If you're a snorer, you may never know about it. Not unless you sleep in the same bed or room as another human being. In fact, it's often not the snorer themselves that wants to stop the noise. But whether you're facing complaints from others, waking yourself up with your own snoring, or trying to deal with a snoring partner, you're presumably looking for a cure. One of the least invasive options — a specially designed pillow — has received rave reviews. But do anti-snore pillows work?
Just over 40 percent of the UK adult population snore, according to the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association. Causes can vary, but a good number of snorers tend to sleep on their back. The organisation describes this as "the worst possible sleeping position because the tongue falls backwards into the throat and partially restricts the air flow, causing turbulence and snoring."
The point of an anti-snore pillow, therefore, is to nicely force a person to sleep on their side or, if the back is preferable, to position the body in a way that stops the backwards motion of the tongue. This invention comes in a range of shapes and styles. Memory foam pillows aim to adequately support the neck while wedge-shaped ones raise the head a few inches above the rest of the body, allowing back sleepers to remain that way. U-shaped pillows may also be a comfortable option for some.
One particular pillow has stolen the show. Silentnight's Anti-Snore Pillow is suitable for both side and back sleepers and uses a combination of foam and hollowfibre to keep the head and neck in a non-snoring position. A test carried out by the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association found that the pillow reduced snoring frequency and volume by around 50 percent. Plus, it's only £15.
A range of other budget-friendly pillows exist. Primark sells one. So does Aldi. And there are even some technology-infused options on the market. Smart Nora is a small pump device that fits inside your normal pillow. It listens for early signs of snoring and inflates, rearranging the snorer's head before the noise becomes too loud. Of course, this one isn't so cheap, costing just over £250. It's also not available in the UK just yet, but the company is working on it.
Don't mistake these pillows for a cure as they may not stop the noise completely. Instead, they aim to reduce snoring significantly enough that it no longer disturbs the snorer or any other nearby individuals. Saying that, anti-snore pillows may not work for everyone. One HuffPost writer admitted to finding the Silentnight experience uncomfortable, adding that the pillow was worsening his sleep
If anti-snore pillows aren't for you, the NHS recommends nasal sprays or dilators, a mouth device that pushes your tongue forward, or a chin strap that has a slight Hannibal Lecter air. Often, snoring is a case of trial and error. So try a few things out and see what works. And when all else fails, you've always got the option of sleeping alone.