I’m not entirely sure what’s happening with my snoring. It’s either getting worse or the BJJ Cavewife is getting more sensitive. Our solution of running the air purifier on the MAX setting to provide enough white noise to drown out my snoring is not enough anymore.
Somehow my snoring can now pierce through all of that white noise and stab the BJJ Cavewife’s eardrums, waking her up multiple times a night.
She responds by gently sliding her hand under my back and tenderly balling it up into a fist which in turn wakes me up and forces me to turn onto my back.
A couple of rounds of this over the course of the night leaves both of us waking up exhausted.
In order to shield her ear drums from my snores, she’s taken to adding in Nascar graded ear plugs, which help while they stay in… but they inevitably fall out.
Clearly something needs to be done.
The Rhinomed Nasal Dilators were my first attempt at an intranasal solution, however they irritated me so much that I would rip them out and throw them across the room in my sleep.
I’m not sure where I first heard of the Theravent before… maybe in one of my ‘how to stop snoring’ googling sessions, but these strips seemed like another reasonably affordable device to try out.
So how is it supposed to work?
It’s an adhesive strip that you cover your nostrils with. There’s a set of valves that will allow air to be breathed in easily but will provide resistance (lite, regular, or MAX) when you exhale through your nose. This resistance will theoretically open up your nasal passages and nasal pharynx and will prevent snoring.
Here are the directions to use it in 3 easy steps (found here)
Doesn’t seem too hard does it?
Unfortunately Amazon only sells them in packs of 30. The BJJ Cavewife discovered that a nearby CVS carried a trial pack for around $10, which comes with six strips, 2 Lite, 2 Regular, and 2 Max, and picked it up for me. We reasoned that once we figured out which strip worked the best we could order them in bulk from Amazon.
When bedtime rolled around I enthusiastically opened the box, chose the ‘Regular’ strip, peeled off the sticker, stood in front of a mirror, and applied it to my nose.
I looked ridiculous. The first thought that came to mind was that I looked like Hannibal Lecter.
The second thought that quickly followed was that there definitely wouldn’t be any hanky panky that night….
The instructions emphasize the importance of establishing a strong seal around your nostrils, which makes sense since you want the only air coming into and going out of your nose to pass through the valve.
As you can see in the video above, there’s a central hole within each strip. To check the integrity of the seal, you simply use your finger tip to cover the central hole and exhale. If the seal is tight, no air will come out because the valves close during the exhale. If the seal has a leak, you’ll feel air leak out.
When I did this test I felt a small leak on my right side and so pressed the adhesive down a little tighter onto my skin which seemed to do the trick.
We were now off and running! I lay my head on the pillow optimistic that this would do the trick.
After a good 30 minutes, I couldn’t fall asleep. Each time I started drifting off I felt like I was suffocating which woke me right back up. The altered breathing mechanics was just too disruptive.
The instructions also recommend breathing through the mouth only at first until you fall asleep which is supposed to help… and it did help… until I started falling asleep and couldn’t consciously control whether I was mouth breathing or nose breathing.
I ripped off the strip, threw it off the side of the bed, and resigned to apologize to the BJJ Cavewife in the morning for another snore filled evening.
The next night I wondered whether maybe going for the Regular strength strip was a little too much and maybe the ‘Lite’ version would be less intrusive… WRONG. Same thing. The feeling of suffocation the moment I drifted off causing me to wake right back up gasping for air.
The Lite strip joined the graveyard of strips on the side of my bed and the BJJ Cavewife got another apology in the morning.
There are now 4 unused strips left in my trial pack sitting on my nightstand.
Maybe in a few weeks, when I’m feeling brave enough, I’ll mess around with the remaining strips… but as of now, just the memory of what it felt like to suffocate and gasp for air as I fell asleep is leaving me too traumatized to even look at the them.
Into the drawer they went.
While these stupid little strips are too much for me to handle, I was just thinking that funny enough, in my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class I regularly deal with grown adults who literally try to suffocate and choke me unconscious with all their might, and it’s completely fine with me…. maybe it has to do with the fact that I get to do the same to them 🙂
If you want to give these a shot, feel free to check them out at your nearest CVS or on Amazon: