Mouth Exercises for Snoring

Diet & Lifestyle, Science, Solutions

Mouth Exercises for Snoring

Anti-snoring mouth exercises can be of massive benefit to almost all snorers.

We know that getting some exercise can help us lose weight which is a great way to tackle snoring. Increasingly, we are seeing that exercise to help snoring needn’t involve running, cycling or swimming, or even breaking a sweat.

More people are turning to mouth, tongue and throat exercises to take control of their snoring and are seeing amazing results.


Five anti-snoring exercises that really work


How do these exercises work?

Snoring is caused by slack tissue in your airway increasing resistance to air passing through [1]. Anti-snoring exercises aim to tone up this slackened tissue, treating the root cause of snoring.

Low muscle tone causes snoring

Our tongues and muscles in the thoat naturally relax when we sleep. Snoring happens when this relaxation becomes too much and the tissues start to flap, or when the tongue falls back and its base obstructs airflow.

When these muscles are weak, the chance of snoring is much higher. Muscle tone diminishes with age which explains why older people are more likely to snore.

Exercises vs. snoring aids

Wearing various remedies can tighten this tissue or hold things in place. But to keep snoring away, you’ll always rely on these appliances.

Anti-snoring exercises tone these tissues, stop them collapsing and prevent them from flapping.

You can train yourself into sleeping more quietly without having to wear an anti-snoring appliance ever again!

There are snoring aids on the market with very little science to back them up. The same is not true for anti-snoring exercises. There’s plenty of evidence and it all looks rather encouraging [2].

The evidence – music lessons

In 2000, researchers investigated whether you could reduce snoring with singing. A drama therapist from the University of Exeter in the UK developed a series of singing exercises for a group of twenty snorers [3].

The group sung these songs for twenty minutes a day for three months. The singing they did wasn’t your typical tune you might hum to yourself, but focused more on projecting strong vowel sounds with big exaggerated mouth movements.

It sounds more like yodeling, is rather bizarre, but it works. Comparing the participants’ snoring recordings before and after the study, the researchers saw a big drop in snoring.

In a different study six years later, twenty-five patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea were signed up for didgeridoo lessons. Fourteen received tuition and did practice at home every day for four months. The other eleven – the control group – were put on a waiting list and carried on as normal.

Playing the didgeridoo is hard and requires strong mouth, tongue and throat muscles. At the end of the four months, the group who played the instrument showed some promising results improvements to their snoring [4]:

  • They were less sleepy throughout the day.
  • Their sleep apnea episodes reduced. Patients had a lower apnea/hypopnea index, 6.2 points fewer than the control group.
  • Their partners reported feeling less disturbed at night.

The evidence – targeted exercises

Didgeridoos and didgeridoo teachers are not easy to come by, and not everybody wants to walk around yodeling. Researchers took the concepts of these practices and created a series of exercises that target the snoring muscles of the tongue, soft palate and throat.

Guimaraes et al

In 2009, a group of scientists in Brazil performed the largest snoring exercise study to date [5]. The study design was robust, randomizing thirty-one different patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea into two groups.

Each group was under the impression that they were receiving an amazing new anti-snoring therapy (important to ensure that any improvements are not due to the “placebo effect”), but only 16 were given the anti-snoring exercises. The other fifteen were a control group, given “sham therapy” which entailed a series of breathing exercises.

Each group attended supervised sessions for thirty minutes once a week and were told to do their exercises every day at home too.

Whilst the control group did ineffectual deep breathing, the test group followed an exercise regime involving the tongue, soft palate and walls of the throat. Exercises involved sucking, swallowing, chewing, breathing and speaking.

After three months, those doing the exercises had markedly improved their sleep apnea. They:

  • Reduced the severity of their sleep apnea. AHI on average dropped by 39% compared to no change in the control group.
  • Snored less frequently and less loudly
  • Had better sleep quality
  • Experienced less sleepiness during the daytime
  • Had improved oxygen saturation during sleep apnea episodes

Other studies

Further studies highlighted that thirty minute sessions are long and realistically people were unlikely to do this under their own steam. Merely brushing our teeth twice a day for two minutes is something that one in four of us struggle with [6]!

Researchers started to focus on shorter regimes, using similar exercises but done in short sessions several times per day. These patients still significantly decreased their snoring volume by 60%, improved their sleep quality and made their partners feel less disturbed [7].

Overall, the studies have strongly shown that [2]:

  • Anti-snoring exercise therapy reduces sleep apnea severity by 50%.
  • Exercises also reduce normal snoring, both objectively and subjectively. Snorers’ partners feel less disturbed and both the frequency and volume of snoring is decreased.
  • Sleepiness improves with consistent anti-snoring exercises.
  • Exercise regimes needn’t be long. As little as forty minutes per week can have a positive impact.


Detailed summary of the research into oropharyngeal exercises for snoring


Five anti-snoring exercises that really work

One doctor, a massive advocate of anti-snoring exercises and the professed “patron saint of snorers” describes these exercises as yoga for your mouth with a focus on stretching and positional training [1].

The exercises favor quicker, sharp repetitions as opposed to long holds, which can instead add muscular bulk and make matters worse.

Different studies have used different techniques, but here are five of the key exercises that appear in most experiments and can really make a difference:

  1. Tongue curlers. With your mouth open, slide the tip of your tongue backwards along your hard palate as far back as it will go. Repeat 20 times.
  2. With an open mouth, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth and suck it upwards. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat 20 times.
  3. Force the back of your tongue against the floor of your mouth whilst the tip remains in contact with your lower front teeth. Again, you should do this with an open mouth.
  4. Pull your cheek out with your finger, use your cheek/mouth muscles to pull the finger back in.
  5. Elevate the back of your throat by sounding “aahh”. Once you get better at this exercise, you should be able to raise your uvula (the dangling part in the back of your throat) without making a sound.

You are unlikely to see instant results. These exercises are most effective when performed daily and stuck to over a period of time. Remember, you don’t need to spend ages on your routine, as little as eight minutes has shown to still be very effective [7].

To give yourself the best chance of success, set aside a time in the day to do these exercises. Also try to do them in private as you may look and feel a little strange. With some practice you will get better at the exercises and will start to notice the difference.

What Happens in a Sleep Study?

Science, Sleep, Sleep Apnea, Solutions

What Happens in a Sleep Study?

If you snore and are worried about sleep apnea, to get a diagnosis you’ll need to undergo polysomnography in a sleep study.

At SnoreLab, we often get asked “Can the app detect sleep apnea?” Some users have found tell-tale signs of sleep apnea in their SnoreLab recordings, but importantly, these don’t reliably tell you that you have sleep apnea. The only way to robustly diagnose sleep apnea is with a sleep study.

Some estimates put the rate of sleep apnea amongst people aged 30-60 at 16.5%, but the vast majority of these people are undiagnosed [1]. This is because there is a lot of anxiety, unawareness and misinformation surrounding sleep studies.

This article aims to demystify sleep studies so you know what to expect if you want to make a positive step towards understanding and treating sleep apnea.

What does a sleep study do?

A sleep study does exactly what the name suggests, it studies your sleep. This is done via a process called polysomnography (PSG) which literally translates to “many sleep measurements”.

Sleep apnea cannot be diagnosed with your snoring sounds on their own, therefore other measurements are necessary. As well as capturing your sounds with a microphone, PSG will also measure:

  • Blood oxygen levels – blood oxygen drops during apnea episodes.
  • Brain activity – to detect the microarousals that accompany apnea events and assess sleep stage.
  • Muscle activity
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing rate and effort – to provide evidence of breathing interruptions.
  • Eye movement – helps to determine what stage of sleep you are in.
  • Sleeping position – gives some insight into what triggers sleep apnea.

PSG can also be used to study other conditions such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, insomnia, sleepwalking and night terrors.

How do I get a sleep study?

Medical referral

If you think you might have sleep apnea, first assess your risk with some questionnaires. Scoring high on screening questionnaires such as the STOP-Bang questionnaire and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale can be useful in persuading clinicians that a sleep study is necessary.

You can then see your doctor to request further investigation into your sleep breathing problems.

As well as your screening questionnaire results, SnoreLab can often be very helpful in giving your doctor some evidence of your loud snoring or maybe even some apnea episodes.

If seeing a general practitioner for your initial consultation, you may first be referred to a sleep specialist or an ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinician before being offered a sleep study.

Requesting a home study online

In some countries, there are online companies that conduct home sleep studies without you ever having to attend a medical consultation. After filling out an online assessment form and paying a fee, these companies will post your study equipment to you with instructions.

Which type of study is best for me?

If your specialist deems you to be at risk of sleep apnea, you should be offered a sleep study to confirm this suspicion.

There are two types of study, one done at a specialist sleep lab, the other in your home.

Studies done at sleep labs:

  • Give more reliable insight into what is happening to your body during sleep
  • Use more attachments and measurements; can detect a wider variety of conditions
  • Are usually more expensive
  • Often have less availability meaning longer waits

Whereas studies performed at home:

  • Are more comfortable due to the familiar settings, therefore can give better quality sleep
  • Still give reliable results, particularly if your symptoms are quite severe
  • Are usually less expensive
  • Are more convenient
  • Can be prone to error if not fitted correctly

Often, your specialist will recommend the most suitable type of study for you and will make you aware of the relative merits of each.

