Snoring is a common problem amongst between 30 to 50 percent of Americans according to our trusty old friend Wikipedia. I can say with confidence that I belong in this group of snorers.
Snoring can definitely become more detectable in certain situations. I have noticed that I snore the most often when sleeping on my back, and the loudness (some would even say “deepness”) of snoring can be increased with excessive alcohol consumption (which I’m also a pro at). I did not think my snoring was an issue until I started sharing a bed with the lady. Apparently it’s not easy sleeping next to someone that is producing sounds between 30 and 60 decibels which is the typical volume of a snore. I actually noticed I was snoring because I can snore so loud on my back that I can wake myself up! A rare talent, I know.
There are many devices in existence that are available to combat snoring. I have tried many of these different methods and although everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you and vice versa, here’s a list of what I have tried:
- Breathe Right Nasal Strips
This is a relatively old invention that many professional athletes still swear by. It is a relatively simple product in theory: open up the nasal passages to allow more air into your body. The adhesives on the Breath Rite strips sticks on to the upper part of your nose so you can get more air with every breath.
Unfortunately this product did not work for me. Yeah it did make me look cool since I was going to bed looking like a pro football player but it didn’t do a thing for my snoring.
Mouth Guards/Mouth Pieces for Snoring
I picked up a “boil n bite” type of mouth guard from eBay to protect my enamel from damage as a result of the teeth grinding (a side effect of CPAP) that started when I started using CPAP therapy. I didn’t have any knowledge of these dental devices that were specifically made to prevent snoring at the time so once the grinding stopped in about a week I simply stopped using the mouth guard.
Since there are currently many manufacturers of these new dental type anti-snoring devices, I opted to try out this old eBay mouth piece to see what it would do for my snoring (without the CPAP machine of course) and I think it is actually somewhat effective in reducing snoring. I cannot say that it can be a replacement for those on CPAP therapy because of sleep apnea however it did reduce snoring according to the wife. I now take a mouthguard with me on vacation since lugging around the Remstar M-Series along with the tubing and mask a little annoying while on a trip.
These mouthguards/mouthpieces are another tool of the trade for some athletes. A properly designed mouthguard or mouthpiece can actually reduce snoring from my experience. Here’s the concept: position the jaw slightly forward to stop the top of the mouth from collapsing and closing up the airway. It works, but I don’t have confidence that it works as well as CPAP sleep therapy. I don’t get that “fully rested” feeling in the morning with the mouth guard, but with my Remstar sleep apnea machine I feel well rested and refreshed when I wake up.
- Snore Sprays
Anti-snoring sprays are also abundant. The concept here is to lube the tissues that are rubbing against each other to prevent the snoring sound. While in theory this may help with the annoying sound, it doesn’t address the issue of airflow into the user’s lungs. Sleep Apnea sufferers should probably not consider any of these sprays effective treatment. Snorers with no evidence of sleep apnea (rare) may find these products useful.
Now I can’t say that I’ve tried any of these products first hand but I will review these products if given the opportunity.
A couple of years with daily CPAP therapy has proven to be the most effective treatment for my snoring and sleep apnea. Proper maintenance and cleaning of the equipment is essential for proper use. Take care of your sleep apnea supplies and they will take care of you! Proper maintenance and cleaning of the sleep apnea equipment is essential to receive the maximum benefits. Take care of your CPAP supplies and they will take care of you!