If you’re looking for the cheapest way to stop snoring, have I got a story for you. This is embarrassing to admit and disclose, but since I blog anonymously I don’t mind sharing with you. I snore, big time.
I don’t fit the typical profile of someone who snores. I’m not overweight and I am not male. People are usually surprised when I tell them I snore really loudly.
The Extent of the Snoring Problem
I snore like a freight train.
One time I went camping with my friends, I shared a tent with a friend, and in the middle of the night I woke up to a strong punch on my back. When I turned around she was actually angry and gave me a dirty look. We have shared a room many times before when traveling, but I guess I was depriving her of sleep since we were sharing a two person tent. I felt terrible and tried to stay up so she could go back to sleep.
My husband somewhat tolerated my snoring (I wish he snored so we could be even, but he doesn’t) but oftentimes he tells me that he couldn’t sleep the night before because of my snoring. I felt so bad that I started to research snoring appliances that would work.
Before I found the cheapest way to stop snoring, I spent and wasted a lot of money. To date, I have spent $500+ on snoring appliances and other snoring remedies. I bought a few different mandibular protrusion devices (each costing $100 to $200). I bought the nasal strips. I bought a small silicone thing that opens up your nostrils. I bought homeopathic medication that claimed to stop snoring. The closest thing that remotely worked was the mandibular protrusion mouthguard that would extend my lower jaw outwards so that snoring would decrease. Unfortunately that gave me a bout of TMJ because the muscles of my jaw were so tight. I still used it though.
I tested all my devices with a snoring app to see if they worked. They all seemed to work initially but it wore off and the snoring was loud again.
Just when I thought my snoring couldn’t get any worse, I got pregnant and my snoring got even worse.
It got so bad that my husband would get up in the middle of the night and leave the room to sleep in the living room. My husband said I never had pauses in my snoring, which is a sign of sleep apnea.
I would get sleepy at meetings and sometimes feel quite tired during the day, with the first trimester of pregnancy this fatigue would get even worse. I just lay in bed after work and looked longingly at my “to-do” list because I couldn’t accomplish anything off that list I was so tired.
Finding Snoring Solutions
I was sick my snoring (even though I can’t hear it myself). Since I finally found a family doctor, I decided to ask her if she could refer me for a sleep apnea test. She said I didn’t fit the profile but agreed to do it anyway.
After completing the test (which involved wearing a device on my head and a oxygen probe on my finger for one night), I was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea! I had a number of pauses per hour, even though my husband couldn’t hear it. I normally would have just ignored it but because I was pregnant, there are increased complications with sleep apnea in pregnancy, so I wanted to treat it.
There are two options for treatment with sleep apnea.
One is a mandibular protrusion dental appliance (you have to go to a specialist sleep dentist to get fitted for one).
The other is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). It is a machine that forces air into your air passages when you breathe in so that the soft tissue doesn’t relax or vibrate, which stops the snoring sound.
And even more invasive option is laser removal of the uvula (that dangly thing in the back of your throat!).
The issue with doing the mandibular protrusion device is that even though you may move your lower jaw outwards, there might still be soft tissue in the back of your throat that will still collapse.
CPAP with Work Benefits
Initially I was gung-ho and ready for the mandibular protrusion dental appliance. I didn’t want to wear a machine all the time, they are known to be loud and the compliance rate isn’t very good. I also didn’t want to look like Darth Vader at bedtime.
I decided to try the CPAP anyway because there’s a free one month trial to rent one and see if the metrics improve and see how you adjust to it. By the end of the month, I actually liked the CPAP and wore it for more than the recommended 4 hours at a time. I felt refreshed in the morning and sometimes didn’t even need my morning coffee.
The machine is also very quiet (actually no noise at all) and I used the style with ‘nasal pillows’ so it isn’t a face mask but just attaches to your nose. The hose still looks quite unattractive but I guess at least I don’t have to wear a face mask.
My husband can sleep well now (when I wear it) and he wakes up refreshed too.
The Cheapest Way to Stop Snoring
So what was the cost to me to stop my snoring? (Provided you are diagnosed with sleep apnea)
The machine itself is $2300 and the equipment was another $150 but because of my benefits through work, it was completely covered. I also get CPAP equipment covered every six months. The sleep apnea clinic arranged for everything and contacted my benefits provider for the requested information and approval, it was a very straight forward experience.