Sleep lab studies – what to expect

Sleep studies conducted at specialist labs are more comfortable than many people think. The word “lab” conjures images of cold indifference; people in white coats and unfriendly, clinical surroundings. Most bedrooms in specialist sleep clinics are comfortable and sympathetically decorated, with a real bed as opposed to a hospital trolley – some say akin to a three-star hotel.

Before your study

To ensure good sleep and reliable data, there are a few things to do in the lead up to your study:

  • Maintain a normal and healthy sleep routine on the nights leading up to the study.
  • Avoid napping on the day of the study.
  • Limit caffeine consumption and avoid alcohol altogether.
  • You may also need to adjust your medications (ask the referring specialist beforehand).

What to bring

Make sure to bring:

  • Suitable night clothing
  • A change of clothing for the next day
  • Toiletries
  • Something to keep you occupied before going to sleep. There will likely be a period of winding down before the study starts, so a book or puzzle to keep you occupied (without excessive stimulation) is a good idea.
  • Any medication you take routinely, both to maintain that routine and to show to the staff, as this can provide some insight into your sleep symptoms.
  • Any necessary documentation

Getting wired up

Because PSG measures many different things, there are lots of attachments that need to be made. Ultimately, you need to be relaxed enough to sleep properly, so the technician should take time to make sure the attachments are secure yet comfortable. This will take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, so you should use this time to ask any questions you have.

Different labs will vary, but typically you will have these various attachments on a number of places on your body:

  • Head – electrodes taped on to measure your brain activity.
  • Side of your eyes – these measure the movement of your eyes to help determine your sleep stage.
  • Chin – electrodes here assess the muscular tension in your jaw.
  • Nose – a nasal cannula rests two small tubes into your nostrils to measure breathing rate.
  • Chest – a strap here monitors your breathing effort. This part may also include a small box where other channels are connected to.
  • Finger – a small clamp usually on your index finger measures blood oxygen levels by shining infra-red light through your finger nail.

Once all of these attachments are in place, your technician may ask you to blink or make some snoring noises to test the connections.

You are likely to then be given some time to wind down before going to sleep.

Depending on the time of your study and the individual practices of different labs, you may be provided with a meal.

Getting to sleep

As more and more pieces of wire are attached to you, you’ll probably feel that it’s less and less likely that you’re going to be able to sleep in this strange environment.

People often start to worry that they won’t sleep or get accurate results. In reality, only a tiny proportion of sleep tests fail due to inadequate sleep data. It may take a little longer to fall asleep, but usually, you’ll get plenty of sleep which will give the clinicians lots of data to work with.

Throughout the night

Typically, you are given six to seven hours to sleep. A technician will monitor you overnight. If you need to urinate in the middle of the night, simply let the technician know and they will come to disconnect the relevant attachments properly.

In the morning

Don’t be surprised if you wake up to a different technician. Sleep studies last about ten hours from initial arrival so it’s likely that the staff will change over.

Once you have been given time to change and freshen up, you might be asked to complete some questionnaires about your sleep and symptoms. Everything is usually done by 7am.

Home studies – what to expect

Typically, you will have your home sleep study about four weeks after your initial referral.

Attaching the equipment

If you have booked your home study through a clinic, you will probably have to attend that clinic on the day of your study. This is your chance to get as much information as you can and ask any questions if you have them. There are two possible set-up methods, you will either:

  1. Collect the equipment and attach the components yourself once at home. Here, you will be given the home study equipment with a set of instructions. These types tend to have fewer pieces and therefore give less detail
  2. Get the main components attached by a technician with just a few connections for you to do once home before you go to sleep. Having a specialist fit the components allows use of more connections giving more measurements.

If you have mobility issues, it may be possible for a sleep technician to deliver and fit the study equipment in your home.

Home sleep studies tend to be less involved than those conducted in specialist labs, so there are likely to be fewer attachments. You will have a minimum of:

  • Nasal cannula – rests two small tubes in your nostrils to assess your airflow.
  • Finger clamp – this is a pulse oximeter: a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.
  • Chest strap – this measures your breathing efforts as well as containing a box where the other wires connect.
  • Heart rate monitor.

This is the minimum. Some home studies, particularly those where a specialist gets you fitted at the clinic beforehand, have more attachments that can also measure brain, eye and muscular activity; much like a lab study.

Getting to sleep

Once wired up, despite being in the comfort of your own bed, you are likely to take a little longer to get to sleep. Most people report that the attachments feel a little strange but not uncomfortable. The set-up should allow you to sleep in whatever position you like.

If you worry that you aren’t sleeping enough, remember that only a tiny handful of sleep studies fail due to inadequate sleep data. Though you may feel you haven’t slept particularly well, chances are, you slept much more than you think you did.

In the morning

Most equipment is quite easy to disconnect. Clinics don’t usually require the parts to be bundled up neatly and often supply a simple plastic bag or box for you to simply stuff the parts into. Usually, the cannula is disposable.

Some units will have a little light that shines either green or red in the morning to indicate whether the test has sufficient data. You’ll be given instructions before as to what to do if the light is red.

You then need to return the study to the clinic for them to generate the results.

To better understand what happens in a home sleep study, read Susan’s story, a SnoreLab user’s first-hand account of getting a sleep apnea diagnosis through a home sleep study.

Understanding your results

Getting your sleep study results back can take days to weeks. If you have had a home study and your results are unclear, your specialist may refer you for a lab study instead.

You will get a document that gives many details about what was recorded during your study. Here is a breakdown of what usually gets measured and what it all means …

Sleep physician/technician’s report

This is a summary of the findings. They will say whether your sleep and the data obtained was adequate as well as an overview of the findings including: sleep position, sleep stages and apnea episodes.

Calculated variables

These are your apnea measurements:

  • Total AHI – the average number of times per hour, you experienced an apnea or hypopnea event (total or >50% breathing cessation for 10 seconds or more).
  • NREM AHI – the AHI during the non-REM stage of sleep.
  • REM AHI – the AHI during the REM stage of sleep.
  • Minimum oxygen saturation – the lowest level of oxygen detected in your blood.
  • Longest apnea – the duration in seconds of your longest period of complete breathing cessation.
  • Longest hypopnea – the duration in seconds of your longest period of partial (>50%) breathing restriction.
  • Mean apnea/hypopnea duration – the average time in seconds of each episode.
  • Arousal index – the number of times per hour you aroused from sleep.
  • Apneas experienced in different positions


This identifies if you have sleep apnea and its relative severity:

  • Normal: AHI = 0-5. This will sometimes just be called “primary snoring”.
  • Mild obstructive sleep apnea: AHI = 5-15
  • Moderate obstructive sleep apnea: AHI = 15-30
  • Severe obstructive sleep apnea: AHI = 30+

Sleep statistics

These are the measurements of your sleep, the relative times spent in each sleep stage and how long you took to fall asleep:

  • Time available for sleep – i.e. when the lights were off.
  • Total sleep time
  • Sleep efficiency – this is the percentage of time spent asleep during the time that the lights were off
  • Sleep latency – the time taken to fall asleep
  • REM sleep time
  • NREM sleep time
  • Sleep in supine position – time spent sleeping on your back.

Different sleep stages with SnoreLab’s insights into the Architecture of Sleep.

Learn more.

The next steps

Your results report may also include some recommendations. If your results show little to worry about (i.e. normal primary snoring) you’ll get some general advice that takes into account both the study results and your general health.

If sleep apnea has been detected and you had your study through a referral process, you will then have some follow up appointments to discuss treatment options.

Mild to moderate sleep apnea can often be improved with consumer anti-snoring remedies and positive lifestyle changes. Usually, severe sleep apnea requires treatment with CPAP.

See SnoreLab’s guides to the different types of CPAP mask and how to fix common problems with CPAP.

This article gives an overview of the general processes in most laboratory and home sleep studies. Individual practices may vary.

A Guide to Neti Pots


A Guide to Neti Pots

Nasal irrigation with a neti pot can help reduce snoring caused by a congested nose or sinuses.

Neti pots are devices used to flush out your nasal passages. Often resembling a small teapot, they are used to pour salt water through your nasal cavity. They can be extremely effective at reducing snoring caused by a blocked nose.


SnoreLab’s recommended neti pots



If a stuffy nose is causing you to snore, nasal irrigation has benefits over other anti-snoring methods. Neti pots are:

  • Inexpensive and simple
  • Non-medicated
  • Unlikely to produce side effects
  • Able to relieve cold and allergy symptoms

Neti pots have their origins in an ancient Hindu practice of health and wellbeing, where nasal irrigation, or “jala-neti”, was practiced daily as a cleansing ritual. This alternative medicine technique has stood the test of time and has been adopted by many snorers with very successful outcomes.

“My snoring has stopped, I now sleep and breathe better. It’s so nice to find something that can solve a huge problem in my life so easily”

How do neti pots work to stop snoring?

When your nose is congested your normal breathing is disrupted. Breathing through a partially blocked nose creates suction forces that act on your airway which causes it to narrow.

