Review: Snore Stopper

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The Snore Stopper promises something wonderful. It promises to retrain a snorer to stop storing, and to do so without surgery, drugs, or prosthetics.

I got one recently to try and have some familial harmony, before my sweetie tries out the hammer method or the divorce method of stopping my snores.

The device is worn like a wristwatch - there is a stretchy wristband, that you adjust using velcro fasteners. It has a box-thingy in which is a bit of circuitry, a battery, and an on-off switch. The box-thingy is like a wristwatch, but larger. It's like wearing a watch, but a bit bulkier due to the size of the thing.

You put it on every night before going to sleep, turn it on, and the idea is that the circuitry looks for the signal indicating that you're snoring. Once the gizmo thinks you're snoring, it sends a little electric shock to your arm, and the electric shock is supposed to wake you up, interrupting the snoring, and over time it is supposed to retrain your brain so you don't snore.

"Electric Shock"?? Well, it's more like a mild tingle, most of the times, a couple times it felt like a sharp jolt. This absolutely isn't like the electric-shock-therapy they use in mental hospitals that's left behind a bunch of zombified former mental patients. For one thing, the shock is delivered to the arm, not the brain, and for another it is a very weak shock.

A tricky part is how the gizmo makes electrical contact with your body. It uses a couple rubberized pads (that are replacable) which are also conductive. The pads are kept in a hermetically and medicinally sealed pouch, you use medicinal rubbing alchohol to clean the gizmo before installing the pads, and the whole experience of installing these pads reminds me of the EEG instruments I was hooked up to once (as an experimental subject in a psychology research lab).

Does it work? Well, it's unclear whether this thing works or not. It's not clear how long you're supposed to wait before seeing a change or decrease in snoring. And, of course, it's unclear to me when it is I snore or don't snore because I'm asleep and it's my partner who is affected. Sigh.

What I do know is that the unit suffers from a "false positive" problem. Several times while wearing the thing, while fully awake, and certainly not snoring, the gizmo would deliver its electric shock. That's what I mean by false positive, because whatever measurement it's making made the thing think I was snoring when I was not.

Here's a few useful-looking reference sites:

Snoring: Symptoms, Causes, Cures, and Treatment

Problems Associated With Snoring

Clearly the Snore Stopper is unsuitable for serious conditions like Sleep Apnea. Persons with sleep apnea have a true blockage in their breathing passageways, and are at risk of death. This is because the sleep apnea person is unable to breath, due to the blockage, and if they do not wake up in time they might suffocate.