It’s 3am when a sudden short, sharp jab to the ribs accompanied by a loud “shhh” wakes me from a deep slumber. Apparently, I’ve been snoring again. This isn’t fun for anyone. It’s been going on for months and my wife and I are both exhausted. But what can I do? Friends and family who have issues with snoring have full face masks attached to noisy pumps and straps that look like some sort of bondage gear. Fortunately, there’s now an alternative.
Smart Nora works by gently inflating an insert in your pillow when it detects snoring. The inflation is just enough so that the snorer turns their head. The air pump unit is housed in a portable grey box that sits next to the bed and is connected via Bluetooth to a sensor (which looks like a cordless mouse) that reacts to snoring, or indeed any loud noise. If you want to travel with Smart Nora, the battery will last for a full night.
The pillow insert goes inside the pillowcase, under the pillow and comes with a soft cover. A simple tap on the bedside sensor activates the system. When snoring is detected the pump gently inflates the insert a few centimetres to move your head and open the airways, then deflates. The pump is very quiet and the whole process is over in about 45 seconds. The sensitivity of the sensor and amount of inflation are both adjustable. In the morning simply switch the sensor off.
The first night I used Smart Nora I was woken up at least twice by the inflation and deflation of the insert. It’s not noisy or abrupt, just a bit weird. But it did stop me snoring. The insert is not uncomfortable but you can feel it under your head. The air hose from the pump also means that you can’t easily flip the pillow to get the cool side in summer or hug it, but after a couple of nights I became used to it and now I don’t even notice it. The advantage of this device is that you can sleep in almost any position you like.
The bedside sensor can’t tell the difference between snoring, conversation or any other nocturnal noises that might occur, so if you’re planning on some pillow talk or other impromptu activities in bed, you might find your pillow wanting to join the party.
Smart Nora has been a sleep saver for me and my wife. Combined with reducing my alcohol consumption and increasing exercise, my wife has not complained about snoring once for the whole three weeks I’ve been testing. It’s far less intrusive than using an oral appliance, chin strap or breathing mask. Some sort of app to go with the device to monitor sleeping patterns and adjust the settings could be handy.
- Stops snoring straight away
- Portable design good for travel
- Quiet operation
- The sensation of inflating and deflating the pillow can wake you up
- The air pump is quiet, but not silent
- You can feel the device inside your pillow, which affects comfort