What are the Different Kinds of Anti-Snoring Devices?

Christina Edwards
Christina Edwards
An anti snoring mouthpiece looks like a sports mouth guard and pushes the lower jaw forward.
An anti snoring mouthpiece looks like a sports mouth guard and pushes the lower jaw forward.

Snoring is one of the most common causes of sleep troubles, especially for partners of people who snore. Numerous kinds of anti-snoring devices have been created to help prevent snoring. These devices can either fit in or around the nose and mouth, or they can be completely separate from the face. Some of the more popular anti-snoring devices include nasal strips and dilators, mouthpieces, and breathing machines. Other, more unusual, devices have also been created to prevent snoring, such as hard rubber balls strapped to the back and contraptions that actually shock a sleeper when he snores.

Sewing a tennis ball to a pajama top can prevent snorers from rolling onto their backs.
Sewing a tennis ball to a pajama top can prevent snorers from rolling onto their backs.

Some of the easiest and cheapest anti-snoring devices are nasal strips and nasal dilators. These work on the theory that if the nostrils are more open, a person is more likely to breath through his nose instead of his mouth, which can help put an end to most snoring. Nasal strips are small adhesive strips that are stuck to the bridge of the nose. A springy wire in the strip helps to pull open the nostrils. Nasal dilators inserted into the nostrils help prop them open.

There are also a number of anti-snoring devices that can be inserted into the mouth. An anti-snoring mouthpiece bears a strong resemblance to an athlete's mouth guard and it is inserted into the mouth before going to bed. By pushing the lower jaw forward, a mouthpiece is supposed to prevent the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing during sleep, which is thought to be a common cause of snoring. Although they can be bought over the counter, some of these dental devices can be custom fitted to a person's mouth by a dentist.

While it may have a seemingly complicated name, a continuous positive airway pressure machine works on a rather basic principle. Before going to bed, a mask connected to a machine is placed over the mouth and nose. To help keep breathing passages open, this machine blows compressed air into a person's air passages. These machines are often used as a sleep apnea treatment.

Snoring has often been associated with sleeping on the back. To encourage someone to roll onto his side while asleep, some companies have created "snore balls." These simple anti-snoring devices usually consist of a hard rubber ball and an elastic cord worn around the torso at bedtime with the ball in the back. When a person rolls over, the ball is supposed to cause enough discomfort that he will roll back onto his side. A simpler, cheaper, do-it-yourself version of this involves sewing a tennis ball to the back of a pajama top.

Other companies have taken anti-snoring devices a step further and created products that shock the sleeper when he starts to snore. These battery-operated devices are strapped around a person's arm or wrist and sense when a person starts to snore. It will then emit a harmless electrical shock, which is supposed to cause the throat muscles to relax and prevent snoring.

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    • An anti snoring mouthpiece looks like a sports mouth guard and pushes the lower jaw forward.
      An anti snoring mouthpiece looks like a sports mouth guard and pushes the lower jaw forward.
    • Sewing a tennis ball to a pajama top can prevent snorers from rolling onto their backs.
      Sewing a tennis ball to a pajama top can prevent snorers from rolling onto their backs.