Stop Snoring with these Remedies to Help Nose Breathing


Stop Snoring with these Remedies to Help Nose Breathing

Nasal blockage and mouth-breathing are very common causes of snoring.

If you have a blocked nose or persistently breathe through your mouth when you sleep, you might find you are snoring more as a result.

There are two types of mouth-breathing snorers:

  1. Snorers with a blocked nose
  2. Snorers with a clear nose who cannot sleep with their mouth closed

Thankfully, whether you have a blocked nose or simply keep opening your mouth in your sleep, there are multiple remedies that can help you.


Solutions for snorers with a blocked nose

There are lots of causes of a blocked nose. Allergies, colds, pollution, hormones and even the weather can give you a stuffy nose and make you snore as a result.

Thankfully, there are several ways to treat your blocked nose.

Nasal spray

Medicated nasal sprays work by reducing inflammation or constricting the blood vessels in your nose to create more space. There are several different types, some recommend for regular use, whereas others should only be used occasionally. In all cases remember to read the instructions.

Saline nasal sprays are non-medicated. Instead, they are a mixture of water and salt which moisturise your nasal passages to soothe inflammation and break down excess mucus.

To learn more about the different types of nasal spray and what is best for you, check out SnoreLab’s guide to nasal sprays for snoring.

Nasal dilator

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.

These have the advantage of being non-medicated and demonstrating benefits instantly. Each type has its relative merits so for more information about whether they are suitable for you, read our summary of nasal strips and dilators for snoring.

Neti pot

Neti pots are devices used to flush out your nasal passages. Often resembling a small teapot, you use these to pour salt water through your nasal cavity.

This undervalued snoring remedy reduces nasal congestion by:

  • Soothing inflamed tissue. Reducing inflammation widens the nasal passages.
  • Flushing out allergens and other potential irritants.
  • Breaking down and clears excess mucus.

Neti pots are made of different materials and need to be used and cleaned properly. Be sure to read our guide to buying and using neti pots.

Air purifier

Air purifiers can help snoring triggered by allergies and pollution.

These 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.

There are many shapes, sizes and features, so check out our full article on air purifiers for snoring to get the best one for you.

Side note: Which of these remedies is most effective depends on the cause, so be sure to read our guide: “Snoring due to a blocked nose” to understand your snoring and the most appropriate solutions.

Solutions for mouth-breathing snorers

If you can breathe clearly through your nose, but frequently wake up with a dry mouth and a sore throat (and usually, some drool on the pillow!), it is likely that you sleep with an open mouth.

There are a number of different remedies to help you make the healthier, quieter switch to nasal breathing.

Mouth tape

Mouth taping holds your mouth closed to promote nasal breathing.

We recommend using specialist, medical-grade mouth tapes specifically designed for use on skin. This means they are safe to use and easy to remove.

A market leader in mouth taping is SomniFix mouth strips, as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank! SomniFix strips are hypoallergenic, can be painlessly removed without leaving a sticky residue, and have a small mesh vent to allow limited mouth breathing if necessary.

Mouth shield

Shields fit behind your lips but in front of your teeth to prevent mouth breathing. Products such as the SnoreLab recommended Somnipax Shield can also be custom moulded and have small holes to allow a little mouth breathing if necessary.

Chin strap

Chin straps are another effective, if a little cumbersome, way to keep your mouth closed at night. You usually wear these under your chin and around the top of your head.


Mouthpieces can be particularly effective if your snoring is has multiple causes. If mouth breathing plays a role but isn’t the sole cause, mouthpieces not only promote healthier nasal breathing but also bring jaw forward to tighten the slack airway tissue responsible for snoring.

There are many anti-snoring mouthpieces available. To understand how they work, the different types and what might be most suitable for you read SnoreLab’s overview of anti-snoring mouthpieces.

Tongue retainer

Similar to other anti-snoring mouthpieces, tongue retainers effectively block the mouth breathing route. In addition to this, they also work by holding your tongue forward to prevent it blocking your airway. We recommend the Good Morning Snore Solution for open mouth snorers whose tongues block their airway.

