Snoring is the curse of many men and women that keeps them getting a good night sleep and perhaps as importantly their partner as well. The good news is there are many types of snoring sleep aids available on the market today to help reduce or eliminate snoring. It may take some trial and error to figure out which one will be the best fit for your particular needs but at least there solid options to consider.
First lets take a look at what causes the snoring sound. When your breathing during sleep and air can’t move freely through your nose and throat the movement of the air causes the tissues in the surrounding areas to vibrate. Its that vibration that causes the snoring sounds. The reason you don’t snore when awake is that the muscles of the throat hold the tissues more rigidly in place. When you sleep those muscles relax.
The other type is snoring is having small or semi-collapsed nostrils that cause limited breathing through the nose. This then forces open-mouthed breathing which in turn can cause snoring.
The sleep aids fall into eight general categories. The type of sleep aids ranges from natural remedies to the more invasive types including surgery.
There are two primary types of mouthpieces that work to reduce snoring.
The first is the Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs). They are called this because the goal of the MAD is to force the jaw to move slightly forward which allows for more space in the throat area for the air to pass and less likely to cause tissue vibration. The downsides of the MAD are what you would probably expect including soreness in the jaw, extra salvation, mouth dryness, sore teeth, etc. Some of this may go away be significantly reduced over time.
The second type of mouthpiece are the Tongue Stabilizing Devices (TSDs). As opposed to trying to adjust the position of the jaw, these devices work to adjust the position of the tongue in the mouth. The goal is to pull the tongue forward and create more space between the back of the throat and the tongue. The side effects of TSDs are primarily related to getting used to the device being in the mouth, drooling and dry mouth.
The major makers of MSDs and TSDs include:
- Sleep Silent
- Vital Sleep
- Good Morning Snore Solution
- Sleep Tight
- Pure Sleep
- Sleep Pro
- Snore Mate
- Snore Mender
- Snore Doc
The next device are chin straps. These devices wrap around and cup your chin with straps that go up over the top of your head. You can think of it as a sling for your head and face that forces your mouth to stay closed and your jaw in a position to prevent airway blockage while sleeping.
The goal of nasal products is to open up the nasal passages and prevent mouth breathing which in turn can help to eliminate snoring. There are many types of solutions on the market we will overview two primary ones.
Nasal Cones / Nasal Dilators – These are basically devices that you insert into your nostrils to help keep them open.
Nasal Strips – These are the butterfly type bandages you have seen advertised you put on your nose to keep the sinus passages more open and make it easier to breathe through the nose.
Pillows and Beds
Given that snoring is in large part impacted by laying down sleep it would make sense to look at options that involve putting the head into a better position to prevent snoring.
Select Comfort made a big splash in the snoring marketplace with their $8.000 bed that monitors and adjusts to our sleeping patterns and needs. Your partner can adjust your head and upper body position as well to gently prop you up to keep breathing passages more open for air flow.
You can also buy a variety of pillows and wedges that will achieve the same result – propping your body up and taking the pressure of air passages. You can check out options here to consider.
Now we get to the infamous Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy device or CPAP for short. CPAP is a mechanical device that is often used for people who have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) to ensure they don’t have episodes of not breathing and may also help reduce snoring.
The device increases air pressure in the throat so that the airway doesn’t collapse. The device includes a mask that covers your nose and mouth. You can also have a mask that only covers the nose.
Sprays and Pills
Next we get to non-device based solutions. There are a number of options to consider. Most are natural in nature and work on very specific remedies to snoring.
This is an interesting solution to consider. Basically a machine takes air from the room through a filter and then disburses sodium crystals through the air when the air comes back out. The theory is these crystals will be pulled deep into the lungs and reduces inflammation and also has some anti-bacterial benefits.
Most are focused on relieving inflammation in the nose, clearing blockages, etc. In most cases that isn’t the cause of snoring or it may be a temporary cause at best.
There are a wide variety of solutions focused on taking a simple pill to stop snoring. Some of these such as SnoreStop® FastTabs™ are designed to reduce and shrink those swollen tissues that cause air passages to be blocked. SnorStop also has a throat spray that has the same effect.
If snoring is caused by allergies then there are a number of well-known solutions to reduce allergies and stuffed up noses. If you suspect allergies may be at the root of your snoring then try these options out immediately.
Natural Snoring Solutions
There are a number of natural solutions to consider. Unfortunately most of these do not provide a quick fix but focus on resolving a core problem at the root of snoring.
Facial and Throat Exercises
You can also consider doing exercises specially designed to tone the muscles in the face, throat, tongue, and jaw. These exercises tone the muscles in these areas, allowing for an open airway while sleeping and preventing muscles from relaxing at night.
Losing weight may not seem like an obvious solution but extra weight and water retention in the face and neck puts extra pressure on the airways. Regular exercise also has the benefit or reducing water retention which will help as well.
Yoga has a strong component of breathing exercises and breathing control. Practicing these techniques can strengthen and tone the muscles that are involved in causing the snoring effect.
Proper Body Care
This can include any number of things including ensuring your not dehydrated which keeps fluids in the notes and throat less sticky, ensuring nose airways are well cleared before bedtime, sleeping on your side and more.
As a last resort you can consider surgery. If there isn’t a solution that’s working for you long term surgery can be considered. The goal of this surgery is to remove the excess tissue that is causing the snoring and may include removing the tonsils and adenoids to help provide more air passage space.
If your struggling with snoring problems the good news is there are many options to consider. It may take trial and error and some hard work but you should be able to overcome your snoring and get a better night sleep for you and your partner.