Why Good Sleep is Important

Science, Sleep

Why Good Sleep is Important

The partner of a chronic snorer loses over an hour of sleep every night [1]. Good sleep can be hard to come by for all parties in a bedroom polluted with snoring, particularly if snoring transitions to sleep apnea.

But why does this matter?

Sleep can seem like a real waste of one third of your life; time spent doing apparently nothing when there’s so much else you could be doing. A lack of sleep however, spells a shortened life and one where your waking hours are severely blunted.

By staying awake and spurning sleep, more time is lost than is gained. We must accept that sleep is vital for health and survival.

Good sleep is healthy

Sleep seems to be a pretty inactive period. On the surface, our sincere lack of movement or responsiveness would indicate that our body is dormant. This isn’t so. It’s very active, just in a different way. During sleep, our bodies and brains are busily repairing, refreshing and rewiring.

If sleep were a miracle drug, everyone would pay a fortune for it as the list of benefits are nothing short of astounding. Sleep:

  • Reduces your risk of chronic physical, neurological and mental disorders
  • Enhances your defenses to infection
  • Diminishes food cravings helping to regulate weight
  • Forms new memories

Good sleep can even make you look better. Cortisol – a stress hormone – increases when we lose sleep and in turn decreases the production of collagen, a protein that gives your skin smoothness.

A study in Sweden asked volunteers to rate the attractiveness of people who had 8 hours sleep against those who had experienced 31 hours sleep deprivation. The sleep deprived people were perceived as less healthy and less attractive [2].

Bad sleep is damaging

The inverse of the advantages of good sleep is the damage that can be done with sleep deprivation. Indeed, multiple studies have shown that getting less than six hours of sleep per night significantly increases the likelihood of an early death [3].

In the short-term, the mental impairment from moderate sleep deprivation equates to the effects mild alcohol intoxication [4]. Extreme sleep deprivation has even been shown to cause hallucinations.

Over a longer period, chronic sleep debt can do irreversible damage to the brain and rest of the body. Importantly, this increases the likelihood of a host of maladies:

  • Stroke
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Dementia
  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • Reduced immunity
  • Cancer


Poor sleep is the underdog of public health. Problems like obesity, cancer and dementia are far more prominent in the public consciousness than problematic sleep is. If you consider that bad sleep has a hand in all of these conditions, you’ll appreciate the importance of getting a good night [5].

If snoring is having an impact upon the sleep quality of you or your partner, these nighttime noises definitely need addressing.

Nasal Strips and Dilators for Snoring


A Guide to Nasal Dilators

Many people snore due to a blocked nose. There are several options when it comes to opening your nasal passageways to stop your snoring. One popular option is to use a nasal dilator.

Nasal dilators work by mechanically opening your nasal passages, decreasing the resistance to incoming air without resorting to medication. There are two main types of nasal dilators: external and internal.

External dilators pull from the outside, whereas internal devices push from the inside.

Breathing through your nose reduces snoring

It’s all too easy to get a blocked nose and snore as a result. Allergies and colds can come on suddenly, ruining your breathing and sleep. Long-term, chronic problems can arise from pollution, medication, hormones and even your nose-structure.

Having a blocked nose can force you to breathe through your mouth, massively increasing your chances of snoring as your jaw and tongue compress the airway. If you breathe through a partially blocked nose, this can also cause snoring due to the increased pressure and suction forces created [1].

Advantages over other remedies

“Big snorer for decades. SnoreLab helped me analyze patterns and review remedies. I use a nasal dilator now … no more snoring!”

So why choose nasal dilators over other nasal treatments? There are other ways to open your nose and reduce snoring such as using nasal sprays. Nasal dilators, both internal and external have distinct advantages over other methods. Nasal dilators:

  • Are non-medicated, therefore are suitable for more people
  • Provide instantaneous relief
  • Are non-invasive
  • Do not become less effective with continued use
  • Have no side-effects (some nasal sprays have been known cause nosebleeds, stinging sensations and withdrawal)

External nasal dilators

External nasal dilators are also known as nasal strips. You may recognize them from professional sport as they are popular with athletes looking to improve their breathing efficiency.

There is limited evidence to suggest that they help athletes perform better. However, there is a wealth of scientific study related to snoring, and the verdict is that external nasal dilators can really reduce your snoring if you have a blocked nose.

At SnoreLab, we like the Breathe Right nasal strips.

How do they work?

These simple devices open up your nasal passageways by sticking to the external surface of your nose (unlike internal nasal dilators which are inserted into the nostrils).

Nasal strips look and behave like a plaster. They have a gentle adhesive that sticks to the outside of your nose just above the nostrils.

The parallel bands of rigid plastic use a springboard action to open up your nasal passageways; when bent across your nose they try to straighten. This “recoil” or “springboard” force gently pulls your nasal passageways open.

By positioning them just below the bone of your nose, the strips act on the narrowest part of your nose, the nasal valve. This bottleneck is most prone to blockage and sits one centimeter behind the nostril opening where nasal strips should be placed.

What’s the evidence?

In addition to the extensive (and often null) research into athletic performance, there have been multiple studies that assess nasal strips and their impact on people’s nightly vocal performances.

Plenty of studies have produced positive results, with most subjects showing significant reductions in the amount of snoring when wearing nasal strips. Importantly, these studies are robust and reliable, using placebo strips without rigid bands as a means of comparison [2].

Who are they for?

Chronic nasal congestion arises for a variety of reasons and nasal strips have proven useful regardless of the cause [2]. Because nasal strips are non-medicated, they are suitable for everyone whose snoring is caused by a blocked nose.

Studies have shown nasal strips have benefits for a variety of people with chronic or acute nasal blockage, including pregnant women [3] and even those with a deviated septum [4].

Are they right for me?

Just like all snoring remedies, external nasal dilators have good and not-so-good points.


  • Non-complicated and easy to apply
  • Affordable
  • Non-invasive
  • No side effects


  • Not reusable
  • Can loosen during the night
  • Can cause minor skin blemishes


External nasal dilators

Shop here

Internal nasal dilators

Nasal cones, clips, prongs and stents are all simply internal nasal dilators. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, and can dramatically reduce snoring associated with a blocked nose.

We recommend the ZQuiet Breathe Intra-Nasal Breathing Aids with their tried and tested design to increase airflow, and flexible wings to give an optimal fit.

How do they work?

Internal nasal dilators reduce airflow resistance by propping open your nostrils. The springy material forces outwards when compressed to fit inside your nostrils, expanding the alar cartilage on your nose which is very prone to collapse [5].

This mechanism can be particularly helpful for snorers who have a deviated septum where one nostril is smaller or collapses often with inhalation.

