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.