring originates, but it’s easiest to enlist in the help of a partner. If your spouse has been suffering with your snoring, it probably won’t be difficult to ask him or her to take part in this experiment.
Have your partner record your snoring. Yes, this is embarrassing, but it’s the best way to listen to and watch your snoring later.
If your partner awakens due to your snoring, have her jot down (or make a mental note of): whether your mouth is open; whether you seem to rumble or gasp; whether there is a wheezing noise and other notable aspects of your snoring.
If you don’t have a partner to help, try to observe yourself when you wake from a snore. Is your mouth open? Did you feel nasal pressure? Do you feel as if you may have stopped breathing for a second, and/or that you “jerked” awake from a snore or felt a choking sensation?
Whatever snoring type you may be, it’s essential to be informed. Take notes along with you to the doctor if you feel you might forget something. Details are important; they will help your doctor determine what the right course of action is for you.
How to Choose an Anti-Snoring Device
People often wonder if anti-snoring devices actually work? I can speak from experience and say, "yes, they do work." The problem is, not every device works the same for everyone, so you may have to try several different methods until you find the one that works best for you.
Comparing between these devices has no meaning because each one works on a different mechanism and comes with its own pros and cons. The most important thing to remember is that rather than looking at which is the best anti-snoring device, you ought to focus on which one is the best for you.
Once you have determined what type of snorer you are, its time to consider which device will be most suitable for you. It is best to first talk to your doctor or dentist to see what type of device they recommend.
Remember, this process may take some trial and error. Everyone's situation is a little different so you may have to experiment with multiple devices before you settle on the one that works best for you. Don't be discouraged if your first purchase doesn't cure your snoring problem right away.
Most of these products offer some sort of return policy and are rather low-cost anyways -- especially when compared to more serious alternatives such as surgery, so just keep trying. I personally went through about 4 devices before I landed on the one that worked for me.
Now we will take a look at some of the most popular anti-snoring devices on the market and discuss their inherent strengths and weaknesses.
Generally Works Best For: Mouth Snorers
Anti-snoring mouthpieces are dental devices placed within the mouth to help reduce snoring. Mouthpieces come in two general designs: tongue stabilizing devices and mandibular advancement devices. Some anti-snoring mouthpieces hold up the soft tissues of the palate; others pull the jaw in front and prevent the tongue from falling back.
Although there are several different models available, all such devices work on the principle of stabilizing the tissues within the mouth and throat to prevent airway restriction. If your snoring is a result of tissues blocking the airway, anti-snoring mouthpieces are likely to provide you relief.
There are a few disadvantages, though. For instance, you need to insert the mouthpiece into your mouth every night before sleeping, which can take some getting used to. Occasionally, if the anti-snoring mouthpiece is too tight a fit, it can lead to problems with the jaw joint; so it is important to choose the right model that is effective without causing you discomfort.
Some people also find that using the mouthpiece makes their mouth secrete a greater amount of saliva which causes drooling. Still others may find that their mouth tends to stay open when they use the anti-snoring mouthpiece, and this can cause a dry mouth. If these problems become too burdensome, you could always try using a chin strap that keeps your jaws in position, so the mouth is held closed during sleep.
Tongue Stabilizing Devices (TSD)
A tongue stabilizing device is a plastic or silicone insert that helps open the airway by "stabilizing" the tongue and pulling it forward while you sleep. This is accomplished through light suction that prevents your tongue from relaxing into your throat when you're asleep.
As you know, the primary cause of snoring is due to a restriction of the airway. The tongue is often the culprit of the blockage, so this type of device can be very beneficial for some. TSDs do not manipulate the position of the jaw such as mandibular advancement devices and are generally safe for those with dentures.
Popular TSDs may have slight design differences but generally perform in a similar manner, by using a soft chamber that suctions to your tongue and secures it in the forward position.
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)
In people who snore because of vibration of the back of the tongue, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) – also called a mandibular repositioning splint – may work better than other anti-snoring devices. This is designed in such a way that it causes your tongue and jaw to move forward, preventing the tongue from blocking the airways.
It’s similar to a mouthpiece as described at the beginning of this article, but must be custom-fitted for your mouth. The best MAD’s often offer further customization through incremental advancement of the jaw via a mechanism on the device. The patient can increase or decrease the angle of the mouthpiece until the ideal alignment in the throat is achieved, and the snoring stops.
An orthodontist-designed MAD that is customized for you has an advantage over a simple anti-snoring mouthpiece in the sense that it can also help with sleep apnea. The drawback is that they may not be as comfortable, and are much more expensive … though many are prescription-only, so your health or dental insurance may pick up most of the tab.
There are three different types of MAD:
Boil and bite MAD – These are the most cost-effective and can be bought over-the-counter or online. These mouthpieces are fitted by the patient by emerging the device in hot or boiling water to soften the material, placing in the mouth and biting down to form a mold, and then placing in ice water to retain its shape.
Semi-custom MAD – Slightly more expensive, a semi-custom MAD involves the user taking a mold of their mouth and then sending it away to be custom fitted. A few days or weeks later, a quality device is returned - often with some ability for incremental adjustment.