Of course next time I go camping I can’t bring the machine with me since there’s no electrical outlet, but at that time I will probably just wear what I was using before.
I must admit that having a baby and using a CPAP is a bit difficult since I needed to wake up so frequently, so my compliance with the CPAP has not been as optimal as it was during my pregnancy.
I am curious to find out if I still have moderate sleep apnea now that I am not pregnant (snoring problems tend to be exacerbated during pregnancy). I will repeat the sleep apnea test in a few months and keep you posted!
Update:I repeated it out of curiosity and I only had mild sleep apnea when I wasn’t pregnant!
There we go, that’s the cheapest way to stop snoring! Good luck.
Readers, do you or your spouse snore? What has worked for you?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
13 thoughts on “The Cheapest Way to Stop Snoring (If You Have Benefits)”
both mrs. dd and I snore from time to time, but nothing major. My Dad uses a CPAP. But he’s 90 and uses it for oxygen overnight. It helps him get some sleep and wake up feeling better.
@Tom- That’s really good that he can tolerate wearing a CPAP mask at age 90! I don’t know if I would. I wish I only snored occasionally. You and Mrs. DD are very lucky neither of you snore like a freight train.
I, like your husband, would have to leave the room because of the snoring. CPAP was a sleep saver for both of us. I don’t hear the machine anymore unless the mask isn’t fitting properly. The mask is a nasal mask and not a face coverage style. Benefits covered cost. My partners quality of life has improved immensely as they wake feeling rested. Most of the time I don’t even know they have come to bed. We are now investigating the battery packs available for the machine since we love to camp and travel.
@Gruff403- Mine is a nasal mask too. I must admit I have not been very compliant with it lately, mainly because I have to pull it out and plug it in every night (it’s in a drawer right now). Some nights I wake up feeling like I am choking on air and then turn it off in my sleep. I think that’s why the average wear time isn’t very long. However, last night I wore it all night, so it’s hit and miss!
Both MwC and me snore from time to time especially when we’re both tired from a long day at work but other than that, the snoring isn’t that serious.
But my dad snored really loud when we were kids and I believe he still does. I don’t think him and my mom ever looked into it to see if he could have reduced it, they just dealt with it and my mom never really complained about his snoring.
@Kris- Lucky you and MwC and BwC (who may hear snoring). You should totally ask your parents to take a sleep study to see if he has sleep apnea 🙂
I dont like my wife’s snoring in the nights. I have to face this situation a couple of days every month. Your post has given me some new ideas and the cheapest ways to prevent such issues. I would surely recommend this post to my wife. Cheers
GYM, I’m losing count of the number of times you’ve taught me new things with your blog! I had no idea that there was such a thing as moderate sleep apnea. My FIL was tested for apnea, and told he doesn’t have it.
I’m convinced he has moderate apnea like you. Perhaps his doctor didn’t test for this? I’m going to mention this to my MIL, and hope they can get to the bottom of it. (Disturbed sleep is a nightly issue for her, poor thing!)
PS Did I miss something? You say at the end of the post that you’re not pregnant anymore! Did you have Baby 2?!!
@chrissy- lol!! I’m still pregnant! Man you know I wrote this post at least 17 months ago and it kept being pushed back! I tried to edit it to reflect my current state but then fell asleep (and promptly started snoring) lol!! Usually it is accurate. The sleep study place almost didn’t want me to retest again after pregnancy but I was curious. After pregnancy I think I went down to mild sleep apnea.
Good move. You husband must be very grateful.
We don’t snore much so it’s not a big problem. Only when we’re super tired. Then, one of us usually goes to sleep in the other room.
@Joe- I’m so bad my adherence to wearing it is not very good- so he’s probably not that grateful right now hahaha. I’ve been wearing it the past few nights. I would say I wear it only 30% of the time now and then my husband the next day would say “You snored really loudly last night” and then I would say “oops! I’ll wear it tonight I promise!” haha….. I think once we have a bedroom again I’ll wear it more often.
Thank you so much for blogging about this!! I need to have PiC take a sleep apnea test, his snoring is HISTORICALLY bad.
@Revanche- How do you deal with it? You’ve been married so long! I wore my CPAP last night and had a good night’s sleep AND my husband had a good night’s sleep. But the night before I didn’t wear it. Tonight I’ll wear it again haha.