A new gadget promises to alleviate the biggest problem for people who have to live with snorers: the noise. And it does it using the same technology as noise-canceling headphones.
There are plenty of crazy tricks to stop yourself snoring, from sewing a marble into the collar of your pajamas to so you don’t sleep on your back, to chin straps that keep your mouth closed. The Silent Partner foregoes prevention and instead concentrates on the most annoying symptom: the thunderous rattle that keeps your partner, and possibly everyone sharing a home with you, awake.
Like noise-canceling headphones, the Silent Partner listens to the noise in the room and generates the opposite sound. When played over the original ambient noise, the sound waves cancel each other out and the snoring is silenced. Netanel Eyal, the inventor, told Co.Exist that it works as close as eight inches, and that the effect improves with distance. “People in other rooms will have a pretty good cancellation,” he says.
The device hangs across the bridge of your nose and sticks to your lower cheeks with hypoallergenic adhesive patches (good for a month, and replaceable). It runs off a rechargeable hearing-aid battery that lasts the night and uses this to power a microphone and speakers. Can such a small device cancel out a good hard snore? “The average snore is 70 decibels, and the speakers can reach even more,” says Eyal, “but if the snorer is very very loud, the effect will work but it will reduce less of the sound.”
Cutting out the sound is good for the snorer, too. Snorers can wake themselves with their own racket, so cutting back on the volume could give them a better night’s sleep. Thanks to the mechanics of your head, the way the sound is transmitted through it, and the fact that the canceling isn’t fully effective at close range, the device won’t be as good for you as it is for your bedmate. Then again, it’s called the Silent Partner, not the Silent Snorer, so what do you expect?
Sufferers of sleep apnea should still see a doctor, but even they could benefit from the reduced noise. The Silent Partner only treats the symptoms, though. You should still try to avoid snoring if you can. Eyal gave us a list of tips to help out, including losing weight, avoiding tranquilizers, alcohol or sleeping pills before bedtime (all of them can relax you so much that you start to snore), and trying not to sleep on your back. And if the snoring starts in your nose, says Eyal, you could try opening your nasal passages. “If your nose is clogged or narrowed due to a cold or other blockage, the fast moving air is more likely to produce snoring,” he told us.
The Silent Partner will cost $99 when it goes on sale, and early birds can try their luck with the Indiegogo campaign. That’s a lot cheaper than a lifetime’s supply of earplugs.