I wasn’t sure what to expect when first trying the SnoreRx. My experience with CPAP machines is they can be tedious to put on and hard to sleep in. I was pleasantly surprised upon receiving a small, easy device to handle and use. This portability of SnoreRx is convenient as compared to a nightly CPAP hookup.
The SnoreRx comes in a small box and is a mouth guard that is custom fit to an impression of your teeth. The website contains all the instructions and support. There is a lot of information on the back of SnoreRx box as well.
The first section is a descriptive summary of the product. It includes the indications for use, which is straightforward. Underneath is the contraindications and warnings and details about the manufacturer.
The box was easy to open. It’s important to read the instructions fully before proceeding because it's tempting to try and use it without doing the boil-and-bite. The instructions are a critical part of using the device.
Upon starting the SnoreRx custom impression, I found the steps clearly labeled and easy to follow and impressed by how malleable the material was in being able to adjust so easily to the water, and my tooth imprints. There is a video available that shows the step by step impression steps.
My personal experience in sleeping with SnoreRx took some getting used to. I am very petite and so adjusting it to my mouth was somewhat difficult.
In trying it on and getting used to it, I did experience some dryness at first, but that eventually subsided. Even though it can be adjusted, it would be ideal if SnoreRx could provide two different sizes depending on the size of the mouth of the person ordering it.
I wasn’t able to sleep through the night with it, although with practice I would be able to. In doing some research I found this to be a common issue – however, most users can continue wearing the device and eventually get through the night without removing the device.
Here is the key point I want to make with the SnoreRx. If you snore and do not like CPAP, this device is for you. The SnoreRx is useful for someone who is having trouble sleeping due to snoring and doesn’t want to use a CPAP machine.
The company is clear that you must seek professional medical advice first before incorporating this device into your lifestyle. They do not guarantee a cure for your snoring or sleep apnea – but do offer you a full refund if you do not succeed.
I very much enjoyed getting the chance to review the SnoreRx, as it’s size, ease of use, and easy storage can benefit many people, especially those who travel or are constantly on the go. I would recommend this product to my clients that suffer from snoring and want an alternative solution to CPAP.
Also, we've published a list of our favorite anti-snoring mouthpieces to make sure you have a number of reliable options.
When we eat, our body uses food for energy. We get hungry because our body needs more energy.
Blood sugar, as it relates to pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, is much more complex than consuming too much sugar or carbohydrates. Our blood sugar is affected by an imbalanced diet, stress, regular snacking, and a more sedentary (or overactive) lifestyle, as well as any health concerns or disease (types of stress on the body).
If our brain thinks we are in a constant state of stress, then our bodies perceive sleep as more of a hindrance, rather than a necessity. Lack of sleep then perpetuates blood sugar problems, resulting in a cycle of irregularity.
Cortisol, our stress hormone, along with food intake triggers the pancreas to release insulin, which then takes sugar into our cells for immediate energy. When insulin levels become too high or don’t get into the cells (known as insulin resistance), our blood sugar drops, potentially leaving us craving sugary, fatty, and carbohydrate-laden food for quick energy.
Chronically elevated cortisol levels tend to predominantly cause abdominal fat due to its higher affinity for cortisol. Moreover, fat cells increase estrogen (which slows down our thyroid, responsible for weight), and releases inflammatory molecules, which is a stressor to the body.
Insulin resistance is another type of stress. Losing weight and regulating blood sugar, two important risk factors contributing to sleep apnea, become an uphill battle to correct with insulin resistance.
While the mechanism is not quite clear, many studies have linked poor sleep to insulin resistance, which in turn can contribute to poor sleep because the stress of insulin resistance adds to cortisol secretion. Cortisol and melatonin (our sleep hormone) vary inversely from day to night, respectively, as cortisol wakes us up in the morning, declines throughout the day, and melatonin puts us to sleep around 10:30/11pm (before we get that second burst of energy).
However, blood sugar is more than just carbohydrates and sugar-laden foods, but can also come from healthy foods that have a high glycemic index, ie. Food s that quickly spike your blood sugar before it plunges. For example, foods with a lower glycemic index may keep you satiated longer because there’s not as much sugar, so less release of insulin.
