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Snoring at night: stress test for the relationship.

If the bed partner or bed partner snores, the night is over and the suffering is great. It is unclear whether the snoring sprays or gargle solutions are correct.

question: Do anti-snore sprays or gargle solutions help fight snoring?
Reply: missing scientific evidence
explanation: Three smaller studies with methodological flaws lead to contradictory results.

Snoring annoys! Not necessarily people who cause night noise, but more people who share the bed with them. When nighttime sleep is too hard, some couples are even forced to separate the rooms.

Finally quiet nights?

Suffering is so great and obviously effective means are rare [4]As often, this situation inspires the production and marketing of various products. When you search the Internet, you will come across many ways that promise a quick fix.

These are often drops that are mixed with water to form a gargle solution. You can also use various sprays for the mouth or throat.

Well lubricated

The common components of these preparations are essential oils or vegetable oils. The underlying idea: snoring is often caused by a soft palate. The substances contained in the remedies must strengthen the musculature or keep the mucous membranes moist and thus reduce the vibrations [1], It works?

Variety of remedies against snoring

Specifically, a reader wanted to know how to evaluate a particular pharyngeal spray. This product contains various essential oils and other herbal substances. However, we were unable to identify studies on this anti-snore spray and therefore provided no evaluation.

Therefore, we have expanded our research to various other preparations, also proposed as anti-snoring treatment.

Bad data situation

Overall, we had only three studies [1-3] for our examination. The informative value is very modest, the results are contradictory:

  • In two studies [1,2] In each case, no difference could be found between the agents tested and a simulated preparation.

  • Another survey [3] has come to the conclusion that the snore spray tested or the gargle solution helps to fight snoring better than the agent without active ingredient. However, seemingly positive results may simply be due to chance.

Side effects were only in one [1] Of the three studies studied, they were observed only in the group with the dummy drug.

Since the studies lasted a maximum of two weeks, no statement regarding long-term effects or adverse effects for long-term use can be made.

Since the composition of the anti-snoring agents varies considerably, the results of these studies are not easily transferable to preparations containing other ingredients.

Only disturbing or even pathological?

Snoring can have several causes. Thus, noisy sounds of sleep may indicate obstructive sleep apnea. This relaxes the muscles of the upper respiratory tract and can cause respiratory failure. People with sleep apnea have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease [5] and should be treated.

However, there are many innocuous reasons why people snore. These include a stuffy nose when growing cold or benign on the mucous membranes [4],

Studies in detail

In our research, we are on four studies [1-3, 6] in which the subjects were randomly assigned to different groups for comparison purposes. Thus, they received either a treatment with a gargle solution or a snoring spray or with a dummy treatment.

For one of the studies [6] unable to find the full text, therefore we can not provide additional information.

In one of the studies [2] Overnight subjects used a drug containing the drug or the dummy drug – and vice versa (cross pattern).

Overall, participated in the studies [1-3] a little over 200 people tested, which is rather low and reduces the importance. In two surveys [1,2] People with sleep apnea have been explicitly excluded for lack of appropriate information.

Very different preparations in different dosage forms have been tested:

  • An agent based on various essential oils has been used as a gargle solution [1,3] and like a throat spray [3] tested.
  • Another agent contained mainly various vegetable oils such as almond or olive oil and peppermint oil and was used as a throat spray. [2],

The duration of application was in two studies [1,3] with 14 days each very briefly, in the other investigation [2] has even been tested for only one night. Therefore, no reliable conclusion can be drawn for continued use.

In all studies, bed partners assessed how noisy and frequent snoring was and how much they were disturbed by it. To this end, very different questionnaires were used for which there is no information on reliability and relevance. This limits the validity of the results of the study.

There were also other methodological flaws: it was the same in two studies [1,3] all participants' data have not been evaluated. In addition, there is a lack of information in all surveys as to whether additional measures or accompanying snoring treatments have also been taken.

Sometimes publications lack information, such as the exact procedure of random assignment or comparability of groups, so that we can not reliably assess the reliability of the results.

(Author: I. Hinneburg, Reviewer: J. Harlfinger)

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Information about scientific studies

[1] Ulfberg (2001)
Type of study: randomized controlled trial
participants: 72 heavy dampers
goal: Do gurgles with essential oils for 14 days reduce the severity of snoring?
Possible conflicts of interest: The study was sponsored by the manufacturer of gargle solution.

Ulfberg J et al. Treatment of snoring with volatile oil: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. ENT J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2001; 63: 298-301. (Abstract)

[2] Wijewickrama (2004)
Type of study: randomized controlled trial
participants: 20 men and women who snore
goal: Does an oil-based throat spray reduce snoring?
Conflicts of interest: no information

Wijewickrama RC et al. Study of changes induced by lubricants in chronic snorers (SLICCS). Otolaryngol Head and Neck Surgery 2004; 131: 606-9 (Abstract)

[3] Prichard (2004)
Type of study: randomized controlled trial
participants: 140 people snoring
goal: Is a throat spray or gargle solution relieves snoring?
Conflicts of interest: The study was sponsored by the manufacturer of the test preparations.

Prichard AJ. The use of essential oils to treat snoring. Phytother Res. 2004; 18: 696-9 (Abstract)

Other scientific sources

[4] UpToDate (2019)
Snoring in adults. Call 24.06.2019

[5] IQWiG (2018)
Obstructive sleep apnea. Call 03.07.2019

Studies for which the full text was not available

[6] Hirunvivatkul P. (2008)
Efficacy and side effects of the nasal xanthan solution in the treatment of primary snoring. Asian Biomedicine 2008; 2: 189-193.