Words by Alexandra Thompson.
Snoring is a common problem that can cause sleepless nights for a sufferer’s unlucky other half.
With an estimated two in five Britons snoring, countless products aim to relieve the noisy disturbance.
In the latest research, scientists from Araba University Hospital in Spain stuck a plaster-sized buzzer to the forehead of 12 snorers.
Results show the novel approach eased their symptoms by nearly a third (31 per cent) in just a week.
With this not yet available, Yahoo looks at the anti-snoring products on the market and asks experts whether they really work.
Silentnight’s Anti-snore Pillow
“If you snore, a specialist pillow designed to help keep your airway open can help,” Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and medical director at Healthspan, told Yahoo Style.
The pillow’s foam core supposedly supports the head and neck while you nod off, promoting a more peaceful slumber.
Snoring occurs when the muscles in the neck, mouth and throat relax. This causes the surrounding tissue to vibrate and the airways to narrow.
When air passes through these narrowed airways, it triggers laboured breathing and grunting sounds.
While the pillow does not claim to cure snoring completely, a study by the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association found it reduced the duration and volume of a sufferer’s grunts by around half.
TheraSnore’s Somnsol - anti-snoring mouth rinse
Somnsol contains the natural essential oils peppermint, eucalyptus and lemon.
As well as ensuring a fresh breath, the oils supposedly smooth the tissues at the back of the throat, preventing their vibration.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, physiologist and sleep expert at Silentnight, told Yahoo Style: “This combination of three oils is soothing. It could open up the airways.”
She adds, however, “there is no one product that will obliterate snoring”.
No studies prove Somnsol’s effectiveness. However, a study by Royal Shrewsbury Hospital found spraying or gargling with essential oil solutions reduced snoring symptoms in 82 per cent of its participants.
The oils are thought to break up mucus, decongesting the airways.
“The essential oils present (peppermint, eucalyptus and lemon) help to tone and tighten the soft tissues of the palate,” Dr Brewer said.
Rhynil’s Stop Snoring Spray for Nose & Mouth
Made almost entirely of the herb Euphrasia Officinalis, better known as Eyebright, the spay is said to reduce snoring caused by “palatal flutter”.
Eyebright’s astringent properties are thought to “dry up” mucus in the airways, while also dampening inflammation.
“Snoring occurs when the airway partially collapses during sleep, as a result of over-relaxed throat muscles, enlarged tonsils, adenoids or thyroid gland, or the tongue flopping backwards in the throat,” Dr Brewer said.
“Sprays with astringent properties help to dry out and ‘tone’ muscles in the nasopharynx so that floppy loose tissues tighten up. This herbal spray may help where the underlying cause of the problem is a floppy palate, the roof of your mouth.”
However, Dr Ramlakhan warns if someone produces “prolific” amounts of mucus, they should look into lowering their dairy intake or doing more exercise.
SleepDreamz Nasal Strips
Snoring can be triggered by the muscles in the nasal passages relaxing and narrowing.
SleepDreamz’s strips are made up of two pieces of elastic that gently pull the nasal passages open, allowing for easier breathing.
Some snorers have given the strips rave reviews, saying it helped to relieve their mild disturbances.
Critics point out, however, snoring can also come about when the muscles at the back of the throat relax, with these strips doing little to help.
“These work for some and not for others,” Dr Ramlakhan said. “If snoring comes from the throat, opening up the nasal passage will only help to a certain degree.”