The science bit – mouth breathing vs. nasal breathing

Mouth breathing can cause snoring

You may notice that when you have a cold, you snore more. This is because with a nose full of nasties, you need to switch to mouth breathing.

Sleeping with an open mouth makes snoring more likely. This is due to several reasons:

Your airway is narrowed. An open mouth causes your throat to compress as your tongue falls further back into your airway and the open space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced.

Inhaled air is turbulent. Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your mouth

Your airway dries out. This is because mouth breathing doesn’t humidify incoming air like nasal breathing does.

You are more susceptible to breathing in harmful things. Unlike nasal breathing, mouth breathing doesn’t trap allergens and bugs which can in turn worsen your snoring.

Why should you breathe through your nose?

Nasal breathing not only lowers your snoring risk but has other health benefits too:

Snoring reduction. Nasal breathing warms and humidifies incoming air, helping to prevent your airways drying out. It also channels air over your snoring noise-makers in a less turbulent way than mouth breathing does.

More comfortable sleep. By treating the air, your nose prevents the frequent awakenings you may experience from having a dry mouth.

Better filtration. The mucus and many folds within your nasal cavities do a great job of trapping potentially harmful invaders such as allergens and viruses/bacteria. These, in addition to making you feel terrible, can worsen your snoring.

Proper ventilation. Nasal breathing reduces the chance of hyperventilation – over-breathing with frequent, shallow breaths. Proper ventilation leads to optimum oxygen/carbon dioxide balance, allowing for improved blood oxygen saturation [1].

Enhanced nitric oxide inhalation. Nitric oxide (NO) has often been termed “the mighty molecule” [2]. Produced in the nose and sinuses, nasal breathing helps push this molecule into the lungs where it can exert its benefits. Here, it expands your blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and the associated risks [3].

Do Nasal Sprays Work for Snoring?

Science, Solutions

Do Nasal Sprays Work for Snoring?

Nasal sprays can be effective for snoring if you get the right type.

Snoring is often the result of a blocked or stuffy nose. Unblocking your nose can drastically reduce snoring, and a popular method is to use a nasal spray.

Not all nasal sprays are the same, and it’s important to match the appropriate type of nasal spray to your cause of nasal blockage.


Various causes of a blocked nose that can lead to snoring

Read more


In this guide, we’ll go through the different types of nasal spray available to give you the best chance of finding one that works for you.

Jump to the main types of nasal spray for snorers:

What’s blocking your nose and why does it make you snore?

If you breathe through a partially blocked nose, suction forces are created that can cause your throat to collapse and make your uvula and soft palate vibrate [1].

When your nose is fully blocked, you’ll start breathing through your mouth when you sleep – a common cause of snoring.


Why open mouth breathing is a leading cause of snoring

Find out


There are lots of causes of a stuffy nose, from colds and infections, hay fever and dust allergies to chronic nasal inflammation and non-allergic rhinitis. One type of nasal spray won’t cure all types of nasal blockage, so it’s important to know which one is which …

Different types of nasal spray

Side note: what does “topical” mean?

You will often see nasal sprays referred to as “topical”. This refers to the route of administration. Topical simply means that the drug is applied directly to the site it aims to treat, in this instance, the nose. This is the opposite to systemic administration, where the drug is usually swallowed or injected.

1. Antihistamine nasal sprays

In short, these are ideal for treating nasal blockage that arises due to allergy.

If your snoring is worse in the spring and summer when pollen spores cause hay fever, or if you’ve noticed dust in the home makes you stuffy and snore, then antihistamine sprays could work for you.

An allergy is when your body elicits an immune response – an infection-fighting tactic – to something non-infectious.

Histamine is a chemical inside the body that is released in high quantities in this immune response. Histamine and other chemicals rush to the site where allergens are detected (usually the nose and throat as this is the primary point of entry if breathing them in) and then bind to specific receptors to cause inflammation.

Antihistamines help to relieve your stuffy nose by reducing this inflammation via stopping histamine binding to other cells.

Summary: good for allergy sufferers, treats inflammation and runny nose, use when symptoms worsen.

