Why you should care
One of these devices might just save your marriage.
Waking up grumpy because you didn’t get a good night’s sleep is beyond frustrating. Some nights, I wake up every hour, and it’s not because I’m stressed out or uncomfortable. Unfortunately, a loudly snoring partner is the major culprit. I’ve tried earplugs, noise machines and rolling him over consistently through the night. Nothing works — and I’m not alone. At least 40 percent of men and 24 percent of women are loud sleepers, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
“When people snore we suspect that they experience resistance of airflow in the upper airways,” says Alon Y. Avidan, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. “Traditionally speaking, the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep is continuous positive airway pressure,” he explains.
Luckily, there are a few devices designed to do just that. Anti-snoring tech can help both a loud snorer and their partner get a better night’s sleep. For many users, these devices seem to do the trick. But, cautions Avidan, if you’re a persistent snorer, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor to ensure your snoring isn’t indicative of a more serious problem — like sleep apnea.
Give your head a little lift
The Smart Nora is a small sensor that sits on the snorer’s bedside table and listens for repeated sounds — like snoring — at a certain frequency. When this happens, an insert under the person’s pillow inflates and repositions their head. The movement helps relax the throat muscles and loosen the airway, allowing the user to sleep normally (read: quietly).
The “Nora” was developed to combat its inventor’s own snoring issues — Ali Hariri, CTO of Smart Nora, had a snoring problem for years. When he had friends and family beta test the device, they wanted to keep the Nora because “they were getting the best sleep they’d had in years,” says Smart Nora’s CEO, Behrouz Hariri.
Since being founded in 2015, the company has had several customers write to say the Nora “saved their marriage,” Hariri says. One Nora customer, John Ewing, from Oakland, CA, says his wife is very pleased with how well Nora stops his snoring. ”She notices when I forget to turn it on at night and at bedtime is always asking me, ‘did you turn on Nora?’” Ewing says.
At $300, the price tag is a little steep. But if you sleep with a snorer — or have been threatened with divorce for your own snoring — it might be worth the investment.
Among the anti-snoring tech community, there’s a clear consensus: Unblocking your airway is the key to better breathing and less snoring.
Breathe better through your nose
Among the anti-snoring tech community, there’s a clear consensus: Unblocking your airway is the key to better breathing and less snoring. But every person is different. “Some people may benefit from one type of device because their anatomical features are more likely to predispose them to snoring,” says Avidan. “Individuals who have nasal restriction may benefit from devices that expand the nasopharyngeal airways,” he explains.
One such device is called the Rhinomed Mute Nasal Dilator. Small prongs are inserted into your nostrils to physically give more space for airflow while sleeping. According to Amazon user Dustin E., the Rhinomed is comfortable to wear as long as you take the time to insert it properly. “These definitely help with breathing more at night through my nose as well [and] does cut back my snoring,” Dustin writes, though he cautions that they have fallen out occasionally.
Similarly, RAWTronics makes an anti-snoring nasal device with nostril-shaped prongs. As you sleep, the prongs keep your airway clear to allow for fluid breathing.
Significantly cheaper than the Nora, the RAWTronics’ device is $11.99 on Shopify and the Rhinomed Mute Nasal Dilator is $15 on Amazon.
Get Bedd-er at sleeping
There’s another device that can adjust the position of your head to help you sleep better but on a much bigger scale. Italian company Magniflex makes a mattress called the Magni Smartech, with microphones built in that listen for snoring. Then, like the Nora, it raises the top of the mattress to slightly lift your head. Sleep Number also came out with a snore-detecting mattress in 2018, the 360 Smart Bed, which works similarly.
The biggest problem with these mattresses as a snoring solution? The price. The Sleep Number smart bed retails for $10,500, and the Magniflex mattress will set you back $20,000.
Bogus or brilliant?
An unusual type of anti-snoring device called SNOR claims to train the muscles inside your mouth cavity to make them stronger — and it doesn’t need to be worn at night. The vibration of the soft palate in your mouth is what creates the sound of snoring so, in theory, strengthening these muscles decreases the vibration. This is done through a tube — one end attaches to the device, which plugs into your smartphone, and the other end goes in your mouth. The company claims that after doing this 10 minutes per day for three weeks, your snoring will completely disappear.
If you have no qualms about dropping a few hundred bucks, you can buy it on the SNORETECH website for $249, along with a pack of 22 disposable tubes for $35.
We may not be able to completely cure snoring yet, but these devices are getting us closer. I’d certainly like my partner to try one. There’s just one little problem. He still adamantly denies that he snores — despite the recorded evidence!
* Correction: The original version of this story explained that the Smart Nora sits under one’s pillow, but it sits on the nightstand.