When you can’t breathe through your nose, mouth breathing ensues. This yields some shape changes to your airways which disrupts airflow and brings on snoring.

Using a neti pot helps to clear your nose and encourage healthier, quieter nasal breathing. Nasal irrigation:

  • Soothes inflamed tissue. Reducing inflammation widens the nasal passages.
  • Flushes out allergens and other potential irritants.
  • Breaks down and clears excess mucus.

Who can benefit from a neti pot?

If a blocked nose is making you snore, a neti pot can be an extremely effective way of reducing this blockage and sleeping quieter. We recommend them for:

How to use a neti pot

Despite the well documented benefits, snorers are often deterred from using a neti pot because it just seems a bit weird and gross. Like anything, it gets easier with practice.

“The first few times you use it, you may feel that the sensation is a little weird. With regular use this will become something normal, not a big issue and will only make you feel better.”

There are four important things to get right when using a neti pot:

  1. Use the correct water
  2. Use the correct salts
  3. Use the correct technique
  4. Use the correct cleaning methods to decontaminate your neti pot

Here is SnoreLab’s process to get safe and effective use from your neti pot:

1. Choosing the right water

Unclean water can introduce harmful bacteria into your nose. DO NOT use untreated tap water. You have several safe water options:

  • Bottled water that is labelled as “distilled”.
  • Tap water that has been boiled for around 5 minutes and left to cool to a lukewarm temperature. This kills any potentially harmful invaders.
  • Tap water that has been passed through a filter with pores 1 micron (one thousandth of a millimeter) or smaller.

2. Preparing the salt solution

The salt solution is important to help break down the excess mucus in your nose.

Many neti pots can be bought as kits where the appropriate salt mixture is provided in a sachet. These can also be bought separately.

If you want to make your own salt solution, DO NOT use standard table salt. Find a pure salt that is:

  • Non-iodized
  • Free from caking agents
  • Free from additives

Recipes for homemade solutions vary, but a good guide is to add ½ teaspoon of the appropriate salt to the water, along with ¼ teaspoon of baking powder.

3. Using the neti pot

Now for the gross bit. With practice this will get much easier. To properly use the neti pot, water should be poured into one nostril so it comes out of the other. Follow these steps:

  1. Tilt your head sideways over the sink.
  2. Breathe through an open mouth.
  3. Place the spout of the neti pot on your upper nostril so that it forms a tight seal.
  4. Pour half of the contents slowly.
  5. Allow the water to run through your nose and out of your lower nostril.
  6. Repeat for the other side.
  7. Once done, gently blow your nose without pinching your nose to remove excess water.

4. Cleaning the neti pot

This part varies depending on what type of material your neti pot is made from. Regardless of material, thorough cleaning is a must to prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria in your neti pot.

Some neti pots can simply be put in the dishwasher. Others can be boiled wher

eas some need some scrubbing with warm water and soap.

Once done, let your neti pot air dry.

What should you look for when purchasing a neti pot?

Whilst a neti pot might seem like a simple device, there are a few features you should look for when deciding on which neti pot is best for you …


Neti pots are available in different materials, each with their relative merits (jump to different neti pot materials: the pros and cons):

  • Ceramic
  • Plastic
  • Steel

Easy to clean

Neti pots need to be properly cleaned to be used safely. This is to stop you inadvertently introducing harmful bacteria that might lurk in the recesses of your neti pot, into your nose.

Look for a simple shape with a wide opening that has no difficult-to-reach nooks where mold and bacteria can hide. Also check that the design has no cavities within the handle as it is almost impossible to clean this effectively.

Consider that different materials have to be cleaned differently.


You need a reasonably tight seal on your nostril to use a neti pot effectively, therefore it is important to consider how the spout will feel on your nose.

Steel and copper pots are hard and cold, whereas plastics can be softer. Cheaper designs might have some rough edges whereas some pots come with a little silicon cap to provide enhanced comfort.


Are you likely to travel with your neti pot? If so, consider that ceramic neti pot materials are more breakable than others.

Whilst plastic pots are less likely to break if dropped, if they are made from thinner plastics (such as squeezable ones) they will probably wear out faster than steel or ceramic ones.

Squeezable material

Some neti pots are made from soft plastics that can be squeezed. This allows you to control the pressure of the water going into your nose.


It might sound silly, but good ceramic neti pots can look like a nice, simple ornament. On the flip side, some plastic ones can be rather inappropriately shaped! Are you likely to leave it lying around?

Different neti pot materials: the pros and cons


This is the most common type of neti pot and the one that we recommend the most.


  • Comfortable on the nostrils
  • Hygienic and easy to clean
  • Simple designs with few nooks for mold and bacteria build-up
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Looks good


  • Breakable
  • Usually has less capacity than pots made from other materials
  • Heavy
  • Lower quality ceramics can have pores that trap mold

We recommend the Himalayan Chandra Ceramic Neti Pot. It has a smooth design that doesn’t allow mold build-up, the starter kit comes with a 10-ounce salt pot and measuring spoon, and it is not bad looking either.


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  • Cheaper
  • Not breakable
  • Light
  • Suitable for travel
  • Softer plastics can be squeezed to control water pressure
  • Clear plastics allow you to see the water level and potential dirt build-up


  • Some designs have cavities where mold and bacteria can accumulate
  • Not often dishwasher safe
  • Less long-lasting. Can be degraded by salt water.

We like Dr Hana’s Nasopure. It has a very simple ergonomic design that is easy to use and easy to clean, with no handle, hence no cavity. The shape and squeezable material allows you to use this neti pot without having to tilt your head. The kit also contains 20 salt packets.


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  • Hygienic. Unlikely to trap bacteria.
  • Not fragile
  • Easy to clean
  • Good sizes available


  • Can rust if not dried properly
  • Hard and cold feeling on the nostrils

Our steel neti pot pick is the Health and Yoga Stainless Steel Neti Pot. It is large enough to not need refilling during a single irrigation, it has a nicely shaped conical tip, is very robust and has a simple design with very few areas for mold to form.


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Buying Guide: Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces


Buying Guide: Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces

Back sleepers, tongue snorers and many other people too – they can all benefit from an anti-snoring mouthpiece. But what should you look out for?

What are anti-snoring mouthpieces and how do they work?

Mandibular advancement splints, mandibular repositioning devices, protrusion splints and mandibular advancement devices (MADs for short) are all the same type of snoring remedy. These are anti-snoring mouthpieces that fit in your mouth, covering your teeth like a gumshield.

These devices work by positioning your lower jaw (your mandible) further forward (or advancing it).

Snoring comes as a result of a narrowed airway. This can be caused by over-relaxed soft tissue or the base of your tongue falling back to obstruct your breathing passageways.

Mouthpieces help to tighten the tissues in your airway that become slack during sleep. It also brings the base of your tongue away from the back of your throat, clearing it from obstruction.

A note on tongue retainers

Whilst technically an “anti-snoring mouthpiece”, tongue retaining devices (TRDs) work differently, and are not the focus of this article. These use a suction cup to pull the tongue away from the back of the throat and can still be extremely effective for tongue-based snorers [1].


SnoreLab’s recommended tongue retainer, the Good Morning Snore Solution, here.


Who can they help?

Some research has shown that two thirds of snorers can benefit from an anti-snoring mouthpiece. Studies also indicate that mouthpieces can be a better treatment than CPAP for mild to moderate sleep apnea sufferers [2].

At SnoreLab, we recommend mouthpieces for a number of different snorers:

Like most snoring remedies, there are some people who should avoid using anti-snoring mouthpieces:

  • Those who wear dentures or a missing a significant number of teeth
  • People who have dental decay
  • Those who suffer from jaw ache
  • People with chronic nasal blockage
  • Epilepsy sufferers. Mouthpieces can break into small parts due to the strong biting down that can accompany severe seizures.

Custom-made mouthpieces

Custom-made mouthpieces are bespoke devices made in specialist dental labs. Because these mouthpieces are made to fit only you, they often provide more comfort than generic mouthpieces bought online.

Discomfort is the main barrier to success when it comes to using anti-snoring mouthpieces. For this reason, custom-made mouthpieces show greater success in scientific trials simply because people are more likely to stick with them [5].

There are generally two ways to obtain a custom-made mouthpiece:

  • Medical referral. After seeing a specialist about your sleep breathing problems, you may be recommended a custom mouthpiece. You are likely to undergo an assessment with a dental specialist who will assess your suitability for a mouthpiece and who will take multiple measurements and impressions of your teeth.
  • Online services. Some companies offer a service to get a custom-made mouthpiece via the internet. After requesting, you are sent an impression kit in the post. Here, you create the indentations for your teeth and jaw alignment, send it off, and then receive the custom-made mouthpiece a few weeks later.

Due to the extra time, effort and materials invested in creating a custom-made mouthpiece, these are usually more expensive than the generic alternatives.

Generic mouthpieces – what to look for

Less expensive generic mouthpieces bought online needn’t be inferior. There are many mouthpieces available to buy online, some better quality than others.