What’s the evidence?

There is only a handful of studies that look at the benefits of using internal nasal dilators [6]. Max-Air Nose Cones, Airmax nasal dilators and NoZovent clips have been shown to increase nasal airflow, with both NoZovent and Max-Air performing better than external nasal strips [5].

Which type should I choose?

Because these devices go inside your nose, extra consideration needs to be given to the type you choose, so as to avoid negative reactions or discomfort. Look for types that use medical-grade silicone as they are anti-bacterial and easy to clean.

Whilst there are only three types backed up by hard science, they all function in a very similar way. The ones without scientific backing are still likely to be very effective, so your choice should be based on cost, material and comfort.

There are so many internal nasal dilators on the market that choosing a specific one can be difficult. To help you make the best decision, look out for the following:

  • Size – are there different sizes available to get the best fit?
  • Storage – do the dilators come with a case to keep them clean when not being used?
  • Shape – internal nasal dilators can be smooth, ribbed, winged or vented, the comfort of each being highly subjective. Some packs include a variety to help you try them all and decide for yourself.
  • Material – medical-grade silicone is ideal.
  • Lifespan – the great advantage of internal over external dilators is that they are reusable, make sure this isn’t a false economy by getting ones that last a reasonable length of time. Three months is a good benchmark.

Are they right for me?

Although they do the same thing, internal and external nasal dilators have different advantages and disadvantages.


  • Quick and easy to use
  • Reusable
  • Different sizes for optimum fit


  • Can be uncomfortable if not fitted correctly
  • Require frequent cleaning

SnoreRx Mouthpiece Review

Product Reviews, Solutions

SnoreRx Mouthpiece Review

At SnoreLab, we regard SnoreRx as one of the best quality and most effective anti-snoring mouthpieces that you can buy online.

SnoreRx boasts some great features that give it the edge over many of its competitors:

  • Quality materials – the high-quality medical-grade plastics give a longer lifespan and greater comfort.
  • Custom fit – SnoreRx uses a thermal matrix system so you can create a personalised impression of your teeth, superior to many other boil-and-bite alternatives.
  • Adjustment – with the easy adjustment mechanism you can choose the degree of lower jaw advancement with one-millimeter changes.


Now, you can use the code


to get 10% off your purchase of SnoreRx.

Who is SnoreRx for?

Anti-snoring mouthpieces are an effective solution for around 50% of snorers. You may benefit from an anti-snoring mouthpiece if you:

  • Snore worse when you lie on your back
  • Are overweight
  • Often wake with a sore throat and headache
  • Can still breathe clearly though your nose

SnoreRx has taken the standard anti-snoring mouthpiece and given it a facelift to create a professional, adjustable and custom-fitting product that gives greater comfort and sees a 90% satisfaction rate amongst its thousands of users.

An example of the great benefits of SnoreRx can be found in this SnoreLab user’s 5-star App Store review:

“If you snore, think you snore, or are positive that you don’t snore … get this app! For me, the app proved that I did snore. The problem was how to fix it. I started with nasal strips and sprays. The app proved that these remedies had no effect. So, I decided to buy a snore guard (SnoreRx) and voila … no snoring! How do I know? This app records you all night long, graphs snoring episodes and gives you a Snore Score. Before the device, my Snore Score was between 15 and 45. Since using the device, my scores are 1 to 3! I’m also starting to feel more refreshed in the morning.”

This was a genuine, unsolicited user testimonial for SnoreRx. At SnoreLab, we were thrilled to hear that our app combined with this remarkable anti-snoring device had produced life changing results.

What is SnoreRx and how does it work?

SnoreRx is a mandibular advancement device (MAD). These are dental devices you wear at night that fit over your teeth much like a sports gumshield.

Your mandible (lower jaw) brings on snoring if it sits too far back. Here, your tongue and associated tissues slacken and impinge on your upper airway. People with a pronounced overbite – where lower jaw sits far back in relation to the upper jaw – are at a greater risk of snoring.

MADs are designed to tighten and create more space in your upper airway. They coax your lower jaw forward, bringing your tongue and other tissues in the mouth forward to prevent airway obstruction.

Using SnoreRx

SnoreRx allows you far greater control than other mouthpieces. You can create a custom impression of your teeth so the device sits snugly, adjust the amount of advancement to your preferred settings, and breathe comfortably using the small gap between the upper and lower trays.

Create a custom impression

To mold SnoreRx, put the mouthpiece in a cup of water and microwave it for one minute. The hot water softens the thermal matrix insert pads which you then bite down into, creating a customized indent of your teeth to fit your mouth perfectly.

Adjust the level of mandibular advancement

Throughout the night, the upper and lower trays stay fixed in position to bring your lower jaw forward. The prominence is adjustable, allowing you to move the trays apart in one-millimeter increments to find the best setting for you. Simply squeeze the sides of the top tray to slide it backwards or forwards.

We recommend starting with a low degree of advancement to ease yourself into using the device. Bringing your jaw too far forward too soon can cause discomfort. If after a few nights, you feel comfortable but aren’t noticing any differences to your snoring, simply bring the lower section forward by one millimeter.

Sleep and breathe naturally

Once in, you don’t need to worry if you often revert to mouth breathing when you sleep. The air gap between the upper and lower trays allows you to breathe comfortably and naturally.

What makes SnoreRx superior?

There are four stand-out features that put SnoreRx head and shoulders above many other anti-snoring mouthpieces on the market, giving it a more nuanced and comfortable fit with greater benefits.

1. Professional design and materials

SnoreRx uses premium, medical-grade plastics for both the trays and the insert pads. Using high quality materials gives SnoreRx a longer lifespan than other devices (generally lasting 11-15 months). Good materials also feel better. Something which is vital for a device that could be spending over 3000 hours in your mouth!

2. Reassuringly safe to use

Using quality, professional, medical-grade materials means that SnoreRx is hypoallergenic and safe. It has no metal parts that could be abrasive and is composed of large pieces of material so there are no small parts that could be swallowed whilst you sleep.

Unlike some other mouthpieces, SnoreRx has a reassuringly large gap between the upper and lower trays. This allows you to comfortably breathe through your mouth at night.

3. Custom impression

Everybody is different, so one-size-fits-all mouth pieces can be more like one-size-fits-nobody. Cheaper, non-custom mouthpieces can still be effective in reducing snoring, but like any snoring remedy, they are only effective if they are being used. If a mouthpiece doesn’t fit, people tend to stop using them.

SnoreRx has a thermal matrix design which yields a better custom impression than other boil-and-bite devices. You can mold the padding to the exact shape of your teeth so it sits perfectly, giving the best possible comfort and results.