Examples: azelastine, olopatadine

2. Steroid nasal sprays

Like antihistamines, these work by reducing inflammation. They can be suitable for treating allergies and non-allergic rhinitis or nasal polyps. Steroid nasal sprays are commonly prescribed to treat problematic snoring but can also be bought over-the-counter.

Side note – what is rhinitis?

Rhinitis simply means swelling in the nose. It is not a disease, but a term used to describe nasal symptoms including swelling, difficulty breathing and excess mucus. There are two categories of rhinitis:

  • Allergic rhinitis. This is an umbrella term for conditions like hay fever or nasal swelling experienced in response to other allergens.
  • Non-allergic rhinitis. This describes nasal symptoms caused by environmental factors including pollution and weather, infection and hormonal imbalance. This will sometimes be referred to as vasomotor rhinitis or idiopathic rhinitis. The cause is often vague.

The steroids in these nasal sprays are not to be confused with anabolic steroids used to build body mass. Nasal spray steroids are copies of naturally occurring hormones produced by glands above the kidneys.

Steroid nasal sprays reduce inflammation via several different mechanisms [2]. This includes stopping the function of a key enzyme which helps produce inflammatory chemicals in the body [3].

If prescribed steroid nasal sprays, remember that they are unlikely to provide instant relief and usually work after a few initial uses. If your nasal problems are chronic, you should use the spray regularly even if your symptoms improve.

Steroid nasal sprays don’t tend to produce any serious side effects and can be used by most people.

Summary: good general nasal spray for a variety of conditions, especially for people with chronic nasal inflammation, can be used long-term

Examples: mometasone, fluticasone, beclometasone

3. Anticholinergic nasal sprays

This type of nasal spray is best to treat a runny nose. They reduce the amount of mucus that your nose produces and are suitable for a variety of causes of nasal blockage from allergic to non-allergic.

Unlike antihistamines and steroid spray, anticholinergic sprays will not relieve the inflammation and congestion. The side effect profile is typically mild.

Anticholinergic sprays work by blocking receptors which ordinarily lead to activation of nasal mucus glands and hence mucus production [4].

Summary: good for snorers with a runny nose

Example: ipratropium bromide

4. Decongestant nasal sprays

Congestion in the nose is caused by dilation (expansion) of blood vessels, reducing the space for air to flow freely. Decongestant nasal sprays work by constricting these blood vessels to widen your nasal passages.

Decongestants can be very effective in relieving a blocked nose in the short term, and most can be bought over-the-counter. However they are not suitable for everybody. Children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with high blood pressure shouldn’t use decongestant nasal sprays (this is because constricting blood vessels further increases blood pressure).

Decongestants are suitable for short-term use: a few times a day for no longer than a week. This is because overuse of decongestants can cause rebound congestion where the spray starts to have the opposite effect and cause nasal stuffiness.

Summary: good for nasal blockage caused by short-lived problems like a cold, should only be used short-term to avoid rebound congestion

Example: pseudoephedrine

5. Mast cell inhibitors

This type of nasal spray is suitable for those who suffer from seasonal allergies and can predict when their symptoms will arise. Because mast cell inhibitors are preventative, they need to be used a couple of weeks before the onset of symptoms.

These sprays work in a similar fashion to antihistamines in that they stop mast cells (a type of immune cell) from breaking down and releasing inflammation-causing histamine.

Summary: suitable to long-term sufferers of hay fever who can time the onset of their symptoms

Example: cromolyn

6. Saline nasal sprays

Saline nasal sprays are non-medicated. Instead, they are a mixture of water and salt (sodium chloride) which moisturize your nasal passages to soothe inflammation and can also break down excess mucus.

This type of spray works in a very similar way to using a neti-pot, the only difference is the mode of delivery. Because saline nasal sprays are non-medicated (though do read the label, some are “combination” sprays containing some medication), they can be used by nearly everyone, including children.

Saline nasal sprays can also be used to make other snoring remedies work better. Steroid sprays don’t work well if there is a lot of mucus present. Using a saline spray first can help break up excess mucus, allowing medicated sprays to work more effectively. Saline sprays can also help to moisten your airways before using CPAP.