Look out for the following key features to get a good quality generic mouthpiece that can be just as effective as the more expensive custom-made alternatives …


Custom-moldable mouthpieces use the same principles as the bespoke devices, where the mouthpiece is shaped to fit the impression of your teeth.

These devices employ a boil and bite method of molding to the shape of your teeth, whereby the mouthpiece is soaked in hot water to soften the moldable padding. After biting into the padding, holding for a period and allowing the device to cool, the mouthpiece contains an impression of your teeth, improving fit and comfort.


It is important to be able to adjust your mouthpiece to reduce the chance of jaw pain.

Holding your lower jaw in a protruded position is not a natural state, therefore takes some getting used to. If you advance your jaw too far too soon, you can sometimes get temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition that causes pain in your jaw joints.

Starting with the lowest protrusion setting is a great way of easing yourself into mandibular advancement. There are different mechanisms available: some squeeze, some wind and others require plastic spacers. When buying an adjustable mouthpiece, make sure the adjustment is secure, precise and easy to perform.

Allows some jaw movement

A little jaw movement whilst wearing the mouthpiece gives greater comfort.

Mouthpieces are usually built from either one piece of material (monobloc) or two pieces attached to each other (bibloc).

Whilst a bibloc mouthpiece still holds your jaw advanced forward, it usually allows more lateral movement once in your mouth, reducing the chance of jaw aches.

Breathing vents

Breathing vents allow you to breathe through your mouth whilst wearing the mouthpiece.

You may be able to breathe well through your nose before you go to sleep, but this can change throughout the night. It is therefore important that your mouthpiece allows for some mouth breathing so you can still comfortably wear it.

Some mouthpieces are hinged, allowing you to open your mouth a little. Others contain a breathing hole in the front of the device.

If your nose is severely blocked, a mouthpiece might not be suitable.

Quality materials

Mouthpieces that use high-quality, medical-grade materials will last longer and are safer to use.

Also make sure that your mouthpiece is BPA-free and latex free. Better quality materials feel more comfortable in your mouth, are easier to clean and are less likely to rub uncomfortably on your gums.

Also check for FDA approval, a sign that the mouthpiece meets medical device regulations.

Slim design and sizing options

Slimmer, less bulky mouthpieces are easier to wear and more comfortable.

Intelligently designed mouthpieces can have adjustment mechanisms and moldable materials but still be low-profile and easy to wear in your mouth. This allows you to sleep more naturally and get used to the mouthpiece sooner.

Also check to see if the mouthpiece comes in different sizes. Even moldable, adjustable mouthpieces can be sized differently to provide an optimal fit for people’s varying face shapes and jaw profiles.

Lifespan and warranties

Higher quality, slightly more expensive mouthpieces are likely to last longer.

Make sure that buying cheap mouthpieces is not a false economy, as you may have to replace these more often. Generally, a good mouthpiece should last you more than 9 months.

Check if the provider offers a warranty for free replacement if the mouthpiece becomes unusable sooner than it should.

Bear in mind that if you grind your teeth in your sleep, your mouthpiece might wear out faster.

Money-back guarantees

Mandibular advancement can be a great way to reduce snoring, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Therefore, it is important to be able to change your mind.

Lots of mouthpiece manufacturers offer a money-back guarantee if after a certain period you feel that the mouthpiece isn’t right for you. This is a great way to trial the device risk-free, meaning you have nothing to lose but stand to gain much quieter nights.

The usual trial period is 30-nights but some providers offer 60-night money-back guarantees.


VitalSleep is a quality mouthpiece at a very reasonable price point. The mouthpiece’s features and company’s guarantees tick many boxes to make it one of our top picks:

  • Adjustable up to 8mm. Use a unique Accu-Adjust System that allows for easy and precise adjustment that holds firmly.
  • Moldable. Boil and bite materials allow for custom-molding to get a comfortable and secure fit.
  • Slim design. VitalSleep has a much lower profile than many mouthpieces of a similar price.
  • Quality materials. VitalSleep is FDA approved and uses medical-grade materials that are free from BPA and latex.
  • Large front vent.
  • Two different sizes.
  • One-year unlimited warranty.
  • 60-night money-back guarantee.
  • Free international shipping with the code FREESHIP.


Buy Now and Save $20



SnoreRx is one of the best quality mouthpieces you can buy online. It is a professional mouthpiece with the features of a premium custom dental mouthpiece, but without the premium price tag:

  • Professional design and materials. Uses FDA approved medical-grade plastics that are BPA and latex free which feel comfortable and last long.
  • Moldable. SnoreRx uses a thermal matrix design that gives top-quality custom molding with the option to re-mold if necessary.
  • Precise and secure adjustment. Easy adjustment in 1mm increments that requires no tools and holds firm. Simply squeeze the sides and slide.
  • Large breathing vent.
  • No small parts. SnoreRx is consists of two pieces with no metal screws or rubber bands, making it very safe to use.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Save 10% with the code SNORELAB.


SnoreLab’s full review of SnoreRx.



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ZQuiet has a simple and effective design, is very reasonably priced, includes two sizes and allows more lateral movement than alternatives:

  • Hinged design. Spring materials allow for some jaw movement for greater comfort.
  • Quality materials. Thin, low-profile and lightweight, ZQuiet uses FDA-approved thermoplastic elastomers free from BPA giving safe use and longevity.
  • Works straight away. ZQuiet is ready to use straight out of the box requiring no molding or adjustments.
  • Two sizes. The ZQuiet set includes two mouthpieces with different degrees of jaw advancement allowing you to ease yourself into using an anti-snoring mouthpiece.
  • Save $10 with an exclusive SnoreLab discount code.


SnoreLab’s full review of ZQuiet.



Get $10 off ZQuiet


Age and Snoring

Causes, Science

Age and Snoring

Snoring can worsen with age, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. It’s also important to remember that young people snore too.

“Snoring is an old person’s problem”. This statement is both true, and very false. There’s no shortage of changes that take place as we age, and a propensity for snoring is one of them.

Whilst age is a significant risk factor for snoring and sleep apnea, increasing numbers of young people and even children find themselves snoring, or even gasping and choking through the night.

Snoring’s association with age is exactly that, an association, not an inevitability. If you’ve found your snoring worsening with age, there are a few things that you can do to. Additionally, if you feel you’re too young to be snoring all the time, you’re not alone. It may be time to carefully consider its possible causes.

Why do we snore more as we age?

Our sleep changes as we age. We find it harder to fall asleep and stay there, get less sleep in general, and crucially, we’re likely to snore more. Some sources show that fewer than 10% of 17-29 year olds say they frequently snore, whilst more than 40% of over 50s do [1].

When it comes to the more dangerous prospect of sleep apnea, some 18% of people aged 65 and over are having at least 10 apneic episodes per night compared to only 3% of under 45s [2].

But why is this? Aging is inevitable, but snoring doesn’t have to be. Age-related snoring has direct and indirect causes …

Direct reason – weakened airway

Weak airway muscles are the main reason for snoring more with age.

Snoring happens when the tissue in our airways start to vibrate because it is too loose. Just as skin loses tension with age and muscles in our bodies become weaker and less toned, so does the airway. This loss of tone is particularly true of the soft palate, one of the main sources of snoring noise [2].

Throughout earlier life, women tend to snore less than men. This gap is narrowed once women reach the menopause as various physiological changes make you more likely to snore.

Indirect reasons

With age comes a few other factors that make snoring more likely:

  • Easier to gain weight. A slowed metabolism and overall decrease in physical activity make weight gain go hand in hand with age. Weight gained on the neck and midriff heighten the risk of snoring.
  • More medication. Drugs to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions and even simple pain relief medication can lead to a congested nose which makes snoring more likely. Sedatives also contribute to enhanced relaxation of the soft tissue of the throat.
  • Reduced immunity. Lots of snoring can be caused by a blocked nose; blocked noses are often the result of a cold, something you might be more vulnerable to as you age [3].

What can be done to combat age-related snoring?

Remember, snoring isn’t inevitable as you age. There are things you can do:

  • Mouth exercises. The best way to get tone back to those weakened muscles in the throat is to exercise them. Check out our guide to anti-snoring mouth exercises, an anti-snoring tactic which can be particularly helpful for older snorers.
  • Mouthpieces. Another way of tightening that loose tissue is to use a mouthpiece which brings your jaw or tongue forward. Find out more about the right sort of mouthpiece for you with our buying guide to anti-snoring mouthpieces.
  • Treat your blocked nose. Your nose can be blocked for a number of reasons, so there are a multitude of solutions. See our guide to snoring and nasal blockage to see what’s stuffing you up and what you can do about it.
  • Lose some weight. Easier said than done, yes. Impossible once you reach a certain age, no. Often, effective weight loss and retention needn’t involve a hard-to-maintain crash diet. The cumulative effect of many small, sustainable and positive lifestyle and diet changes can make a big difference. Have a look at our SMART strategy for weight loss.

Snoring is not just an “old people problem”

Despite the evidence for snoring increasing with age, we and many SnoreLab users testify that snoring is not a problem confined to older people. Yes, fewer young people snore when compared to the older population, but this “fewer” still constitutes thousands upon thousands of people [1].