Contrary to some other boil-and-bite devices, with SnoreRx, if you get it wrong at first, you have three attempts to get it right. Simply repeat the first steps until you have the fit just right.

4. Adjustable

Mandibular advancement can take some getting used to, and the best way ensure you stick with it is to ease yourself in gently. SnoreRx makes this possible by allowing precise adjustment of the lower tray.

The degree of advancement can be reset at any time and is done very easily and securely, staying locked in place until you choose to reset it. By squeezing the edges of the top tray, you can slide the trays backward and forward in one-millimeter increments. These increments are clearly marked meaning you can keep track of your progress without any guesswork.


Snoring is a personal problem, and SnoreRx is a personal solution. This device gives an alternative to the one-size-fits-all basis of many other anti-snoring devices to provide enhanced comfort and function.

The ability to make precise and secure adjustments, a custom-moldable fit and high quality medical-grade materials make SnoreRx the best quality over-the-counter anti-snoring mouthpiece available. If you’re a tongue-based snorer, you’d be MAD not to give it a go!


Use the code


for 10% off your purchase of SnoreRx.

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Smart Nora Review

Product Reviews, Solutions

Smart Nora Review

Smart Nora is a revolutionary snoring solution: a smart, non-invasive anti-snoring device that can have great results for every type of snorer.

Whatever causes your snoring, Smart Nora can help. Whether you sleep on your back, side or front, breathe through your mouth or nose, are obese or normal weight, Smart Nora’s unique anti-snoring approach can help you.

This advanced, different and fantastically comfortable snoring solution is entirely contact-free. The intelligent system detects your snoring and moves under your pillow to gently stimulate your airways and nip snoring in the bud!

At $359, Smart Nora isn’t the cheapest snoring solution, but it may be the last one you buy. SnoreLab has teamed up with Smart Nora to get you $20 off your purchase with the code SLN20.

Additionally, if after trying Smart Nora you feel it isn’t right for you, simply return it within 30 days under the 30-night money-back guarantee.

What is Smart Nora?

Smart Nora consists of three parts:

  1. Expander – an inflatable insert that slots underneath your ordinary pillow
  2. Pump
  3. Pebble – the smart bedside unit that carefully listens for snoring

If you had to categorize it, Smart Nora falls into the pillow category of snoring remedies. But the Smart Nora system isn’t actually a pillow. Instead, it manipulates your current pillow, gently moving your head when it detects snoring.

With Smart Nora, you needn’t change your current pillow. You certainly don’t have to change the way you sleep either. Unlike many pillow-based solutions, Smart Nora doesn’t coax you into a new sleeping position. Smart Nora works for back, side and front sleepers alike, meaning no lengthy training phase.

We received an email from a SnoreLab user who showed us the dramatic changes Smart Nora had made to their snoring:

“This product is amazing, it really works to cut snoring. I guarantee that I have sleep apnea. In-fact, I think I am one of those people who almost broke the scale on your app with my snoring. Several times, my scores were off the charts compared to other users, but with Smart Nora, they dropped off incredibly.”

Other users reported similar results when using Smart Nora, some cutting their Snore Score by 75%:

“I use SnoreLab to track my snoring and on average, my Snore Score was in the mid-sixties for four months straight.  After getting and using Smart Nora I now average sixteen. Highly recommended!”

How Smart Nora Works

When you snore, Smart Nora gently moves your head to stop your snoring before it becomes loud enough to wake your partner:

  1. The pebble – the brain of the Smart Nora system – detects snoring and remotely sends this information to the expander.
  2. The silent pump inflates the expander under your pillow.
  3. The expander gently moves your head to stop snoring.

This system works on your relaxed airway. A snore is the sound of your airway vibrating because it has narrowed and air cannot pass freely. Your airway narrows when the muscles in your head and neck relax, a perfectly normal thing that happens to everyone when they fall asleep.

By gently moving your head, Smart Nora brings back some muscular structure to your airway, briefly reducing the amount that it has relaxed, now allowing air to flow freely.

Smart Nora is suitable for all snorers as it uniquely addresses snoring’s fundamentals. Whether you are a tongue, nose or mouth snorer, sleep on your back or side, have allergies or a cold, Smart Nora doesn’t discriminate.

Smart Nora is different to other anti-snoring devices

It is ideal for the snorer who has tried everything

What if you don’t know why you snore? What if you feel like you have gone through every remedy available and nothing works? Many effective snoring solutions are available, but they usually address only one type of snoring and snorer.

There are many causes of snoring. Identifying your cause can be a complicated task, particularly if you snore for many reasons.

Unlike any other anti-snoring device available, Smart Nora tackles snoring’s common denominator: your relaxed airway. This innovative new approach represents a sea-change in anti-snoring technology.

It doesn’t wake you or your partner

Smart Nora only activates when it detects snoring, but this is no snore alarm. Snore alarms do just that, they alarm you! Constantly waking up throughout the night is hardly conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Smart Nora isn’t designed to wake you up. Its movements are noticed by your airway muscles without being consciously noticed by you.

Further, the device doesn’t wait for a full-blown, window-rattling snore before it kicks in. Instead, the system activates just as snoring begins, stopping you from reaching the volume that wakes your partner and causes fights in the morning.

It is comfortable and non-invasive

Because Smart Nora is comfortable and non-invasive, it is a much easier snoring remedy to stick with. Snoring remedies only work when used, and therein lies the problem – adherence. People often stop using conventional remedies because they are too uncomfortable and can’t get used to them.

Sleep is a time of rest and recuperation. The last thing you feel like doing is applying something complicated and uncomfortable. With Smart Nora, you needn’t do so. Comfortable, non-invasive remedies like Smart Nora are the answer, where the time before and during sleep feels no different to normal. The difference comes in the morning when you feel more rested.


With Smart Nora, you can go to bed as you would do normally: with your own pillow and a merciful lack of straps and buckles or things that pull, push, suck and blow.

Simply place the detector pebble next to your bed, slot the expander into whatever pillow you want, plug in and go! Its sleek, minimalist design fits neatly into any bedroom and can be packed up and transported anywhere in its stylish felt case.

Smart Nora offer a 30-day full return guarantee, and with SnoreLab you can get $20 off your purchase with the code SLN20. So, to truly switch-off in comfort and silence, consider switching on the truly revolutionary Smart Nora.

Discover More and Save $20 with the code:


SnoreLab only endorses products that we have tested and verified give great results for our users. WE earn a small commission on purchases made through our app and website which supports the app’s development at no extra cost to you. To read more, visit our affiliate links information page.

Do Men Snore More Than Women?