Summary: suitable for all and useful for soothing chronic nasal inflammation and clearing excess mucus, can be used as an adjunct to other remedies

Snoring Due to a Blocked Nose?

Causes, Science

Snoring Due to a Blocked Nose?

A blocked, congested or stuffy nose is one of the leading causes of snoring.

Many snorers will notice that they cannot breathe well through their nose and instead have to breathe via their mouths.

Unblocking your nose can drastically reduce snoring, but which way is best? Nasal obstruction has many causes so there are several different solutions.

Here, we explore the different causes of a blocked nose that could be the root of your snoring:

What could be blocking your nose?

Just as there is no single cause of snoring, many things can cause a blocked nose. Multiple factors can often working in sync with each other to aggravate snoring.

Check to see if you fit the profile for any of these …

1. A cold/illness

The common cold is brought on by a range of viruses that attack the upper respiratory tract. This invasion coupled with your body’s own defense mechanisms cause your nose to swell and become blocked.

Remedy your cold-induced snoring with:

2. Allergy

A leading cause of nasal obstruction and indeed snoring is allergies – particularly dust allergies or the pollen allergy better known as hay fever. This is where your body launches into infection-fighting mode in reaction to harmless things.

As allergens get into the body mainly through the nose, this is the area that is most affected. Heightened blood flow and release of inflammatory molecules make your nose become stuffy.

Snoring related to allergies can be effectively managed using:

  • Neti pots. These use salt water to flush out allergens and soothe inflamed tissue.
  • Air purifiers remove allergens from the air before they get to your nose.
  • Nasal sprays can be medicated or non-medicated. Both aim to reduce inflammation. Mast cell inhibitor sprays are a good preventative measure for hay fever sufferers.
  • Anti-histamines are a type of anti-inflammatory medication commonly used by allergy sufferers.

Read the story of SnoreLab user Jenny, who effectively banished her snoring after treating her dust allergies.

… I recorded my snoring and scored 199 with 70% of my snoring at the epic level. We cleaned, vacuumed and aired the room. I had some allergy medication from the doctor, settled down and WOW! I didn’t snore! …

3. Environmental factors

Fumes from noxious chemicals, smoke (tobacco or otherwise), perfumes and even changes in temperature are some causes of non-allergic rhinitis (rhin = nose, itis = inflammation).

This type of nasal blockage can be chronic, meaning it lingers for a long time and persistently recurs.

If you are exposed to these irritants on a daily basis, you may have lived with a stuffy nose for so long that you don’t even realize it anymore. Perhaps you don’t even factor it in as a cause of your snoring. Think about your day to day life and the things you are exposed to, as certain occupations carry more risk of exposure to these harmful irritants.

The natural environment can also influence snoring. Use SnoreLab to make notes on any stark changes in the weather, as this can certainly play a role in nasal blockage and snoring

Snoring caused by breathing bad air can be improved with the use of:

4. Hormones

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. Because they travel in the blood they are capable of reaching everywhere in the body, including the nose.

Hormonal fluctuations are particularly prominent during the menopause, menstruation and pregnancy.

There’s no shortage of changes that take place in the body during pregnancy, and though it may be low on your list of priorities, changes do take place in the nose. With increased blood supply to many parts of the body, up to 42% of pregnant women in their third trimester experience nasal blockage and as many as 49% snore (as opposed to 20% of the general female population) [1].

If hormonal fluctuations are responsible for your blocked nose and snoring, consider using:

5. Alcohol

An alcoholic drink before bed isn’t a great idea for restful or quiet sleep. Snoring is the result of over-relaxed muscles obstructing the airway. As a depressant, alcohol only makes this worse. Additionally, the breakdown of alcohol in the blood produces some transitional chemicals that, before being expelled as waste, can cause nasal congestion [2].

6. Nasal sprays

Using nasal decongestant sprays has proven effective in reducing nasal blockage and in turn, snoring. Whilst some types of nasal spray recommend daily use, the decongestant type (which works by constricting nasal blood vessels) can start to have the opposite effect if overused causing a “rebound effect” [3].

If you are using a nasal spray to treat your allergies, always check what type it is and read the instructions.