Custom Dental MAD – The best fitting MAD will likely be custom made in-person by your physician, dentist or sleep specialist. These devices come with a premium price tag but are often covered under insurance. A custom MAD is a good option for those with specific needs that can't be addressed with a one-size-fits-all mouthpiece.
Is a Mouthpiece Right For You?
Note that these are NOT an option if you have sleep apnea – you will need a CPAP machine for that.
If you decide to try a mouthpiece, which one works? It mainly depends on how you snore. Often you will have to try a few before you find one that works for you. Luckily, most manufacturers have a money-back guarantee.
I spent many years snoring until it got so bad I went to see a doctor. He recommended a mouthpiece, and it took a few before I found one that not only worked, but was comfortable for me.
Generally Works Best For: Mouth Snorers
If you want another method of keeping yourself in the right position to avoid snoring, try anti-snore pillows.
Generally Works Best For: Back Sleepers
Some people are mild snorers and snore only when lying flat on the back. If this is true in your case, all you need to do is ensure you sleep on your side and the snoring will stop.
Now this is easier said than done; if you are used to sleeping on your back, this is probably the most comfortable for you. You may lie in bed on your side but once you fall asleep, you are most likely to get back onto your back and then, the snoring starts.
The tennis ball trick is an option to keep you from rolling back. Sew in a tennis ball into the back of your night clothes and anytime you turn onto your back, this will cause pain and in response, you go back to lying on your side.
If you snore due to lying on your back – try the tennis ball trick. Strap a ball on your back, and sleep on your side. If, during the night, you move onto your back, the tennis ball will make you uncomfortable, forcing you to turn in your sleep.
Sleep Position Trainers
Nasal Dilators & Sprays
Generally Works Best For: Nasal Snorers
People who snore because of nasal congestion generally benefit by the use of nasal devices. Nasal dilators are devices made of metal or plastic – they resemble nose rings and are to be placed within the nose at bedtime. The dilator helps to keep the nostrils well apart during sleep and this relieves the congestion and you stop snoring.
Several nasal strips that look just like sticking plasters are also available; you need to place these on the outside of the nose to keep nostrils apart and prevent the nasal passage narrowing in deep sleep.
If you chronically suffer from nasal congestion due to a cold or a sinus infection, you ought to look at methods that help relieve this underlying cause. Rinsing the nose with salt water and a hot shower before you sleep can help to clear the nasal passage of the congestion. Speak to a doctor about using nasal decongestants to help with your snoring because long-term use may not be advisable.
EPAP Nasal Strips
Generally Works Best For: Nasal Snorers
Anti-Snoring Machines (CPAPs)
Generally Works Best For: Sleep Apnea
The doctor has just given you the news: due to snoring perhaps accompanied by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), she’s giving you a prescription for a CPAP device.
Your heart sinks. You get an immediate visual of a giant 1940s airplaine pilot oxygen mask making suck-pump-suck-pump Darth Vader-esque sounds and crunching into the sides of your head every time you turn in your sleep.
You were really hoping to avoid a CPAP machine…but your doctor insists you need one. What now?
First, don’t panic. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) systems have come a long way since large, bulky, uncomfortable devices that hissed loudly enough to keep your partner (and you) awake.
Even better: today there are different versions depending upon your needs, your budget and what insurance will cover. Here’s what to expect:
The Anatomy of a CPAP Device
Some CPAP devices cover your entire mouth and nose area; others sit beneath the nose. Humidity can be introduced to the area to prevent dry mouth, throat and nose. Straps are made to be comfortable and flexible and masks create a good seal to help prevent leakage and “squeaking,” meaning both you and your significant other get a better night’s rest than ever.
What Your CPAP Will Do
A CPAP device is a type of ventilator that pushes a continuous, steady stream of air into your nose and/or mouth during periods of rest.
The gentle pressure of the CPAP keeps alveoli within the lungs open and prevents periods of shortness of breath, complete stoppage of breath and snoring.
Most CPAP devices include a humidifier to prevent drying out of the mouth and nasal passages due to the steady flow of air.
A source of oxygen is blended with compressed air and pushed out of the machine, through a tube and into the mask or cannula.
Most CPAP devices include a mask that covers at least the nose, or else covers both the nose and mouth. However, some new versions sit beneath the nose and are smaller and, according to some users, less intrusive and bulky. Ask your doctor.
Most CPAP devices measure various details of your sleep patterns, including (so that the doctor can be sure you’re complying to her recommendations) what time the machine is turned on and off and how long you wore the mask during the night.
CPAP Problems and How to Avoid Them
CPAP devices aren’t without their drawbacks, but developers have been listening and responding to various complaints for decades and are coming up with increasingly more satisfactory solutions so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
Your success depends upon not only time and patience but making sure you have the best CPAP device option for you and your sleeping style. Make sure you get the best machine you can given your budget and supplier and machine reviews, and don’t suffer in silence – ask your doctor for options that will make every night a sweet-dreams night.
Snoring isn’t just an annoyance to yourself and those around you – it could indicate health problems such as chronic sinus problems, obesity or potentially life-threatening conditions like sleep apnea.
Do yourself a favor and give an anti-snoring device a try. Hopefully you can find as much relief from one as I have. Best of luck!