Do Men Snore More Than Women?

Do men snore more than women? The short answer to this question is yes. There are sex differences when it comes to snoring.

Type snoring into a search engine and click on images. What do you see? Nine of the fifteen pictures on my screen showed men with mouths wide open whilst unfortunate women wrenched pillows over their ears to block out the sound. It’s a cliché, but one that is based on some truth.

Twice as many men snore than women, with roughly 40% of men reporting snoring versus 20% of women. That still means that 840 million women are regular snorers. Snoring is certainly not just a male problem, but there are differences. Let’s explore why and how.

Men’s airways are primed for snoring

The reason more men snore is partly down to their airway anatomy. Studies have found that there are crucial differences in the structure of men’s airways.

More soft tissue

Firstly, there’s more tissue in the noise makers themselves. Studies indicate that the male soft palate – a key player in generating snoring sounds – has a larger cross-sectional area. There’s basically more tissue available to flap around and make noise [1].

Male upper airway collapses more

Secondly, men’s upper airways are more prone to obstruction. The vulnerable area between the hard palate and epiglottis is larger in men. This means there is a greater amount of unsupported soft tissue that will relax whilst asleep [2].

Side note:

It is important to note that this has nothing to do with men having deeper voices. Whilst men’s vocal folds are indeed longer, they have more structural support and reside lower than the collapsible area associated with snoring. The area below the roof of your mouth and above the epiglottis is the soft, flappy area we are interested in.

Men gain fat on the neck

Finally, men put weight on the areas that can cause snoring. The chance of your airway collapsing is increased if there is more weight on your neck. An increased neck size and fat around the neck therefore puts you at greater risk of snoring.

We know that obesity is a great risk factor in snoring, but men and women distribute fat differently which influences snoring patterns. Men put on more weight around their neck and chest, whereas women tend to gain fat on their thighs, hips and buttocks.

Snoring is linked to male hormones

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone. Its primary duty is the maintenance and development of reproductive tissue, but it also plays a part in snoring.

Side note: what are hormones?

Hormones are produced in various glands and are the body’s chemical messengers. They travel in the blood and are a means of communication between different areas of the body, regulating the inner workings of cells.

Various studies have looked into the effects of testosterone on breathing during sleep, with a focus on sleep apnea. It has been linked to increased airway collapsibility and greater breathing instability, though the exact mechanism is still uncertain [3].

Indeed, raised testosterone in women is linked to disturbed breathing during sleep. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition where testosterone levels are higher than they should be in women, have a greater risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea [4].

Female hormones protect from snoring

Whilst male sex hormones increase the chance of snoring, female sex hormones have a protective effect.

Steady ventilation

Progesterone, a hormone particularly high during pregnancy, promotes steady ventilation. This causes a less pronounced drop in airflow during sleep and makes the soft airway less prone to collapse [5].

Less relaxed tongue

Progesterone, alongside another key female hormone, estrogen, enhances the ability of a key muscle in the tongue to contract, reducing the likelihood of it falling back and causing a blockage [6].

Menopause increases the likelihood of snoring

As female sex hormones decline rapidly at the menopause, the likelihood of developing snoring or sleep apnea increases.

Incidence of snoring increases with age for both sexes, but in women, the onset of the menopause is a watershed moment when it comes to snoring and sleep apnea.

Artificially re-introducing female sex hormones via hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been shown to reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea [4].

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is different between men and women

Sleep apnea is less common than habitual snoring but the relative proportions of men and women are roughly the same, with twice as many men suffering from the condition as women. However, eight times more men are diagnosed [7].

Some time ago, the sleep apnea ratio of men to women was thought to be as stark as 60:1. We are learning now that this is because of frequent misdiagnosis and the fact that women often exhibit an atypical form of the condition.

The severity of sleep apnea is measured by counting the number of instances where breathing stops (apnea) or is severely reduced (hypopnea). This measurement is called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). As women are less likely to experience complete airway collapse, they tend to have a lower AHI score.

Importantly, these women aren’t necessarily experiencing less obstruction. Women display more frequent episodes of longer, partial obstruction that still causes the fatigue, sleepiness and health issues associated with OSA.


With snoring, as with many dysfunctions in the body, there are things that are out of our control. Our sex is obviously the main one. Seeing where you fit into the profile of the 2 billion people worldwide who snore can help you understand your snoring better and be ready to take the next steps.

Stop Snoring with these Hacks to Improve Your Sleeping Position

Diet & Lifestyle, Solutions

Homemade Hacks to Improve Your Sleeping Position

Many people snore because they sleep on their back. The good news is that simple causes have simple solutions: if you sleep on your back, it’s time to try sleeping on your side with the help of some simple techniques you can engineer at home.

Making this basic change – without the need for any invasive techniques, complicated devices or significant expenditure – can have a huge impact on your snoring or sleep apnea.

Why you need to sleep on your side

More than half of sleep apnea cases are referred to as “position-induced” where apnea is only experienced when the sufferer is on their back (supine) [1].

When you sleep on your back, your airway becomes compressed. The weight from your neck, a recessed jaw and your tongue falling backwards all lead to a greater chance of airway obstruction and the ensuing noise.

Tennis ball therapy

If you end up supine when you sleep, a tennis ball on your back can be used to condition you out of this habit. This rudimentary yet effective hack is so well known that it has infiltrated the snoring-science academic literature, even sporting its own abbreviation: TBT!

Tape or sew one to the back of your pajamas to make sleeping on your back difficult. What do we do when faced with difficulty and discomfort? We naturally avoid it. Now, crucially, sleeping on our side!

It doesn’t have to be a tennis ball. Any object small enough to fit, but large enough to be an obstruction will do the trick.

Some people even recommend putting a squeaky toy on their backs, adding some audible alarm to the physical discomfort!

There are also products available that use semi-rigid foam pads strapped to the back that effectively mimic the tennis ball. Unlike the tennis ball however, they also provide a degree of support because of their wider shape [2].

Remember, SnoreLab users can get 5% off at SomniShop with the code SNORELAB


You can replicate this effect by sleeping with a small, filled rucksack, a technique employed by soldiers in the American War of Independence to stop themselves snoring and giving away their position to their enemy.

Whilst these techniques work for some people, there are obvious downsides. Snoring solutions are only ever effective if they are actually being used, and many people give up with the tennis ball technique as it is just too uncomfortable [3].

Side note: further anti-snoring uses for a tennis ball

The humble tennis ball has many uses beyond training your sleeping position. Using it as a sporting object means you are getting some exercise, a great way to lose weight and keep fit which is one of the most effective ways of reducing snoring. You can also stick them in the tumble dryer to plump up down-filled pillows after washing – something else you should consider if your snoring is caused by pollen or dust allergies.

