Over the years, I have helped thousands of people affected by snoring. I also worked with surgeons and medical practitioners who specialise in sleep medicine.
I learned a lot about snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) – which is a serious medical condition where you stop breathing while you sleep. If you have it, you should be seen by a medically qualified sleep specialist. OSA often goes hand-in-hand with snoring, although it is not caused by snoring.
Most recently I’ve been working on Zedphones which are headphones for sleeping next to a loud snorer. For more information visit DEEPsound.co
What follows is a list of common treatments and strategies for dealing with loud snoring.
Mandibular Advancement Splints
In my opinion the most practical and effective way to stop a person snoring is for the snorer to wear a Mandibular Advancement Splint mouthpiece, like the ones I designed for SleepPro.
They are also known to be effective at reducing breathing obstructions while sleeping and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
But some people don’t like having a splint in their mouth while they sleep, or they need a break from it once in a while. Or find it only partially effective – reducing the intensity of the snoring, but not eliminating it completely. And of course, for some people, they don’t work at all. This has been the story of snoring – there has been no magic bullet to fix the problem.
There is no “magic bullet”.
Continuous Positive Air Pressure CPAP
Another effective solution to stop snoring is Continuous Positive Air Pressure, or CPAP, which involves wearing a mask while you sleep. However, many people told me they found this uncomfortable, expensive and difficult to travel with.
CPAP is also a standard treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Some Snorers benefit from surgery. There are several procedures and most of them are painful and of questionable long term efficacy.
Exercising and changing what you eat and drink to lose weight (especially cutting out sugar and eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables) can have a major impact on stopping snoring.
Alcohol is also a contributing factor as it is rich in calories (which does not help with weight loss). And makes the soft palate even more relaxed and prone to “flapping in the wind” and causing the sound of snoring.
Alcohol can also contribute to the upper airway closing-off partially or completely while you sleep – often resulting in you feeling dreadful the next day as a result of reduced oxygen in your blood. When your airway is partially obstructed, you have, for argument’s sake, half a litre of air passing through an opening (your upper airway) that is half its normal diameter, let’s say 7mm instead of 14mm, and so it flows more quickly and at a higher pressure (same volume, smaller aperture). When this happens, air hits the soft palate (in the roof of the mouth) at a higher pressure than normal and causes it to vibrate, sometimes very loudly. This is often the cause of loud snoring.
Is It Sustainable? Is It Immediate?
The trouble with weight loss and giving up alcohol is lots of people struggle to implement the changes in their lifestyle required to do these things. Or they make the changes and then revert back to how they were after a few months. Sometimes putting immense strain on relationships. So this brings many people full circle – back to relying on something else to solve the problem of loud snoring.
To my knowledge, up until now, there was no effective, affordable tool, that is available no-matter-what for a person who is affected by snoring – that works immediately. And this is why I developed Zedphones – headphones for sleeping in a noisy place. Visit DEEPsound.co for more information.
John Bradley, April 2019.