7. Medication

A blocked nose can also be triggered by prescription drugs that you may be taking regularly to treat other conditions.

Medication for high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors), heart conditions (beta blockers) and simple over-the-counter pain relief (NSAIDs) can all contribute to stuffing you up.

Have a check in your medicine cupboard if you suspect that your nose is worsening your snoring. This can often be remedied with a non-medicated approach such as a nasal dilator.

8. Physical abnormalities

If inflammation in the nose persists, the nasal folds become damaged and cause a blockage in their own right. Small, benign tissue growths called nasal polyps can develop alongside long-standing allergies, recurring infection or bad reactions to drugs such as aspirin.

The structure of your nose is also important. People with a deviated septum are likely to suffer from nasal blockage. This is where the cartilage separating your nasal cavities is asymmetric, meaning one cavity is larger than the other, with the smaller chamber having the propensity to become blocked.

A deviated septum is often due to facial trauma, though is also associated with certain genetic disorders of connective tissue and birth defects.

Sometimes, a simple nasal dilator can be very effective at relieving snoring caused by nasal tissue abnormalities. See which ones are most suitable for you with our guide to nasal dilators.

The science bit – how does nasal obstruction cause snoring?

Your nose is great, and when it’s working correctly you are unlikely to appreciate the important work it does. Whilst adding warmth and moisture to incoming air, it also uses mucus to trap harmful invaders and channels air through your upper airway efficiently and silently.

Snoring with a partially blocked nose

Trying to breathe through a blocked nose is uncomfortable. If you can just about manage it, the whistling or popping noise you get, whilst not the textbook definition of a snore, is still incredibly bothersome and would benefit from some attention.

A typical snore is still possible with a closed mouth. If you breathe through partially blocked nose, greater suction forces are created that can cause your throat to collapse and bring on snoring where your uvula and soft palate start to flap [4].

Snoring with a fully blocked nose

Usually, with a stuffy nose you simply aren’t getting enough air into your lungs through this narrowed space. This is when you need to go to breathing plan B, through the mouth.

Unfortunately, mouth breathing is a leading cause of snoring.

Opening your mouth whilst you sleep results in some changes to the shape of your airways, particularly the soft tissue “noise makers” that are responsible for snoring. Sleeping with your mouth dangling open is known to aggravate snoring for numerous reasons [5]:

  • An open mouth causes your throat to compress
  • Your tongue falls further back into your mouth
  • The open space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced
  • Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your mouth
  • Your throat dries out from breathing in non-humidified air
  • Mouth breathing doesn’t filter allergens and bugs.


For some, a blocked nose is the sole cause of snoring, for others, the picture is bigger. Understanding what role your nose has in snoring and identifying the cause can set you well on your way to tailoring the correct remedies to your snoring and achieving quieter nights.

For more information about the best snoring remedies for a blocked nose, read our full article.

Snoring During Pregnancy

Causes, Science

Snoring During Pregnancy

It is estimated that as many as 49% of pregnant women snore, many of them having never snored before [1].

This goes against the rule that women naturally snore less than men. In the general population, around 20% of women across all ages snore, with even fewer of child-bearing age doing so.

“At nine-months pregnant, I have been keeping my poor partner awake with my late-night nasal symphony.”

Amongst the medley of changes happening during pregnancy, your new-found snoring is probably low on your list of priorities. But if you are pregnant and have recently found yourself snoring, you may have questions and concerns: why is it happening, is it something to be worried about and what can you do to stop it? Let SnoreLab talk you through it …

Why does snoring increase during pregnancy?

It is perfectly normal to snore whilst pregnant. Swelling in your upper airway, weight gain and breathing for two all work together to make you more likely to snore …


By the third trimester, your blood plasma volume is 40-50% more than it was before you were pregnant. On average, that is another liter and a quarter [2], or roughly 2 pints!

This is necessary to meet the increased demands of growing a human. It is also to protect you from potential blood-loss in labor. In the meantime, this vast expansion in blood volume has some swelling effects on much of your body, including the areas responsible for snoring.