Make a side-sleeping nest

Try sleeping with your back propped against something to prevent you from rolling onto your back. If your bed is against a wall this can be ideal. If not, try propping yourself against some pillows. Experiment with different configurations, making a note of what works best for you.

Some people can find side sleeping a bit uncomfortable. In this case, it can be useful to place some pillows between your legs. This can help keep your legs and adjoining muscles at a more natural and comfortable angle, as well as preventing the bony parts of your knees knocking together.

A SnoreLab user contacted us with a very smart hack using an inflatable camping pillow:

  1. Get an inflatable pillow about half the size of a normal pillow.
  2. Inflate it to almost maximum pressure so that it is very firm.
  3. Put it inside an empty pillowcase.
  4. Sleep on the empty portion of the pillowcase to stop it moving away, with your back resting against the firm pillow.

Read Michael’s story, a SnoreLab user who trained himself to sleep on his side to combat his snoring.

“I use a small inflatable camping pillow, about half the size of my normal pillow. I blow it up to just short of its maximum so it is very firm and difficult to roll on to and push this inside a normal pillow case all the way to the end which leaves a tail. Sleeping on this tail stops the camping pillow from rolling away whilst propping me up and stopping me from rolling onto my side. If I want to get onto my back it’s quite a struggle and doesn’t happen by accident.”

If you simply can’t sleep on your side …

Our sleeping position is deeply ingrained. Making this change can be like changing the way you walk, or which hand you use to write. For some it’s simply not possible. If you are a committed back-sleeper, fear not, there are snoring solutions for you too.

Head elevation is the solution for back sleeping snorers. This prevents you from being entirely flat where you airway is most vulnerable to the effects of gravity.

Studies have seen that even slightly elevating your head can dramatically reduce both normal snoring and sleep apnea, with patients in these experiments showing a 32% reduction in their sleep apnea severity [4]!

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always slept on my back, and as I got older this was making my snoring worse and worse. I have elevated my bed head by eight inches, a remedy originally to treat my acid reflux which has worked a treat for both that and my snoring.”

You can do this very effectively with a wedge pillow, the unsung hero of the anti-snoring world. You can create your own (maybe slightly less robust and comfortable) version with some clever pillow arrangements.

There are also ways to hack this with just a few books; stick a couple under the head end of your bed to subtly raise it. This little elevation can make a massive difference.


The influence of sleeping position on snoring and sleep apnea is huge. Understanding how you sleep and what effect this has on your snoring is vital information to help you identify your snoring triggers and solutions.

Sleeping position is a habit that is deeply ingrained, so can be hard to change. Keep track of what position you wake up in and what techniques seem to work. Positional therapy will require some time and trial and error, but persist!

Unlike a lot of other snoring solutions, these basic positional techniques are non-invasive. Crucially, they don’t require much investment of money or effort and can prove extremely beneficial if stuck to.

Finally, remember to select the “side sleeping” or “positional therapy” icons in the Remedies menu in SnoreLab to track how changing your sleeping position is influencing your snoring.

Sleeping Position and Snoring


Sleeping Position and Snoring

Sleeping on your back makes you more likely to snore or experience sleep apnea.

Side sleeping is the best sleep position for snoring. This is because side sleeping reduces the compression of your airways.

Back-sleepers can try a variety of techniques to prompt themselves to sleep in healthier, quieter positions …

How to improve your sleeping position

If you find yourself sleeping on your back and snoring, it’s time for some “positional therapy”. Simply put: try sleeping on your side!

Making this basic change, without the need for any invasive techniques, complicated devices or significant expenditure could have a huge impact on your snoring or sleep apnea.

Side note: a history of side-sleeping

It has long been known that side-sleeping prevents snoring. Soldiers in the American War of Independence and in the First World War were advised to wear their rucksacks filled with bulky things whilst they slept. This was to stop them rolling onto their backs and snoring, giving their position away to the enemy [1].

Your sleeping position is an ingrained habit, so can be hard to change. That said, there are techniques that can make a huge difference.

You can try to change your sleeping position with hacks you engineer at home, specially designed pillows or even vibrating training devices that tell your subconscious mind that it’s time to turn over.

1. Homemade hacks

Before you buy something to help you sleep on your side, give some of these free tactics a go:

  • Tennis ball therapy. Tape one or sew a pocket for one to the back of your pajamas to make sleeping on your back difficult.
  • Inflatable pillow prop. Stuff a fully inflated camping pillow into an empty pillowcase. Lie on the empty portion of the pillowcase with your back resting on the inflated pillow. We learnt this trick from SnoreLab user Michael

“I use a small inflatable camping pillow, about half the size of my normal pillow. I blow it up to just short of its maximum so it is very firm and difficult to roll on to and push this inside a normal pillow case all the way to the end which leaves a tail. Sleeping on this tail stops the camping pillow from rolling away whilst propping me up and stopping me from rolling onto my side. If I want to get onto my back it’s quite a struggle and doesn’t happen by accident.”

  • Bed head elevation. For stubborn back sleepers – slot some books underneath the head end of your bed to create the couple of degrees of elevation that could make a real difference.


SnoreLab’s full article on homemade hacks to improve your sleeping position


2. Specially designed pillows

Some pillows are designed to keep you in more favourable positions to stop your snoring:

  • Wedge pillow. For the stubborn back sleeper who simply can’t sleep on their side; wedge pillows elevate your head which lessens the effect of weight on your airway. Check out SnoreLab’s recommended memory foam wedge pillow.
  • Neck realignment pillow. If you find side-sleeping uncomfortable on your neck and back, try one of these. SnoreLab’s approved pillow has adjustable height and aligns your airway to reduce the chance of snoring.
  • Pillows to promote side sleeping. Some pillows make it difficult to sleep on your back either with ergonomically designed ridges or with arm holes to stop you turning in your sleep.

“I was recommended a wedge pillow to elevate my head. I saw on the app that this could let me still sleep on my back but in a more elevated position so I was drawn to this idea. I found the position comfortable as I could go back to my preferred sleeping position. It’s also quite firm so my head was nicely elevated which gave me instant success.”Fiona, SnoreLab user.


SnoreLab’s full article on specialist anti-snoring pillows


3. Vibrating training devices

These are devices that attach to your body and vibrate when they detect that you are sleeping on your back – the automated equivalent of a nudge in the ribs from your sleep-deprived bed partner.

The subtle vibration creates a subconscious prompt for you to roll onto your side. Evidence for their effectiveness is growing, with tests showing positive results for mild obstructive sleep apnea comparable to using a mouthpiece [2].