Snoring has many causes and we are increasingly seeing that snoring and sleep apnea is a problem for not only adults, but adolescents and children too …

Young adults and snoring

How common is it?

There seems to be some conflicting numbers when it comes to young adults snoring. One thing however is certain: snoring is not an “old people problem”.

A survey of 12,000 high school students in Korea revealed that a startling 22.8% of them snored, with just over 1,000 even reporting experiencing sleep apnea [4].

The prevalence of snoring in university-age young adults is higher than many think. One study asked 2,200 California university students aged 18-25 about their snoring. 30% reported snoring [5].

Even anecdotally, whilst scrolling through SnoreLab’s Twitter feed at the start of the university semester in October, we see many unhappy students lament the snoring capabilities of their new roommate!

Snoring in young adults often goes unnoticed. This is due to several reasons:

  • A misconception that snoring is only a problem for older people
  • Social stigma around snoring
  • Lack of understanding of the risks, therefore a reluctance to seek help or information
  • Younger people usually sleep alone so aren’t identified as problematic snorers.

Why is it a problem?

Snoring and sleep apnea present problems for younger people just as they do for older people. As well as the risks to your physical health that sleep apnea poses (which can present more of a problem in young people), snoring amongst young adults has shown to have a negative impact on other facets of life such as mood regulation, driving safety and even academic performance [6].

One study assessed the likelihood of medical students to fail their exams based on whether or not they snored. Non-snorers had a failure rate of 13%, whereas 42% of the frequent snorers failed their exams [7].

What can be done to help?

Of course, the best treatment for snoring depends entirely on its causes, of which there are many. That said, anti-snoring product companies are putting more emphasis on the importance of snoring in younger people.

Good Morning Snore Solution have recently introduced a tongue retainer for young adults aged 16-25, based on an assumed difference in facial shape and size. Tongue retainers work by preventing your tongue falling back and blocking your airway whilst also tightening the slackened tissue in your throat.

Whilst many will be skeptical about how the mouthpiece is actually tailored specifically to this group of people, it is great to see companies in the anti-snoring marketplace taking snoring in young people seriously.

If you don’t know where to begin with your snoring, have a look at our 7 ways to stop snoring naturally and our 7 recommended snoring aids.

Children and snoring

How common is it?

Studies estimate that around one in ten children snore. On top of that, 1-4% experience obstructive sleep apnea [8], a condition all too frequently associated with older people.

Snoring in children can be relatively normal, but if they are snoring consistently throughout the night for four or more nights a week, it needs to be taken seriously [9].

Why is it a problem?

Sleep deprivation is the biggest problem for children with sleep disordered breathing. Children need lots of healthy sleep to develop well. Studies have linked sleep fragmentation with ADHD, and adolescents presenting to mental health services show a high prevalence of sleep disturbance [10].

What can be done to help?

Children have slightly different airway anatomy to adults. A common culprit for snoring in children is the adenoids – glands located near the soft palate which usually shrink and disappear later in life along with the snoring itself [9].

For that reason, surgically removing these glands is often an effective treatment method for children with obstructive sleep apnea. Some research indicates that children’s stunted mental capabilities, often attributed to the sleep disturbance that accompanies sleep apnea, reverses completely 3 to 10 months after surgical removal of the adenoids [11].

Not all children will show an improvement after this type of surgery. Much like in adults, snoring can be caused by other factors. For example, obese children and children with certain craniofacial abnormalities, show less improvement [8].


Age can indeed make you snore more, but snoring is not just an “old people problem”. Sleep patterns change with age but one thing remains constant: good sleep is important. If your snoring is impacting upon your sleep or health in any way, at any age, it needs addressing. Understanding and treating snoring earlier in life puts you in a better position to not snore further down the line.

Weird Anti-Snoring Ideas of the Past


Weird Anti-Snoring Ideas of the Past

Type “snoring remedies” into a search engine and you’ll see the usual suspects: mouthpieces, nasal dilators and special pillows amongst a few others.

We dug deeper into the history of anti-snoring devices and found some unusual contraptions we thought we’d share …

Tongue holding mouthpiece – 1962

Mouthpieces and tongue retainers are effective and popular devices for treating snoring. Combining the two was never a good idea and was always doomed to failure.

This patent, filed in 1962, has the right idea for preventing snoring: hold the base of the tongue clear from the airway to leave the passage of air unobstructed. The problem was how it went about doing so.

The mouthpiece uses a tray to fit onto your top teeth. From the back of the mouthpiece, a paddle protrudes backwards and downwards to push your tongue base forward. Surely, there wasn’t a single user who didn’t vomit or gag uncontrollably when attempting to use this device.

Anti-snoring shock collars – 1967

This is something we are more used to seeing on dogs to stop them barking, but back in the 1960s there were several patents filed for anti-snoring shock collars.

The idea was that when snoring was detected by the internal microphone, the collar would deliver an electric shock to the user and train them to stop snoring.

Good sleep and frequent electrocution aren’t exactly happy bedfellows, so needless to say, the idea didn’t catch on.

Open mouth alarm – 1960

Many people snore because they breathe through their mouth instead of their nose.

With this contraption from 1960, if your mouth inadvertently falls open at night the bulky unit under your chin detects this and sounds a buzzer, telling you to shut your mouth and go back to sleep.

As you then struggle to get back to sleep, fearing the next imminent buzz, you wonder why you didn’t just get a chin strap.

This is another device that has the right idea but implements it very strangely.

Check out SomniFix for a more feasible alternative.

Gag-less mouthpiece – 2004

Gag-less can be interpreted two ways: either it doesn’t involve gagging, just like wireless doesn’t involve wires; or it makes you gag less than alternatives, but can still most definitely make you gag. Looking at this device, we’d say the latter is more likely.

This compressed tube fits inside your mouth to keep your tongue in check with its “saw-like” ridges. Anything described as “saw-like” surely has no place in your mouth.

Snoring deconditioning system – 1975

Many inventors loved the idea that you can use behavioral conditioning techniques to banish snoring.

This device from 1975 treats you like a lab rat with a combination of negative and positive reinforcement to make you “learn” to stop snoring.

When snoring is detected, the device activates a set of unpleasant prompts: light, sound, touch and pain. A buzzer under the pillow, flashing lights above the bed, and vibrations or electric shocks to the arm wake the user when they snore. The only way to turn off these intrusions is to press a “Stop” button on the central controller (number 30 in the above image).

Once you have flicked the switch and learnt from this negative conditioning, positive reinforcement comes in the form of an M&M via the reward chute! Users soon found out that the biggest reward was flicking the “OFF” switch instead!


SnoreLab’s full article about snore alarms


Head-moving snore alarm – 1962

Continuing along the behavioral conditioning theme, this device from 1962 simply named “Snore Alarm” listens out for snoring and then violently jolts your head to wake you up.

The microphone placed at the top of the bed is connected to an amplifier, which when activated:

“[…] deliver[s] a sharp upward impulse of force to the hinged board [under the pillow]. This shakes or jars the sleeper, causing the sleeper to awaken. When the sleeper is thus awakened, he becomes aware of the fact that he is snoring.”

It seems bizarre, but one of our favorite anti-snoring products available today doesn’t look too dissimilar to this device. Smart Nora listens for snoring and then moves the head to stop it. Importantly, Smart Nora’s actions are gentle and don’t intend to wake the snorer but instead bring back some muscular tone to the airway.


More about Smart Nora


Not yet in the past, there’s still some hope for …

Silent Partner

Silent Partner is an eye mask that aims to use active noise cancellation to get rid of snoring sounds.

The idea is good: a non-invasive sleep mask with small inbuilt microphone(s) and loudspeaker(s) to both detect the snoring sound and produce a “counter-sound” to cancel it out. This concept is much like that of noise cancelling headphones, but with a few additional challenges. These challenges have so far proved difficult to overcome.

First, there’s the size of the loudspeakers. Snoring sound is made up of a mix of frequencies (or pitches), with more towards the low to mid range. Speakers small enough to fit in a sleep mask find it hard to produce the tones that can successfully cancel out these lower frequencies in snoring.

Second, there’s the cancellation zone. Silent Partner’s promotional video demonstrates a snoring user with a bubble of silence around the their head. Creating such an optimal bubble is extremely challenging (i.e. impossible) and will always involve a compromise (i.e. won’t work).

Third is the nature of snoring itself. Snoring is a non-stationary noise; its energy fluctuates. Noise cancellation works very well on stationary sounds such as the gentle hum of an air conditioning unit or an aeroplane, but struggles to adjust to constantly changing sounds.

If Silent Partner were somehow able to navigate these pitfalls, the distorted low-frequency sound that would ensue would probably be more annoying than natural snoring.

After acquiring $1.6m from crowdfunding, the company hasn’t yet produced anything. The website has ceased to exist and the comments on its crowdfunding page don’t make for easy reading.

Okay, so what does work for snoring?

Hopefully, after seeing the bizarre array of anti-snoring techniques confined to history, you have a new found appreciation for the anti-snoring products available today.

Check out our SnoreLab’s 7 most effective snoring aids to see what could work for you – no electric shocks necessary!

What Can You Do If Your Partner Snores?

