The Oxford Dictionary defines an ‘aid’ as help – typically of a practical nature. So, very simply, a snoring aid is something that reduces or eliminates snoring and helps us to sleep much better.
Sleep is of course a very important part of everyone’s life and if you are a snorer, you are most likely to wake up still feeling tired and sleepy. This is actually caused by the lack of proper oxygen distribution throughout the body. So as that’s the root of the problem any real ‘aid’ needs to solve or assist the problem of inadequate or uneven levels of oxygen; in a nutshell, we need a better night’s sleep. That’s certainly not rocket science, although some of today’s professed solutions leave me wondering.
If we live alone we may not even be aware that we snore, let alone know the intensity of it – and if we don’t, we may wish to stop snoring out of consideration for a partner or alternative household members. As the problem is often made worse by sleeping on the back, many a timely dig in the ribs can remind us to turn over and minimise the problem. However it’s hardly a cure, may not always work, and it can certainly cause real relationship problems. Of course it’s not new.
In the early 1900’s they even developed special sleepwear to stop an individual sleeping on their back. The designed a simple solution to this and used a sharp uncomfortable object attached in such a position to prevent it happening. Not too popular I would think – and certainly no demand for it in to-day’s market. Although I did know someone who tried placing a cricket ball into one of his socks, which he then pinned into the coat of his pyjama jacket. I never had the heart to ask him if it ever worked – or just gave him chronic backache. I guess it’s one possible way of interpreting the phrase ‘a pain in the back side’.
Maybe some of today’s professed cures have not moved too far forward however. The range of possible solutions is ever widening and the costs vary terrifically.
At one end of the scale we find surgery being used; expensive, perhaps risky, and certainly with no guarantee of success. From there we can list anti-snoring pillows, anti-snoring creams, chinstraps (which always remind me of my visit to The London Dungeon where similar things seemed to abound), nasal strips and nasal sprays, anti-snoring rings that it is suggested work like some sort of acupuncture, and even a wrist device that works like an alarm, waking you when the decibel levels get too high. How that can contribute to a good night’s sleep I just can’t imagine.
The most popular and seemingly most successful of the snoring aids is the mouthpiece – one of the few, of not the only item, that will ever be recommended by a doctor or dentist. The best advice therefore is to consult them – because then you’ll be getting really professional aid for the problem.
By John Redfern
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