“The efficacy of sleep position training therapy was maintained over 12 months and was comparable to that of oral appliance therapy in patients with mild to moderate positional OSA.” [2]

The Snooor wearable trainer is a small and discreet device that sticks to your head or chest. We believe it has the potential to be one of the most effective snoring remedies available:

  • Non-invasive. Simply stick it to your forehead or breastbone. You’ll soon forget it’s there.
  • Easy to use. Simply press the button to turn on and then start feeling the vibrations after 20 minutes.
  • Lightweight and discrete. Measures only 40mm x 40mm.
  • Affordable. Unlike other positional trainers, the Snooor wearable doesn’t require a prescription and is far cheaper than alternatives.

Save 10% with code:


The science bit – why does sleeping on your back worsen snoring?

When you sleep on your back, your mouth has a tendency to fall open. This changes the shape of your upper airway.

The effect of gravity on your face, head and neck starts to compress your airway; this is particularly poignant if you are overweight due to the excess fat on the neck.

Researchers have measured these altered airway dimensions meticulously: using MRI, radiography and infra-red analysis of the upper airway [3][4]. They found that when you sleep on your back:

  • Your jaw recedes, compressing the upper airway
  • Your tongue falls back
  • There is more oval shape of the upper airway

All of these factors combine to compress the airway, disturb airflow and cause vibration – i.e. snoring. In the worst-case scenario, they cause complete blockage and sleep apnea.

Sleep-breathing problems are often related to an unhealthy sleeping position. More than half of all obstructive sleep apnea cases are referred to as “position-induced” sleep apnea [5], where the severity of the condition is massively reduced when switching to side-sleeping.


If you think your sleeping position is influencing your snoring, it may be time to consider positional therapy to start to sleeping in quieter, healthier positions.

Of course, there are many people who sleep on their side and still snore. Snoring has many causes so it’s important to explore them all.

Remember to check out our guide to specialist snoring pillows and clever hacks to help you sleep on your side.

CPAP: A Guide to the Different Types of Mask

Sleep Apnea, Solutions

CPAP: A Guide to the Different Types of Mask

What is CPAP?

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”. A CPAP device uses a mask to force air into your nose or mouth to keep your airway open. It is very effective in treating sleep apnea, a condition where the airway repeatedly closes during sleep.

Contrary to popular belief, CPAP does not give you more oxygen, it simply establishes a current of normal air that props open your upper airway to prevent it from collapsing.

Normal breathing works via negative pressure, where expansion of the chest creates low pressure that then acts like a vacuum to suck in air. Conversely, by using CPAP, the constant flow of air creates high, positive pressure that forces outwards and pushes the airways open.

What makes a CPAP device?

There are three main components to any CPAP machine:

  • Flow generator
  • Hose
  • Mask

The generator pushes air through the hose, to the mask and into your airways.

Whilst the generator and tube are much the same (with some subtle variations and features unique to each product such as humidifiers), the mask is the part that varies the most. When being fitted for a CPAP device, it is important to consider the type of mask that is best for you.

The importance of a correct fit

Compliance is a big problem when it comes to CPAP treatment, with many users giving up after only a few nights. So whilst CPAP can be very effective in treating snoring and sleep apnea, it is only useful when it is actually being worn.

There are many reasons that make people stop their CPAP treatment, but most complain of discomfort. One study found that over a period of three years, 91% of users had abandoned their CPAP treatment [1].

Therefore, getting the right mask for you is vital to ensure you get the most out of CPAP.


SnoreLab’s guide to troubleshooting problems with your CPAP device.


Nasal masks

This mask is dome shaped and forms a seal around the nose. Shapes vary so there are many options to suit different face shapes. Because air is not being introduced directly into the nose, the airflow feels a bit more natural. This also allows for higher pressures to be used, ideal for people with severe sleep apnea.

However, as the name suggests, nasal masks only work through the nose. Nasal masks are not effective if you breathe through your mouth whilst you sleep. Many devices address this by coming with a chin strap to prevent your mouth falling open. This option is therefore not suitable for people who suffer from allergies or have chronic sinusitis.

Air leakage is a potential problem with nasal masks; the seal formed by the padding can be compromised if you have facial hair. Some users also complain of discomfort from the straps on the head or pressure on the bridge of the nose. You can often mitigate this with proper fit and adjustment.

Nasal mask pros

  • Many different shapes for optimal fit
  • Higher pressures possible, therefore suitable for severe sleep apnea
  • Less claustrophobic than full face masks

Nasal mask cons

  • Potential air leakage with facial hair
  • Difficult to wear before bed or with glasses on
  • Not suitable for mouth breathers and people with nasal congestion

Nasal cushions

Also known as a nasal pillow, this type of mask rests on your top lip and uses two cushioned prongs that fit directly into your nostrils. This is the smallest and most simple of all CPAP masks so is popular with people who find other masks claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

Nasal cushions are less cumbersome than alternatives and cover less of your face. This is ideal if you want to wear the mask for some time before bed. With its slimmer design, you needn’t alter your nightly routine where other masks would be in your field of vision and prevent you from wearing glasses.

Nasal cushions are also beneficial for those who have more facial hair, as the seal is only formed on the nostrils.

Because the air is forced directly into your nose, high pressures can be uncomfortable. This means nasal cushion masks are less appropriate for people with severe sleep apnea. The direct airflow can cause nasal dryness and discomfort.

Again, the device only works for nasal breathers. If you have a tendency to breathe through your mouth when asleep but can still breathe properly through your nose, nasal pillows can still be effective when used with a device that holds your mouth closed.

Nasal cushion pros

  • Less claustrophobic
  • Can be worn comfortably whilst awake
  • Less prone to air leakage
  • Suitable for people with facial hair

Nasal cushion cons

  • High pressures can be uncomfortable, therefore is less suitable for severe sleep apnea
  • Can cause nasal dryness
  • Not suitable for mouth breathers

Full-face masks

These masks are larger, covering the nose and mouth, so are ideal for mouth breathers. If you have experienced discomfort with a chinstrap, or frequently have a blocked nose, full-face masks could be the answer.

Higher pressures are more tolerable with full-face masks as the air isn’t being sent directly into your airway. Being able to use high pressures makes this mask ideal for those with severe sleep apnea.

The added weight of a full-face mask means it has a tendency to loosen during the night, particularly if you are a restless sleeper. However, there are several straps that can be adjusted to get an optimum fit. This mask is ideal for people who sleep on their back.

Due to the increased area in contact with your face, there are more potential areas for air leakage, especially for those with facial hair. Leakage that occurs out of the top of the mask can sometimes dry out and irritate your eyes.