Diet & Lifestyle, Solutions

What Can You Do If Your Partner Snores?

Snoree, innocent by-snorer, passive snorer. There are many names, but to you, it really it doesn’t matter what you’re called when all you want is a bit of peace.

If you’re losing sleep because of your partner’s snoring, there are some things you can do to help yourself and help them. Here, we look at the significance of sleeping with a snorer and explore the ways you can stop the snoring or at least cope better!


Tactics to deal with a partner’s snoring



Sleeping with a snorer

The dangers of sleep deprivation

You probably don’t need to be told that sleeping with a snorer has massive implications for your sleep quality. Having disturbed sleep isn’t pleasant and isn’t very healthy.

The mental impairment from moderate sleep deprivation equates to the effects of mild alcohol intoxication.

Over a longer period, chronic sleep debt can do irreversible damage to the brain and the rest of the body. Multiple studies have shown that getting less than six hours of sleep per night significantly increases the chance of an early death. This is due to an increased likelihood of a host of maladies:

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

When you consider that sleep deprivation is closely linked to weight gain, and that weight gain facilitates snoring, one could even speculate that snoring is in-fact contagious!

The impact of snoring upon relationships

Living with snoring doesn’t just mean disrupted sleep but can entail a disrupted relationship too.

Conflicts can easily arise as a result of snoring, conjuring feelings of guilt and resentment, doing damage to your emotional and physical intimacy.

Some sources even cite snoring as the third leading cause of divorce in some countries [1]. One study in Australia reported that snoring was the sole cause of marriage breakdown in 50 of 300 women surveyed [2].

Tactics for partners of snorers – solving the problem

Snoring is not a life sentence for the snorer or the snoree. It has a cause and therefore has a solution too. Whilst the onus is mostly on the snorer, you already share the burden so why not share the solutions? These can often be approached as a couple …

Identify the problem

Make sure your partner knows that their snoring is a problem for you. If they are to stop snoring, they’re going to have to make some changes, but won’t do so if they don’t think their snoring is an issue.

Share lifestyle solutions

There are a number of lifestyle changes that can be adopted to help reduce snoring naturally. Engaging in these together can have benefits not only for the snoring, but for your relationship too.

If body weight is playing a part in your partner’s snoring, get involved in those things that can help them to lose weight. Show some solidarity with them by eating healthily, planning and cooking meals together, and by doing exercise you both enjoy.

Mouth exercises are another great way to tackle snoring for many people. It can sometimes feel a bit strange and silly doing them on your own, so why not make it more entertaining by doing them together?


Sleeping position is often factor in people’s snoring, as supine sleeping (on the back) massively increases the risk of snoring.

“Poke, nudge and roll” is a useful tactic in the short term, but soon enough, if it’s your partners preferred position, they will end up sleeping on their back again. And so the process repeats.

There are devices available for snorers to wear which look like a backpack to stop them rolling onto their backs, as well as some pillows to help keep them on their side.

Alternatively, you can instead address your shared sleeping position. Try sleeping back-to-back, propping each other onto your sides so that your partner can’t roll onto their back.


Two heads are better than one. Sometimes, the cause of snoring isn’t obvious and requires more investigation. With a fresh perspective as the snoree, you can help your partner to identify the cause of their snoring and find the things that really work.

Have you noticed a recent change in your partner’s snoring? Has this coincided with any behaviour or health changes? As the non-snorer, you are in the unique position of being able to see and hear the differences that the snorer may be oblivious to.

Tactics for partners of snorers – coping with the problem

If the solutions aren’t working and you just need some more sleep, there are ways to cope with the snoring without actually reducing the volume …

Get a head start

If you take a while to fall asleep, head to bed slightly earlier than your partner. Given that a snorer doesn’t wake themselves when they snore, then why should they wake you if you’re already fast asleep?

Unfortunately, this tactic is unlikely to work every time. The cyclical nature of sleep means you are still likely to catch the snoring sound during one of your lighter sleep phases. Nonetheless, it should at least prevent the “as soon as his head hits the pillow, he’s snoring” complaint.

Sleep separately

This is a solution that many couples cite as the saviour of their marriage. You’ll frequently hear accounts from couples who have slept separately for years due to someone’s snoring.
Whilst this solution is great for your health through banishing the snoring sound and getting some sleep, co-sleeping is still important for the health of a relationship.

In his book “Two in Bed: the Social System of Couple Bed Sharing”, sleep researcher Paul Rosenblatt examined how sharing a bed is important for couples. He described the importance of bed sharing for intimacy and comfort, as well as pre-sleep being a time that couples use to catch up, plan, make decisions and solve problems [3].

That said, and as many snoring couples will tell you, sleeping separately doesn’t necessarily mean the end of these benefits. Set aside that same time to enjoy each other’s company, before eventually doing the sleeping part in separate rooms.


Basic but effective, a good set of earplugs specifically designed for sleep can be indispensable for the partner of a snorer.

A simple multipack of foam earplugs will do the trick, but also shop around for ones that are sleep-specific: soft and comfortable when laid upon, and with properties that allow you to still hear your alarm in the morning.

White noise machines

Introducing more sound to a room plagued with snoring seems counter-intuitive, but there is some sense in using white noise to mask snoring.

White noise is a sound that contains all audible frequencies at the same intensity – similar to the notion of white light.

This doesn’t block the snoring sound, but instead masks it as the snoring frequencies blend in with the frequencies coming from the white noise machine. By playing this consistent sound before sleep, you are less likely to notice sudden changes to the sound profile of your room throughout the night.

Change how you perceive the snoring

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

In short, if you can’t stop the snoring, learn to cope with it. This quote comes from Jon Kabat Zinn, a medical professor who teaches mindfulness.

The mindfulness approach puts the onus on the snoree and is about changing the way you perceive your partner’s snoring. Try to emotionally detach from the snoring sound and instead treat it like your own personal soundscape.

There have been many accounts from frustrated partners who, instead of letting the snoring sounds irritate them, used it as a source of meditation and mindfulness. They objectively listened to the sounds, accepted them and lost no sleep as a result.

Study for Sleep Apnea – Susan’s Story

Sleep Apnea, User Stories, Using SnoreLab

Sleep Study Story – Susan

We like to hear from our users to find out how they use the app and what they have done to combat their snoring. With these user stories, we hope you can pick up some great tips and gain some motivation to address your snoring too.

This story comes from Susan who responded to a post about sleep apnea on our Facebook page. After using SnoreLab and identifying some concerning audio on her recordings, Susan requested a sleep study and found out she had very severe obstructive sleep apnea. This story details her route from being blissfully unaware, through investigation, diagnosis and treatment of her sleep apnea …

For a while I suspected that I only snored intermittently throughout the night. My snoring has generally occurred under the usual “snoring circumstances” such as laying on my back, after drinking alcohol and being extremely tired.

My snoring seemed to get worse after coming to an early menopause which also coincided with some weight gain.

I found with my VivoFit band that I was waking frequently, but it didn’t provide comprehensive information so I started looking at other sleep monitoring methods. That’s when I can across the SnoreLab app.

After thinking I was only an occasional snorer, I was shocked to see that I snored consistently all night with a large chunk of it being the “Epic” level.

I’ve had problems breathing through my nose for some time, so saw an ENT specialist thinking this was the likely cause of my snoring. I mentioned my SnoreLab results and that I thought my snoring was a bigger problem than I initially had thought and that I wanted it investigated. He didn’t really ask about sleep apnea or snoring and instead I had nose surgery which wasn’t particularly successful.

Once I had used SnoreLab for a bit, I didn’t really suspect I had sleep apnea, I just thought I was a chronic snorer. It was while researching chronic snoring that I came to think that I might have sleep apnea, or that it was at least worth doing a sleep study.

I analyzed my SnoreLab results and I started to notice some tell-tale signs. I did full night recordings and there were some silent areas in my sessions with some gasping noises. This made me think that sleep apnea was a possibility, but thought that it was probably mild as mostly the results were showing snoring sounds all night long.

More alarm bells started ringing when I realized that I was feeling extremely tired all the time, yawning at my desk after only a few hours at work. Once I had joined the dots – the excessive sleepiness and the snoring – I then seriously considered sleep apnea as a possibility.

I noticed my Snore Score was getting higher so I looked closer at the audio and found more silent areas and gasping.

My doctor was very obliging in referring me to a sleep specialist after I explained my SnoreLab results and my constant tiredness. The sleep specialist was interested in the app, and after some questions I was offered a sleep study straight away without any further investigations.

I had the choice of a home study or one in a sleep clinic. The home study seemed to tick the boxes in terms of cost, so I asked if this was as reliable as one performed in a specialist clinic. He explained that due to the severity of my symptoms, a home study will likely give a reliable diagnosis. If he wasn’t sure from the home study results, he would insist on a clinic study.

Four weeks after my initial consultation I had my home sleep study.

On the day of the study, I went to a late afternoon appointment at the sleep clinic so a technician could help me fit all of the parts. There were many attachments: finger clamp sensors, heart rate monitors, a microphone, various electrodes that attached to my head and chest as well as some other parts to look for leg movement. She attached everything in an orderly fashion and explained it all as she went along.

