Snoring Facts to Sleep On
Snoring is a very common – and a very serious – problem, with far-reaching effects.
Some 90 million people in the U.S. suffer from snoring, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It’s a common condition that affects 30% of women and 50% of men. Nearly 60% of NSF study respondents report having a partner who snores.
Snoring can be caused by a variety of factors: age, diet, weight and alcohol consumption, among others. A result of airflow restrictions, snoring interrupts the sleep routines of the snorer, as well as his or her bed partner. It’s essential to understand what type of snorer you are in order to effectively treat the condition.
What kind of snorer are you?
Knowing is important.
How you treat your snoring is often based on the KIND of snorer you are. There are four types: nose snoring, tongue snoring and mouth snoring, as well as something known as “positional snoring.”
Which type are you? Try these simple tests:
Are you a nose snorer?
- Place a finger just below your left (or right) cheekbone, and pull your skin sideways, toward your closest ear.
- Inhale through your nose.
If the opposite nostril collapses, you’re likely a nose snorer.
Are you a tongue snorer?
- While keeping your mouth open, breathe in through your nose.
- Make a snoring sound.
- Then breathe in through your nose, while softly biting your tongue.
- Again, make a snoring sound.
If you can’t do so when biting your tongue, you’re likely a tongue snorer.
Are you a mouth snorer?
- Inhale through your nose while your mouth is open.
- Make a snoring sound.
- Then inhale through your nose with your mouth closed.
- Again, make a snoring sound.
You’re probably a mouth snorer if you can’t make a snoring sound with your mouth closed.
But wait—there’s more!
Do you usually sleep on your back or on your side?
An ever-growing number of publications conclude that two-thirds of all snorers are positional snorers. Here are two such studies: The undervalued potential of positional therapy in position-dependent snoring and obstructive sleep apnea – a review of the literature; and The effects of body position on snoring in apneic and nonapneic snorers.
The positional/back-snorer test:
Ask your bed partner to nudge you whenever you snore, triggering you to turn to your side.
Another option: Place a pillow between your legs. Although this will temporarily force you to sleep on your side, for testing purposes only, it is NOT a long-term solution. If you snore less with the pillow test, you’re likely a positional/back snorer.
By using positional therapy, the body is trained to change its sleeping position to a side-sleeping posture, one that reduces snoring naturally. Since nearly three-quarters of all snorers do so when they sleep on their backs, positional therapy shows the greatest potential for helping the greatest number of snorers around the world. When back snorers change to sleeping on their sides, the tongue moves away from the back of the throat, reducing the vibrations while inhaling. These vibrations cause the snoring sound. No vibrations, no snoring. No snoring, no problem!
Imagine this: You want to get in better shape – maybe drop a few pounds and tone up a bit – so you set a goal: Eat healthier and work out a few times a week. It’s not easy since this involves a big change in your eating habits and lifestyle. As you continue the new program, you begin to feel and look better. You’re on a roll, and you want to see results. So would you quit your new diet and avoid the exercising entirely? Of course not.
It’s the same thought process with solving your snoring issue with the Snooor wearable: In order to enjoy optimal results, you must STICK WITH IT.
Doing so may involve a short adjustment period, before you begin to see results.
Here is the general timeline of what to expect as your body adapts to sleeping in the side position: *
- Nights #1—#3: When you use your new wearable for the first few nights, you’ll likely be slightly awakened by its gentle vibrations as you’re prompted to turn your body or head on its side or head. Don’t fret. You will fall back asleep. Its part of the process toward a better night’s sleep. (Those who stop eating processed foods often get headaches when improving their diet; it’s normal and expected.)
- Nights #3—#7: The road toward great restful nights gets easier. Your body has gone through the brief “What’s this?” phase and now your positional therapy learning curve really kicks in. You may wake up for a brief period when the wearable gently vibrates, but in the morning there’s a good chance you won’t remember doing so. And your reaction to the wearable’s vibrations, which will likely occur less often through time, will further diminish.
- Nights #8 and beyond: You should be getting more and more accustomed to the vibrations. AND your wearable will likely start vibrating less often as your body’s response to sleeping in a healthier position becomes further ingrained.
For optimal results, KEEP USING YOUR WEARABLE, even after you’re getting a better night’s sleep. You may even be tempted to stop for a few nights. However, your previous habit of sleeping on your back will return, and you may need to adjust to your Snooor wearable again.
*Each person is different, so this schedule is an approximation of the adjustment period.
SNORING REDUCTION: A BRIEF HISTORY
The snoring problem is as old as human history. For centuries, positional therapy has been considered the most effective anti-snoring strategy.
During the Revolutionary War, American soldiers were ordered to wear their backpacks during the night, to prevent them from sleeping on their backs and giving away their position to the British. Some two centuries later, doctors used tennis balls to the same effect. In the 1960s, their anti-snoring “prescription” involved sewing tennis balls into the backs of their study subjects’ pajamas, forcing the back snorers to sleep on their sides. This low-tech method worked very well for its time.
In 1985, RD Cartwright published one of the first scientific papers that addressed positional therapy’s role in preventing sleep apnea. In her study, she used a biofeedback apparatus that sounded an alarm when a person slept on his back for longer than 15 seconds.
Cartwright’s study proved that people could indeed be trained to sleep on their side more often. The result: an absence of tongue interference and opened airway passages.
In the 1990s, as more and more studies proved the effectiveness of positional therapy, commercial interest in positional therapy developed, as companies expanded on the biofeedback signal concept to get back sleepers on their sides. Using a vibration motor, several at-home anti-snoring aids were developed.
The legitimacy of positional therapy as an anti-snoring technique took a huge step forward with the 2011 publication of a study that focused on the position of the head and its effect on snoring. It concluded that the study subjects’ head position – specifically the tongue’s position in the throat – had a great effect on their sleep quality. The study found that tilting the head even slightly could have a measurable impact on clear breathing, even when the study’s subjects slept in the supine position. This showed that anti-snoring devices are most effective when focused more on the position of the head, rather than the entire body.
The SNOOOR team took notice. In 2018, SNOOOR developed a dynamic anti-snoring device that effectively blends wearable technology and positional therapy.
SNOOOR uses the proven science* of side sleeping combined with a lightweight design to alert snorers when they’re sleeping on their backs. A gentle vibration prompts snorers to move their body or head to the side, without disturbing the sleep of the snorer or their partner.
- Treatment of snoring positional therapy in patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea syndrome External Link
- Positional therapy in sleep apnoea – one fits all? What determines success in positional therapy in sleep apnoea syndrome External Link
- Subjective effects of the sleep position trainer on snoring outcomes in position-dependent non-apneic snorers External Link