The bulk of a full-face mask makes it difficult to wear before you sleep as it interrupts your field of vision and makes it difficult to wear glasses.

Full-face mask pros

  • Ideal for mouth breathers
  • Suitable for people who sleep on their back
  • High pressures are tolerable, therefore is suitable for severe sleep apnea

Full-face mask cons

  • Potential air leakage
  • Bulky, so can move during the night
  • Difficult to wear whilst awake

How do I know which CPAP mask is right for me?

How a CPAP mask feels is different for every individual. General comfort and feelings of claustrophobia are subjective and dependent on the materials, design and fit of the mask.

When in consultation about using CPAP, it is important tell your doctor about all aspects of your sleep and nightly routine to decide on the best mask for you. Remember to try different types and make sure you get an optimum fit with the adjustments available.

Use this table to decide which CPAP mask is best for you:

A Guide to Hay Fever and Snoring

Causes, Solutions

A Guide to Hay Fever and Snoring

Given that up to 30% of us suffer from hay fever [1], it is possible that this seasonal pollen allergy could be playing a major role in your snoring.

If it’s warm outside and your nose is blocked, follow our guide to see if hay fever is making your snoring worse, and try our ten tips to breathe quietly again.


10 tips to manage hay fever-induced snoring


What is hay fever?

Hay fever is simply an allergic reaction to pollen in the air. This is an immune response (albeit an unnecessary one), which is a tactic your body uses to fight infection.

Once pollen gets into your system, the cells that fight infection are called upon, flooding your upper airways and releasing a medley of molecules that cause inflammation.

How can hay fever make you snore?

An inflamed nose makes breathing harder and snoring worse.

With a hay fever burdened nose, you’ll often have to make the dreaded switch to mouth breathing which can aggravate snoring in many ways:

  • Your tongue falls farther back
  • The space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced
  • A lowered jaw compresses your throat
  • Your throat becomes dried because air is not being humidified by the nose
  • Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your throat.

Even if you can still breathe through your nose, forcing air through this inflamed, restricted space creates suction forces that can still narrow your airway and bring on snoring [2].

How do you know if you have hay fever?


Hay fever affects your nose, eyes and throat. You’re likely to be constantly reaching for the tissues as your nose streams, or feel the hundredth sneeze of the day coming on. All this congestion makes it difficult to breathe properly through your nose.

Red, itchy and painful eyes coupled with an irritated throat top off a list of symptoms that are bound to ruin a perfectly good summer’s day.

How do I know it’s not just a cold?

The symptoms of hay fever appear similar to those of a common cold, but their patterns differ. Hay fever is longer lasting, whilst most colds disappear within a week or two. Hay fever symptoms should also start to alleviate once you are inside with the doors and windows shut.

Assessing your symptoms alongside a local pollen forecast over several days is a great way of distinguishing hay fever from a cold.


Pollen and hay fever is most widespread during the summer months. This is when most plants are particularly active and reproducing.

Generally, in the Northern Hemisphere, hay fever season runs from March to September, but winter hay fever is not impossible. Alder and hazel trees are early risers, flowering as early as January if the winter is particularly mild [3].

Weather patterns

The weather is a good predictor of pollen severity. With hay fever, you will notice worsened symptoms on those dry, warm and breezy days. Damp days with little wind are less troublesome as pollen is harmlessly swept to the floor.

Different pollen types and location

There are over a dozen types of plant that produce allergenic pollen, and not everyone is allergic to the same type.

Grass pollen allergy is by far the most prevalent, affecting 95% of hay fever sufferers. Specific trees and weeds also have the potential to cause hay fever. Interestingly, ragweed pollen, implicated in 50% of hay fever cases, has shown to be in greater concentrations at night [3].

Being familiar with your local flora can help you narrow down the triggers of your hay fever symptoms [4].

Many countries have their own regional pollen forecasts. These give information on the intensity of different types of pollen, based on location, time of year and the weather.

Ten tips to manage hay fever induced snoring

If you think that your snoring related to a pollen allergy, try these ten tips to rid you nose, body and surroundings of pollen for a better night’s sleep …

1. Use a neti pot

Neti pots create space in your nose by tackling obstructive mucus. Hay fever causes the inside of your nose to become swollen. Here, mucus can’t be moved along and instead builds up. Neti pots use tepid salt water with the assistance of gravity to flush out this excess, along with any attached allergens and inflammatory molecules.


Shop for SnoreLab’s recommended

neti pot starter kit

2. Use nasal dilators or sprays

Nasal dilators mechanically open your nasal passages. Internal dilators prop open your nostrils whereas external strips use a springboard action to pull open your nasal valves [5].

Nasal sprays work by reducing inflammation or constricting the blood vessels in your nose. Some types recommend regular use, whereas others should only be used occasionally – in all cases remember to read the instructions.

3. Invest in an air purifier

The microscopic nature of pollen means that it can’t easily be seen. An air purifier can be an effective way of filtering pollen and other potential allergens that hide in your home. There are many types, shapes and sizes – ideally try to find one that makes less noise than your snoring otherwise would!


4. Take antihistamines

Antihistamines are medicines that are effective in reducing the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies. They come in many different forms but all work in the same way: by dampening the main type of molecule involved in your allergic response to pollen, (you guessed it) histamine.

5. Shower before bed

Having a shower before going to bed will rid your hair and body of pollen that may have stuck to you throughout the day. It is also great for normal sleep hygiene as it lowers your body temperature, preparing you for sleep.

6. Quarantine pollen contaminated clothes

It is also a good idea to quarantine the clothes you step out of, not allowing them back in the bedroom with you. This way you won’t contaminate your bedroom with the very thing you’ve been trying to get rid of in the shower.

7. Clean pillowcases more often

A decongested nose, a clean body and washed hair are only useful if you aren’t then putting your head on a pillowcase covered in pollen. When pollen levels are particularly high, it is sensible to wash your bedding more frequently.

8. Dry laundry indoors

Hang laundry indoors, away from open windows. Whilst a stiff summer breeze outdoors will dry them in no time, it will also cover them in pollen.

9. Clean your bedroom

Pollen can also stick to surfaces such as carpets and other soft furnishings. Thorough vacuuming can help, especially if your vacuum cleaner has a built in HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, as this traps pollen that would otherwise be fired straight back out via the exhaust.

10. Close doors and windows

All this washing and cleaning could be in vain if your open doors and windows allow pollen back into your home. When the weather is nice it is tempting to throw open the windows and let in some air, but try to at least keep your bedroom an isolated haven of pollen-free good sleep.