Your airway becomes increasingly engorged with blood which causes it to narrow. This means the air passing through has more resistance. Additionally, you may notice that your nose has become quite congested. 42% of women in their third trimester have pregnancy-rhinitis, or nasal swelling [3]. This can cause you to breathe through your mouth and snore as a result.

“I am nearly nine-months pregnant and for months I have been suffering with even more nasal congestion than usual.”


Weight gain during pregnancy changes the way you breathe. As your uterus expands, it pushes upwards as well as outwards, meaning your diaphragm is pushed up too. This creates a lower residual volume in the lungs which can predispose your throat to obstruction and snoring [1].

Breathing changes

When pregnant, not only are you eating for two, you are also breathing for two! Pregnancy induces some subtle changes in the way you breathe: increasing the respiratory drive and the amount of air you breathe in an out within a given time. This can create negative pressures which lead to snoring [1].

Should you be worried about snoring during pregnancy?

There is some research out there to suggest that pregnant snorers are at greater risk of complications compared to pregnant women who don’t snore. But don’t panic. These are links, not direct causes and can often be associated with issues other than normal pregnancy-onset snoring.

Two studies by a team of US scientists in 2012 [4] and 2013 [5] found that snoring expectant mothers were at greater risk of:

  • Pre-eclampsia – a condition characterized by high blood pressure and proteins in the urine.
  • Having labor complications that necessitated a Caesarean section.
  • Babies having a low birth weight.

The important thing to note here is that these studies talk about “chronic snorers”. This refers to women who snored a lot before they were pregnant. If you are new to the snoring game since becoming pregnant, you needn’t worry.

Pregnant women who snore shouldn’t be overly concerned about these findings. Every woman is different, and whilst these studies attempted to adjust their methods in order to look at snoring alone, other health factors are bound to have an effect.

Indeed, being obese before pregnancy, having chronic conditions of the upper airway and smoking heighten women’s risk of snoring when pregnant. If these factors are applicable to you and your snoring has got much worse since becoming pregnant, it might be advisable to seek some guidance.

If you are concerned about your snoring, experience excessive daytime tiredness or think you are having apneic events, consult your antenatal care provider.

What can you do to stop pregnancy-induced snoring?

The good news is that if you have started snoring since becoming pregnant, it is very likely that once you have given birth, the snoring will stop.

In the meantime, as you navigate though the complexity of pregnancy, to give yourself one less thing to worry about and reduce your snoring, you can try a few things …

  • Try nasal dilators – these are non-medicated so you needn’t worry about them being suitable for pregnant women. These simple devices either fit into your nostrils, or across the bridge of your nose. Here, they gently open your nasal passages and reduce snoring associated with a blocked nose.

“Pregnant ladies, these are your cure to breathing again until the baby comes!”

  • Sleep on your side – sleeping on your back is known to compress your airway and make snoring much worse. Regardless of snoring, side-sleeping is a good idea as you progress through pregnancy as it ensures adequate blood flow to your baby [6].
  • Eat properly – gaining weight during pregnancy is inevitable but it’s important to not gain weight excessively. Careful consideration of your diet during pregnancy ensures the health of your baby and can keep off the excess weight that can lead to snoring.
  • Use a humidifier – running a humidifier can reduce the congestion in your nasal passages, helping you breathe easier through your nose to reduce the likelihood of mouth breathing and snoring.

“I am pregnant and suffering from a dry nose so a humidifier has been a life-saver!”


The changes that happen during pregnancy can come thick and fast, and having the added annoyance of snoring seems a bit unfair. Thankfully, if you have started snoring only since being pregnant, you are extremely likely to stop once you have given birth.

Whilst there is some science to suggest an increased chance of complications, don’t be too concerned if you find yourself snoring whilst pregnant, particularly if you are new to snoring. Try a few of our tips and if your snoring still causes problems, consult your antenatal care provider.

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

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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Is Your Snoring Caused by a Dust Allergy?


Is Your Snoring Caused by a Dust Allergy?

If you struggle to breathe through your nose at night, you may not be surprised to learn that a blocked nose is one of the main causes of snoring.


10 tips to manage allergy-related snoring


A blocked nose can often be brought on by an allergy, a likely cause of which is dust.

