In the world of snoring remedies, it seems that the effectiveness of a product is inversely proportional to the number of times it's indexed on search engines like Google. The Internet teems with websites consisting of some variant of "stopsnoringforever.com" or "theonlysnoringcurethatreallyworks.com," which pop up prominently when you search for the word "snoring." The information on these sites seems reasonable and scientific, until the writer leads you to the conclusion that the only way you'll ever stop snoring is by ordering an expensive magnet from Peru.
Needless to say, doctors and consumer organizations don't have kind things to say about these stop-snoring products, which seem designed to snag the credit card numbers of snorers (or their partners) whose judgment has been clouded by lack of sleep. We've combed through the fluff to find products that will empty your wallet, and still leave you a chronic snorer. Here's what doesn't work:
Shock bracelets. The wristwatch-like Lloydspharmacy Stop Snoring Advance (Est. $40) weakly shocks the wearer whenever it detects three consecutive snores. Lloydspharmacy calls it "pain free," but testers at Good Housekeeping (U.K.) beg to differ. "Unfortunately most wearers found the device uncomfortable to wear," and some got shocked if they sneezed, hiccupped or coughed.
You're supposed to adjust the shock so that it encourages you to change position without waking -- but one Which? magazine tester said "she was woken 20 times in one night and was left with marks on her arms as the pads on the electrodes didn't stay in place," BBC News reports.
Gizmodo.com's Brian Lam tests a similar device, the Snore Stopper (no longer available), and finds it "the equivalent [of] the electric chair" for snorers. "Lisa started talking to me about her day and it shocked me. A truck went by the window and it shocked me. I moved around, and it shocked me. And when it didn't shock me, I couldn't really fall asleep because I was scared of it shocking me." It's also painful, so Lam dials it back to the lowest level -- and snores away.
Acupressure rings. A good example is the Anti-Snor Therapeutic Ring (Est. $55), which Slate's Chip Brantley describes as "a thin sterling silver ring with two acupressure balls on the underside. The ring goes on the left-hand pinky and is supposed to stimulate the heart meridian and give energy to something called the 'upper jiao.'" Brantley gives this new-age cure a good score, based largely on the fact that his long-suffering wife hated it a bit less than the other remedies, though she did say it was ineffective.
In 2010, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission forced New Zealand-based Anti-Snor to stop claiming its ring is proven to treat snoring, calling the claim "misleading." Another ring, the Good Night Anti-Snoring Ring (Est. $45) proves uncomfortable for some testers at Good Housekeeping (U.K.), and it doesn't actually work.
Chin-up strips. "I feel like a muzzled pit bull terrier and Naomi says I look like Hannibal Lecter," writes Rory Clements at the Daily Mail (U.K.), who tests one of these stick-your-mouth-shut strips. "Well, it doesn't stop me snoring and is so uncomfortable that I end up ripping it off." Good Housekeeping (U.K) gives Snore Calm Chin Up Strips (Est. $25 for a pack of 30) just 46 points out of 100: It works for one snorer, but the sticky, skin-pulling strip keeps another tester wide awake.
Nasal clips/dilators. These fit inside your nose to open it up. Unfortunately, they're really uncomfortable, say testers at Slate.com, Good Housekeeping (U.K.) and the Daily Mail (U.K.) -- all of whom wound up ripping the things out in the middle of the night.
"I never got around to testing the clip because it hurt to wear, felt invasive, and repulsed Elizabeth so much that she couldn't even look at me while I wore it," writes Brantley at Slate.com. "'I'd rather you snore than sleep with that thing in your nose,' she said, settling the matter."
Throat sprays/oral strips. Half of the Good Housekeeping (U.K.) testers would actually try these again: You simply spray them at the back of your throat or, with oral strips, let them dissolve on your tongue, with peppermint and other essential oils "designed to soothe and lubricate the soft tissue at the back of the throat." One tester there said, "I woke less and felt brighter and more alert the next day."
But Clements at the Daily Mail (U.K.) had a different experience. "'So, did I snore?' I ask my wife Naomi. 'Non-stop. I've had a hell of a night. And you pinched the duvet.' I want my £13.25 back."