Hopefully, you should now be able to spot the signs of hay fever, and with these tools, take control of your pollen allergy to achieve better and quieter sleep.

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Sleep Apnea: Screening, Testing and Treatment

Science, Sleep Apnea, Solutions

Sleep Apnea: Screening, Testing and Treatment

Sleep apnea is a serious condition where your airway repeatedly closes during sleep, depriving you of oxygen until you gasp awake.

The combined effects of disturbed sleep and repeated bouts of low oxygen cause lots of problems for your physical and mental health. Despite this, many sufferers remain undiagnosed.

But how do you get diagnosed?

There are several steps towards understanding and addressing sleep apnea:

  1. Signs – know how to spot potential sleep apnea.
  2. Questionnaires – answer some questionnaires to assess your risk.
  3. Diagnosis – undergo a sleep study.
  4. Treatment – start treatment appropriate for the severity of your condition.

Signs of sleep apnea

Loud snoring alone does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea. If you can’t tell where loud snoring ends and sleep apnea begins, ask yourself or your partner if you have any of the following:

  • Very loud snoring, with periodic silence followed by choking/gasping
  • Headaches and a sore throat in the morning
  • Excessive sleepiness in the daytime
  • Lack of concentration
  • Mood swings and changes in behaviour

Side note: Can SnoreLab identify sleep apnea?

This is a question we get asked a lot. Some users have discovered sounds in their recordings that indicate apnea events, and then found them useful in subsequent medical consultations. But, it is important to note that SnoreLab is not a tool for sleep apnea screening. It is our goal to create a system to identify risky periods in your session using the tell-tale sign of silence followed by gasping or choking. That said, once we have created this, it will not be diagnostic. This is because sleep apnea is characterised by more than sound profile alone and requires a sleep study to be properly assessed.

Screening questionnaires

If you are showing the signs of sleep apnea, before getting more in-depth diagnostic tests, it is useful to assess your risk using some screening questionnaires.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

Feeling excessively sleepy during the day is a key symptom of sleep apnea. Therefore, it is a good idea to measure your fatigue by using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale [1]. This questionnaire gives you a numerical score based on your self-assessed likelihood of falling asleep in certain scenarios. A score of sixteen or higher shows that you are very sleepy during the day.


Assess your sleep apnea risk with

the Epworth Sleepiness Scale

STOP-Bang questionnaire

The STOP-Bang questionnaire [2] is the favored screening tool in the medical profession [3]. It is straightforward, highly effective and considers more than tiredness alone. It is a set of eight questions with yes/no answers in a handy acronym, where each letter refers to a sleep apnea risk factor:

  • S – snoring
  • T – tired
  • O – observed breathing cessation during sleep
  • P – pressure, specifically high blood pressure
  • B – body mass index greater than 35
  • A – age
  • N – neck size
  • G – gender


Assess your sleep apnea risk with the STOP-Bang questionnaire

the STOP-Bang questionnaire

Berlin questionnaire

Similar to the STOP-Bang questionnaire, the Berlin questionnaire looks at several factors but clusters them into three categories [3]:

  1. Snoring – frequency, volume and observed apnea
  2. Tiredness – fatigue after sleep, tiredness throughout the day, sleeping whilst driving
  3. Cardiovascular fitness – blood pressure and BMI

If for two or more of these categories, you score two or above, you are at high risk of sleep apnea.

Diagnosis – sleep studies

Despite there being some prominent indicators of sleep apnea, getting reliably diagnosed means undergoing a sleep study.

The Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI)

It is the purpose of a sleep study is to identify and quantify sleep apnea, giving you a severity score. This score depends on how many times you experience the characteristic low-oxygen events. The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is this measurement [4], counting how many times you experience apnea or hypopnea in an hour:

  • Apnea episode – complete airflow blockage for at least ten seconds.
  • Hypopnea episode – at least 50% reduction in airflow for at least ten seconds.

Your AHI score relates to the severity of sleep apnea which is helpful when deciding how to treat it:

  • 0-5 events per hour – normal
  • 5-15 events per hour – mild sleep apnea
  • 15-30 events per hour – moderate sleep apnea
  • 30+ events per hour – severe sleep apnea

Polysomnography at a sleep clinic

Because snoring sound alone is not a reliable indicator of sleep apnea, other qualities need measuring too. This is done via a procedure is called polysomnography (poly = many, somnus = sleep, graph = drawing/measurements) and is usually conducted by a trained professional at a sleep clinic.

Sleep might not seem likely once you have been wired up and attached to the various monitors. But by observing eye movements, brain activity, muscle activation, airflow, oxygen levels and heart rate, you can construct a detailed image of what is happening to your body whilst you sleep, and gain insight into your sleep apnea.


What happens in a sleep study

Find out more

Home tests

Although they are reliable, polysomnography tests in sleep clinics are impractical and expensive. Further, if you are lucky enough to get a referral for one, you’re likely to be waiting a while. Smaller scale tests done at home are therefore increasing in popularity.

Home testing uses portable devices with fewer parts, but importantly with enough measurements to get a good picture of your sleep apnea. Generally, they consist of:

  • Chest strap – monitors heart rate and chest expansion
  • Finger clamp sensor – uses infra-red to examine blood oxygen through your finger nail
  • Nasal tube – tracks your breathing
  • Audio unit – listens to your snoring patterns

If you are deemed to be at risk of sleep apnea, these kits can be supplied by your doctor. After performing the test at home, you return the kit for the results to be analyzed and a score to be generated.

Read Susan’s story, a SnoreLab user’s account of having a home sleep study to diagnose her severe obstructive sleep apnea.

Treating sleep apnea

The steps you take to improve your sleep apnea depend on the severity of your condition. If you suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea, the techniques and consumer remedies you use to reduce normal snoring can still be very effective. Similar to so many other health issues, weight loss cannot be recommended enough.

If your condition is at the severe end of the scale, you are likely to be prescribed a device that keeps your airways open at night. This is called CPAP which stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”.

The device consists of a mask you fit over your face and an attached unit that draws in air. By introducing air into your throat and increasing air pressure, the soft parts of your throat are prevented from collapsing and causing obstruction.

With SnoreLab’s insights, you can read about the different types of CPAP mask and solving common issues with CPAP.


If you’re a loud snorer and find yourself feeling sleepy throughout the day, you may be suffering from sleep apnea without even knowing it. Being aware of the signs and using questionnaires is useful to assess your risk, after which it might be a good idea to present to your doctor.

With in-depth sleep studies that can be done at a specialist clinic or at home, you make that important step away from the masses of un-diagnosed people to become someone who understands their condition and knows what to do about it.

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