I then went home (with a jacket on to cover up my attachments so I didn’t attract unwanted attention) and got on with my evening. Despite having these pieces attached to me, I was still able to move around easily and do the things I’d normally do before bed. 

Of all the connections, there were a few that I had to fit myself before going to sleep. The leads from the various attachments were bundled into one plug to be connected at the front of a belt around my middle. Then I had to put in the nasal prongs and a small clamp on my finger which were also connected to the belt. 

When I went to sleep, it was an unusual feeling, but certainly not uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like I slept very well for fear of the leads disconnecting. In a Catch-22 scenario, I then started to worry that because I thought I wasn’t sleeping well the test wouldn’t give an accurate representation of my normal sleep (this later proved to be an unfounded fear, as there was plenty of data when my results came back, and the diagnosis was clear as day).

Before, the technician had explained what needed to be disconnected in the morning. Everything came off very easily like she said it would. By undoing the two connections on the front belt, the entire system slipped off like a cardigan.

She had also explained that there was no need to tidy up the leads or disconnect anything else, I simply had to put everything into a bag and return it to the clinic.

The results were sent away to be analyzed and I got them back in four weeks.

I was very surprised. After thinking that if I did have sleep apnea, it would be very mild or not detected, my results came back as “Very Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea”. My AHI score was 100! This means that my sleep was disrupted 100 times per hour. Sometimes, oxygen was interrupted completely for 30 seconds at a time.

Following the initial shock, I was then excited to think that there are known treatments for sleep apnea and that I would one day hopefully not feel so tired.

The sleep specialist wrote a script for a CPAP machine and gave me a list of suppliers. Helpfully, the script also had instructions to the supplier as to what settings the machine should have.

Interestingly, the chemist I rented the CPAP machine from had a sleep apnea trained assistant. I discussed the app with her and she was intrigued. She mentioned that a lot of people assume they can rent a CPAP machine without a script (they can’t here in Australia). She then said that SnoreLab would be a great way to give evidence to doctors and convince them that a sleep study is necessary.

I had to use the machine for a month so they could determine its effectiveness and whether the airflow settings were correct. The machine I was given had a feature that meant it could also detect apnea events. After a month of use, my AHI score reduced from 100 to 3!

I’m so glad I did the sleep study and started CPAP treatment, especially since I did some research about the detrimental effects of sleep apnea. Having such a high score meant I was a prime candidate for stroke and many other health problems.

I am still using a CPAP machine, and whilst I’m still a bit tired in the day, I’m optimistic that this will improve. Even though my sleep still isn’t quite where I want it to be, I feel comforted that my breathing obstructions are not so life threatening!

I sing the praises of SnoreLab all over the place and honestly don’t think I would have pushed for a sleep study had I not used the app beforehand.

Many people snore loudly and feel tired throughout the day, but don’t make a link between the two. Susan was able to identify some tell-tale signs of sleep apnea on SnoreLab and pushed for a sleep study which has given her a reliable diagnosis. You can read about what a sleep study entails here.

She has since made massive strides to improve not only her sleep health, but her risk of many associated conditions.

You can read more about what sleep apnea is and investigating sleep apnea with SnoreLab’s insights.

All of our user stories are genuine accounts from SnoreLab users. If you’d care to share your experience about using SnoreLab, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us on or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

In the interest of privacy for our users, names and pictures may be changed. We use the wording quoted to us by our users but may make small stylistic changes.

CPAP Problems and How to Fix Them

Sleep Apnea, Solutions

CPAP Problems and How to Fix Them

CPAP is a very effective way to treat sleep apnea and snoring. When used correctly and fitted well, CPAP can dramatically reduce apneic events as well as greatly decreasing snoring volume and frequency.

Unfortunately, many users don’t get this far because the discomfort they feel makes them give up before CPAP can have a positive effect.

CPAP can be uncomfortable and does take some getting used to. It is also perceived as the most extreme type of snoring remedy, and many people don’t like the idea of this large, quite invasive device.

Here, we address the most common problems people have with CPAP, giving you advice on the best way to fix these issues. We also have some SnoreLab top tips on how to get the most from CPAP to snore less and sleep better.
Jump to fixing your CPAP issues with:

Side note: what is CPAP?

A CPAP device uses a mask to force air into your nose and throat to keep your airways open.

CPAP does not give you more oxygen. Instead, it introduces a current of normal air that creates positive pressure; this props open your airway to stop it from collapsing.

The CPAP machine links to the mask via a hose, and continuously gives positive pressure into your airway; hence the name “continuous positive airway pressure”.

Frequent CPAP problems and how to rectify them


CPAP masks, in particular full-face masks, can feel stifling and claustrophobic. This is particularly poignant when you are new to CPAP and could wake up forgetting you are wearing it, causing brief panic.

The best way to get beyond this is to get used to wearing your CPAP mask as much as possible before wearing it for a full night. An hour or so before bed, put on your mask and carry on with your evening; read a book, watch television; do what you would normally do.

You needn’t turn it on to start with, just get used to the feeling of having the device on your face. Shortly before you go to sleep, turn the device on to a low setting to accustom yourself to the sensation of the forced air.

If you really don’t like the sensation of having something over your face, consider the less invasive CPAP mask options like nasal cushions.

Leaking air

This is often due to a poor fit or an inappropriate mask type. A leaking CPAP is inefficient. This air should be stopping your sleep apnea and instead it is being lost to your surroundings. It can also dry out your eyes.

When initially being fitted for your CPAP device, make sure you get the fit right. Highlight any comfort concerns with the professional fitting it for you. Masks come in different sizes, so be sure to try a few. Also ensure you get the right type of mask for your circumstances. See SnoreLab’s guide to the different types of CPAP mask.

At home, to stop the mask leaking, adjust the various pads and straps to get it fitting comfortably and snugly (but not too tightly). Also make sure that the mask doesn’t come too high up on the bridge of your nose.

If you’re overweight and using CPAP, hopefully, your improved sleep will help you lose weight. If you do lose a lot, particularly around your neck and face, you may need to consult your healthcare provider to get a different mask.

Pressure sores

Pressure sores are painful skin blemishes caused by your mask rubbing. Preventing pressure sores comes down to getting the right fit. Ill-fitting masks can rub uncomfortably when they move around. They may have to be tightened too much to force a suitable fit. Remember to check that the mask fits correctly in your initial consultation. When wearing at home, try not to pull the straps too tight.

CPAP masks can also create uneven pressures on your face due to misalignment caused by your regular pillow. There are specifically designed CPAP pillows available that have ergonomically designed cutaways to comfortably accommodate CPAP masks.

If you continue to get pressure sores, consult your healthcare provider.

Dry mouth and nose

A dry mouth is often a result of breathing through your mouth too much. If you can comfortably breathe through your nose you should try to encourage it whilst you sleep. This is because your nose warms, humidifies and filters air before it gets to the rest of your airway and is the healthier way to breathe.

There are devices available to close your mouth and encourage nose breathing, including chin straps and SomniFix mouth strips. Read SnoreLab’s review of SomniFix.

If you struggle to breathe through your nose there are numerous remedies that can help. There are many reasons why you may not be able to breathe through your nose, so check out our guide to nasal blockage induced snoring and the appropriate remedies for each cause.

With a blocked nose, nasal CPAP fails to work. A full-face mask is a good option for people who struggle to breathe through their nose, but sometimes this air can dry out and irritate your airway. Humidifiers can help moisten your airways, helping you to breathe and sleep better. Some CPAP flow generators even come with an in-built humidifier.

Forced air is very uncomfortable

Some CPAP users can’t tolerate the level of air coming through the mask. This can be helped in several ways:

  • Get the air pressure setting right – setting your CPAP at high pressures is typically more uncomfortable than running the device at lower pressures.
  • Ease yourself in – like getting used to the mask itself, try getting used to the sensation of forced air. Turn the device on before you go to sleep to get used to the feeling. There are some more sophisticated CPAP devices available that have a ramp feature, where the machine slowly and automatically increases the pressure.
  • Choose the right type of mask – direct contact masks like nasal pillows can feel especially uncomfortable at higher pressures as there is nowhere else for the air to go. If you need to run your CPAP at high pressures, consider a full-face mask.

Removed mask by accident

To stop your CPAP mask coming off during the night, make sure it fits correctly and that the straps are sitting in the correct orientation.

Dislodging your mask could also be down to the mask type and its design. Full face masks are less likely to come off. If you are a side sleeper your pillow could be pushing the mask out of place. Consider looking for a specifically designed CPAP pillow with cutaways that accommodate CPAP masks.

You may also involuntarily pull the mask off whilst you sleep if it is causing you breathing difficulty. Make sure that you can breathe clearly through your nose if you are using any devices that keep your mouth closed.

Can’t sleep

Alongside practicing good sleep hygiene, you should also practice using the mask whilst awake so you are comfortable with it once you try to sleep.

Good sleep hygiene dictates that in the run up to bedtime, you should not be eating and instead do some gentle, non-stimulating activity like reading. This is a great time to wear your CPAP device and get yourself used to the mask.