Dust gathers in household environments due to flaking skin. The allergy is not due to this dust, but to the dust mites it attracts.

Invisible to the naked eye, these microscopic arachnids feed on skin flakes. The waste they produce contains proteins which are a major cause of allergic symptoms in humans [1].

How does a blocked nose make you snore?

If you are susceptible to these dust mite allergens, then breathing through your nose may become difficult. A blocked nose can cause you to snore in several ways:

  • Nasal breathing becomes noisy with whistling, popping or rumbling sounds.
  • Nasal breathing through a partially blocked nose can create suction forces which narrow the upper airway to produce the typical soft-palate snore.
  • It can become impossible to breathe through a blocked nose, so you are forced to instead breathe through your mouth. This changes your face shape which narrows your airway to bring on snoring.

How do I know if I have allergies?

If you suspect that allergies are causing your snoring, ask yourself the following:

  • Do you have carpets and other soft-furnishings in your home? Carpets can easily trap dust and dust mites.
  • Do you snore less away from home? Record your snoring with SnoreLab and make a note of where you have slept. See and hear the difference that your environment makes.
  • Do your symptoms arrive suddenly? Allergic symptoms are faster acting than the symptoms of a common cold.
  • Do you have itchy eyes and throat as well as a blocked nose?

10 tips to manage allergy-related snoring

To stop allergies ruining you and your partner’s sleep, the key is to clean and clean thoroughly:

1. Vacuum like you’ve never vacuumed before

Get the vacuum cleaner out more often and vacuum those forgotten places in your bedroom that have trapped years-worth of dust. You’d be amazed at where dust can get. Remember, vacuum cleaning a room is all very well and good if the dust isn’t fired straight back out again. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has an in-built HEPA filter to trap the dust you suck up.

2. Invest in an air purifier

Air purifiers can be very effective at ridding your home of a host of microscopic allergy triggers, including dust mites. There are many types, shapes and sizes. Check out SnoreLab’s recommended air purifier with a true HEPA filter to get rid of 99.97% of harmful particles from your room.

3. Move things around

Dust can accumulate when furniture stays in the same place for a while. Engage in some anti-snoring feng shui to reveal those places where dust can hide and make your snoring worse. Whilst this may agitate the dust in the short-term, wait a bit and then simply deploy the vacuum cleaner again.

4. Wash bedding

As well as frequently washing bed covers, it is also a good idea to wash the pillows and duvet too as they can also trap dust.

5. Use allergy-proof bedding covers

Once you are sure your bedding is clean, invest in some allergy-proof bedding covers to prevent the dust from returning.

6. Flip your mattress

Just as dust can hide on furniture, it can hide also hide on your mattress. Flip it and clean it every once in a while, and consider a mattress protector.

7. Consider getting rid of carpets

If your dust allergies are really affecting you and making your snoring intolerable, it might be time to get rid of the carpets in your home. The drastic measure could make drastic differences to your snoring.

8. Fit roller blinds instead of drapes/curtains

Drapes/curtains are another place that dust and dust mites love. Roller blinds with simple designs and hard surfaces will trap dust less and are much easier to clean

9. Regularly wipe hard surfaces

After time, even hard surfaces will start to accumulate dust and dust mites. Giving them a wipe down with a damp cloth every now and then is a great way to keep them dust-free.

10. Use a neti pot

Cleaning allergies out of your life isn’t just about cleaning your environment, it’s also about cleaning your body, specifically your nose. If your nose is stuffy, rid yourself of allergens trapped in nasal mucus with a neti pot. This snoring remedy uses salt water with the assistance of gravity to flush out your nose and ease congestion.


Shop for SnoreLab’s recommended

neti pot starter kit

and read our guide to neti pots


Allergies can make the nights an unpleasant experience for you and your partner if a blocked nose makes your snoring worse. If you are a hay fever sufferer, the outdoors is a trial; with dust allergies, the indoors is no better. Hopefully, by following these tips, you can banish dust and snoring from your bedroom for good.

Make sure to have a read of Jenny’s story, a SnoreLab user who discovered a dust allergy was causing her snoring and had a dramatic reduction with these techniques.

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