A curious thing about human physiology is the way most of us can’t hear our own snoring. In blissful ignorance, we blithely keep our loved ones awake. Enter, stage left, Smart Nora, a rather brilliant new product from Canada that is the first wireless anti-snoring device – no Hannibal Lecter-style mouth gear, no aromatherapy essences bubbling away in the bedroom.
A rechargeable microphone shaped like a computer mouse sits close to your head and listens for your snorts. When it picks up the sound, it activates an air pump under the bed, which is connected by a plastic tube to an inflatable pad inserted inside your pillow slip. This raises your pillow an inch or two, which makes you, most often without waking up and before your partner is disturbed, shift the position of your head. This, as most snorers know, usually stops a bout of snoring. Smart Nora might not work for everyone, but it did for me. Tracking my snoring with a phone app on a night without Smart Nora, I was typically getting 10-20 moderately loud episodes of 10 seconds or more. With the machine on, this reduced to three or four quieter snores of a couple of seconds longest.
Downsides? The air pump motor is not as silent as it claims to be – there’s a low growl when it cuts in that you occasionally hear. And getting the microphone to connect is tricky at first; it took me four nights to set it up correctly, but it was a breeze thereafter.