Sound from the machine might also prevent restful sleep. Most CPAP machines are nearly silent. If you find that yours is making excessive noise, it might be because the flow generator’s air filter is dirty. Make sure you read your unit’s instructions and keep on top of the required maintenance.

Try to keep the flow generator unit as far away from your head as the hose’s length will permit.

If the noise persists despite cleaning, the unit could be faulty. Return it to the provider to get it checked over.

Facial hair

Beards and moustaches can inhibit the seal that is formed around the edges of the CPAP mask. If you are as attached to your facial hair as it is to you, and shaving simply isn’t an option, make sure you pick the right type of mask.

Nasal cushions are the most appropriate type for people with facial hair. This is because the seal is formed on the nostrils as opposed to other areas of your face.

Top tips for getting the most out of CPAP

Given these frequent problems that CPAP users come up against, here are our tips for making sure that your CPAP device is having the desired effect:

  • Get the right mask for you – nasal masks, nasal cushions and face masks all have their good and bad points, and are suitable for different people. Read SnoreLab’s guide to the different types of mask to decide which one is best for you.
  • Fit your mask properly – during your initial fitting, make sure you let your healthcare provider know if it feels unduly uncomfortable or doesn’t fit correctly. Find out the best way to adjust the straps and make sure to seek a change if your face shape changes significantly due to weight loss.
  • Practice – everything gets easier with practice and CPAP is no different. Whilst it might seem weird at first, remember it will get better. Getting used to wearing the mask and feeling the air current whilst you are awake is a great way to ease yourself into using CPAP.
  • Treat your blocked nose – it is particularly important to clear your nose if you are using a nasal mask or nasal cushion. Your device will not work effectively if your mouth falls open whilst using these types of CPAP. Check out SnoreLab’s guide to nasal snoring remedies.
  • Keep on top of maintenance – as well as regularly cleaning the flow generator’s filter to prevent noise, also check for mold that can form (particularly if using a humidifying flow generator) and wash the straps to keep them clean and fitting well.
  • See the big picture – remember, CPAP isn’t designed to make you feel uncomfortable, it is there to help you. Use SnoreLab to help remind yourself of this fact, as you should start seeing your Snore Scores drop, meaning you are well on your way to healthier, more peaceful sleep.

Buying Guide: Air Purifiers


Buying Guide: Air Purifiers

Air purifiers can help snoring triggered by allergies and pollution. Poor quality air can irritate our upper airways, leading to stuffy and inflamed noses and throats. Air purifiers filter out the harmful particles that bring on these symptoms and can massively reduce snoring as a result.

You may think that your home has much cleaner air than outside, but there are some studies that suggest that indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than air outside.

Who can benefit from an air purifier?

Air purifiers can reduce snoring triggered by reactions to airborne particles. These particles can block your nose and irritate your throat, causing airway obstruction that brings on snoring. Cleaning the air with an air purifier has shown to be very effective for:

  • Hay fever sufferers
  • People with dust allergies
  • Households with pets
  • Those who live in polluted areas
  • Households with smokers

How air purifiers work

Air purifiers use internal fans to pull in the air and the harmful particles it contains. Once drawn inside the device, the particles are either trapped in a filter or are treated to stick to surfaces as opposed to floating around in the air.

What to look for in an air purifier

There are many different air purifiers available and choosing the right one can be a bit confusing. Look out for the following key features to help you make the right decision:

Size – can it be moved from room to room?

There are air purifiers that sit on desks and there are those that are the size of desks. If you want to move it around with you from room to room, consider a small one that can be easily picked up and placed anywhere.

Type of filtration

Air purifiers employ several methods to clean the air, some we recommend, others not so much:

  • True HEPA filter (highly recommended) – to be considered a true HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, it must meet standards set by the US Environmental Department. These filters eliminate 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or bigger. That means for every 10,000 particles that hit the filter, only 3 get through!
  • HEPA-type filter (recommended cheaper alternative) – the HEPA-type filter works in the same way but less efficiently, eliminating 99% of particles 2 micron or bigger. Generally, this will still filter out pollen and dust mites but will not trap smoke particles.
  • Activated carbon filter (highly recommended) – these filters use tiny pores between carbon atoms to trap harmful particles that pass through.
  • Ionizing/UV filter (proceed with caution) – these types of air purifier make passing particles more reactive so that they stick to surfaces instead of floating in the air. Unfortunately, this can produce harmful by-products like ozone. If you do choose an air purifier that uses this technology, make sure the manufacturer states that the quantity of ozone produced is negligible and well within regulatory limits.

A note on ozone

If an air purifier produces ozone, this is something to be wary of and it is a good idea to look into the technical specifications.

Some air purifiers use UV-C light to charge particles, getting them to stick to surfaces as opposed to floating around in the air. Unfortunately, this also charges the oxygen in the air (O2) causing the formation of ozone (O3).

Whilst ozone is useful high up in the atmosphere where it protects us from harmful UV radiation, it can be dangerous if inhaled. Ozone is unstable and can react with the cells in our respiratory tracts.

Replacing filters

Different filters require different treatment to keep them working. Standard large particle filters can often be removed and washed for reuse.

Many finer filters like the HEPA filters will require replacement after a period of use. How often you need to replace them depends on your use of the air purifier. The default that many makers state is to replace the filters every six months to ensure the unit still functions well. However, this will vary depending on your level of use.

Some air purifiers come with a very useful indicator that alerts you when your HEPA filter needs replacing.

When assessing the cost effectiveness of an air purifier, consider the price of replacement filters as they vary from brand to brand.


Noise, or lack thereof, is particularly important when looking for an effective air purifier, especially if you plan to run it at night. Most air purifiers have different speed settings, with the lowest settings being noticeably quieter than the highest.

If you plan to use the unit at night, make sure to get one with a very quiet low speed, and run the high-speed setting before you go to sleep to prepare the room.

Bigger units at low speeds can be just as effective as smaller ones at high speeds, but much quieter. However, there are some portable air purifiers available that are still very effective at low speeds, such as our pick.

“It has completely transformed our home’s air quality, on the low setting it is still very effective!”

Additional features

There is a host of other features to look out for:

  • Dual functionality as a fan
  • Oscillating movements – by rotating, the purifier can take in air from multiple angles.
  • Timers – very useful if you want to program the device to work automatically whilst you are out of the house.
  • Air quality sensors – these air purifiers are smart enough to gauge the air quality and automatically start if it dips below a certain point.
  • Smart units – link your air purifier to your smart phone, allowing remote operation and the ability to see the quality of the air in your home.
  • Night lights

SnoreLab’s choice – Levoit LV-H132 Compact HEPA Air Purifier

“My husband snores much, much less since we started using this purifier. Very high quality and effective!”

At SnoreLab, we like Levoit’s Compact HEPA Air Purifier. It is quiet, effective, easy to operate and comes at a very reasonable price point. There are a number of features that we believe make it an ideal air purifier that ticks a lot of boxes:

Effective and safe filtration

With the sophisticated filtration in Levoit’s compact air purifier, you can rid your room of:

  • Dust and dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Airborne bacteria
  • Pollution

Levoit’s compact air purifier boasts three stages of filtration. This effective system meets the US Department of Energy’s standards by filtering out 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or bigger (for some perspective, the thinnest human hairs are 57 times wider than this).

This system uses three filters, none of which produce ozone:

  1. Fine preliminary filter – this neutralizes bacteria, pet dander, mold and fungal spores.
  2. True HEPA filter – traps dust mites, large pollutant particles and pollen.
  3. Activated carbon filter – this captures odors and fine particles like those in cigarette smoke.

Multi-directional shape

This air purifier doesn’t need to oscillate as it is already facing all possible angles. Its rounded shape means it doesn’t just take in air from one place but instead attracts air all around, cleaning the room more efficiently.

Small and portable

Just over a foot tall and weighing a little over six pounds, this air purifier can be moved from room to room with ease and placed on tables and desks.

Other features

The Levoit Compact HEPA Air Purifier also has three speed settings, an optional night light and is very easy to use.

“I suffer terribly from seasonal allergies. I keep one of these units in my bedroom. Now, I can sleep all night without any breathing problems waking me up.”

Top of the range – Alen Customizable Air Purifier

For more money, you get a lot more features. The Alen Customizable Air Purifier is perfect for large rooms, using four modes of filtrations to quietly, efficiently and thoroughly clean the air. It gets outstanding reviews and includes some great features:

  • Auto mode – laser sensors detect the level of pollution in the air as the unit adjusts accordingly.
  • Air quality indicator.
  • Customizable appearance – there are fourteen designer panel options that allow you to tailor the design to suit your home.
  • Quiet and powerful – uses pink noise to eliminate high-frequency sounds.
  • Energy efficient – this makes the unit cheap to run.
  • Filtration options – of the four filters, one is an ionizer which can produce a negligible amount of ozone. This feature can be turned on and off as you wish.
  • Cleans large rooms.
  • Lifetime warranty.

“My husband used to wake me up with his constant snoring, and since we started using this, I finally sleep without ear plugs.”

SnoreLab only endorses products that we have tested and verified give great results for our users. We earn a small commission on purchase made through our app and website which support the app’s development at no extra cost to you.

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