Snoring chin strap. The name says it all. It’s a strap you fit to your chin in the hopes it will stop you from snoring. But how good are snoring chin straps and do they even work?
Although they have a lesser success rate than many other anti-snoring aids, you may be surprised to learn chin straps do sometimes get the job done.
More importantly, they tend to be less uncomfortable to use than mandibular advancement devices and snore-stopping tongue retainers.
What Will I Learn?
Who Are They For?
There are two different types of snoring:
- Mouth snoring
- Nose snoring
Mouth snoring is the most common type of snoring. Chin straps are sometimes used to control the problem.
Mouth snoring generally happens when the muscles in your throat and neck relax during sleep and the tongue falls backward in the mouth. This combination of factors interferes with normal airflow causing the tissues in the back of the throat to vibrate. This causes the noise we refer to as snoring.
Other factors, such as irritants, and dry air can also make the tissues in the throat more likely to vibrate.
If you are a mouth snorer, and let’s not forget most people are, wearing a snoring chin strap may help. If you are a nose snorer, it may make the situation worse.
Nose snoring happens when the nasal passages are too small or become blocked. It produces the same grunting noise you hear when people are trying to clear their nose.
Snoring chin straps help keep the mouth closed during sleep. In doing so, they force you to breathe through your nose. Because of this, it stands to reason, putting a chin strap on a nose snorer is never going to be a good move.
How Snoring Chin Straps Work
Anti-snoring chin straps are generally made from neoprene or flexible plastic. Regardless of the material involved, they all work the same.
Before you go to bed, you have to wrap the strap around your head and tuck it under your chin. Depending on the make of chin strap, you may also have to adjust the strap to pull it nice and tight.
However, with most anti-snoring chin straps it’s just a case of pulling it over your head. Get the positioning right and then you are good to go.
In theory, once the mouth is locked shut in this way, it forces all the incoming and outgoing air to pass through the nose.
Apart from keeping the airflow away from the tissues that would normally vibrate, a good snoring chin strap can also prevent the back of the throat from drying out.
Finding the Best Snoring Chin Strap
Even though anti-snoring chin straps are pretty much all the same, the price can vary a lot. Some of them are incredibly cheap, others are ridiculously expensive.
Of course, the quality can vary a lot from one product to the next. Unfortunately, paying more for a chin strap does not necessarily mean you will get a better product.
Finding the best snoring chin strap can often involve a degree of trial and error. If one doesn’t work well for you, it’s a case of crossing your fingers and moving on to the next.
If you are looking for a good product to help you stop snoring and think a chin strap may be for you, it’s a good idea to check out customer reviews. When a lot of people are saying a particular option works for them, it may work for you too. If people are calling it rubbish and saying it doesn’t work, you’re probably best giving it a miss.
History of Snoring Chin Straps
You may be surprised to learn snoring chin straps were never intended to be used as an anti-snoring aid. They were originally designed to improve the efficiency of CPAP machines.
CPAP machines are a kind of breathing apparatus used for the treatment of sleep apnea. People who have this condition invariably have a tendency to snore.
CPAP machines force extra air into the throat. The resulting increase in pressure keeps the airways open. This makes for easier breathing and less snoring.
It’s a clever system but doesn’t work if you open your mouth. Doing so causes the pressure to drop.
Chin straps can be very effective when used alongside this type of machine. By forcing the mouth shut they help the machine to go on doing its job.
So, the historical value of the snoring chin strap is more supportive than active. That doesn’t mean they have no value as an anti-snoring aid. Some people find they work well.
Unfortunately, the chances a chin strap will stop you from snoring are pretty slim. According to a study published in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, a chin strap alone is unlikely to be an effective treatment.
In fact, the research was pretty damning. Going further, the researchers stated:
- Chin straps don’t improve sleep-disordered breathing
- They do not improve the AHI in REM sleep or supine sleep
- They are ineffective in improving snoring
Chin straps are one of many options you can try if you are looking for something to stop you from snoring. Although research does not support their use in this way, some people still find a chin strap works for them.
Snoring chin straps are likely to be more appealing to you if you don’t like the idea of sleeping with objects in your mouth. Two of the most popular options, mandibular advancement devices and tongue retaining devices, have to be inserted in the mouth.
However, although this may not be an attractive option to you, the truth of the matter is both devices are likely to remedy mouth snoring more efficiently than a chin strap will. In the end, the only way to discover if a snoring chin strap is right for you is to buy one and give it a go.