Stress affects sex hormones (i.e. estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone), another hindrance in proper blood sugar function as testosterone issues (low in men, high in women) are is linked to decreased insulin sensitivity.
A comprehensive metabolic panel first picks up tests for blood sugar and any issues related to insulin where the glucose marker measures blood sugar as a snapshot in time. Another marker is called hemoglobin A1c, a marker of sugar on red blood cells over the course of 3 months, so less likely to vary over time. C-peptide is a useful test for beta cell function of the pancreas, as it helps gauge the levels of insulin present, and may provide insight to glycemic control and potential risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Consider other tests as well, such as thyroid, vitamin D (lower levels linked to developing Type 2 Diabetes), and hormones, as these may provide additional insight as to why blood sugar levels may be abnormal.
Fortunately, there are many ways to naturally mitigate the effects of blood sugar issues through lifestyle, nutrition, and proper supplementation. Fasting for at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast helps the body reduce blood sugar levels and stabilize insulin. Nutritionally, fiber (i.e. ground chia, ground flax, avocados, beans, nuts, and seeds) helps keep us satiated and reduces insulin secretion, and a nutrient like chromium (i.e. green beans, broccoli, meat, eggs) help cells take in insulin and improve metabolism. A quality B complex is imperative as it is involved in over 300 reactions in our body, important in blood sugar control, our stress response, and sleep, due to promoting the formation of tryptophan (precursor to melatonin). Magnesium, otherwise known as ‘nature’s relaxer’ (will also help with sleep), is involved in over 500 reactions, helps glucose enter cells, and numerous other benefits. Also, elevated blood sugar increases magnesium loss in urine, so replenish through foods like dark leafy greens, avocados, black beans, and nuts and seeds. Supplement vitamin D as an appropriate post lab test, as levels can be too high.
There are many other strategies too through nutrition, lifestyle, and supplementation to improve blood sugar related issues, and the reason we have these concerns differ from person to person. Physical stressors may appear in other forms of symptoms or tests, and emotional stressors may be obvious or unresolved (or both).
Emotions are stored in our tissues and each organ system is representative of a different emotion as well, such as in Chinese medicine waking up at certain times of night points to dysfunction of that organ. Further, certain pharmaceuticals can worsen blood sugar issues (or create new ones), or deplete the body of some of the vitamins and minerals listed above.
Supplements will supplement, not replace, an unhealthy lifestyle, so it’s imperative to work with a knowledgeable professional to develop a comprehensive and individualized plan to address how you arrived in this present state, and what is your personal goal towards healing and prevention of future concerns.
Anti snoring devices are considered a supplemental way to prevent snoring, but natural methods and sleep tests should be performed first prior to snoring mouthpiece usage.
The inability to fall asleep, or stay asleep, is very common, and so much so that we may look for a quick fix in the form of melatonin or a sleeping drug to help us get a restful night’s sleep. Anti snoring devices can help snorers sleep better, but many other factors affect sleep as well.
Unfortunately, while that may work at the moment, sleep issues are our body’s way of saying that something is not quite right. Much like our sleep/wake cycle, sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) follow a cycle and when not in the proper rhythm, can affect our sleep by altering mechanisms that would otherwise allow us to have a quality night’s sleep.
Sex hormones are derived from cholesterol, made in the adrenal cortex (two glands that sit on top of each kidney also responsible for blood pressure and our stress hormone, cortisol), and reproductive organs (testes in men, ovaries in women). Fat cells are responsible for making estrogen, as well as an enzyme that turns testosterone into estrogen. Low testosterone has become increasingly common in men over the past few decades and can contribute to symptoms such as poor sleep, obesity, anxiety and depression, low energy, low libido, and gynecomastia.
In women, elevated testosterone has also become more prevalent (e.g., polycystic ovarian syndrome) and has symptoms like insulin resistance, extra hair growth, and menstrual irregularities. However, both men and women in these scenarios are also likely to have elevated estrogen, which directly impacts sleep by inhibiting melatonin, our sleep hormone. Moreover, insomnia can be the first sign of perimenopause in women due to hormone fluctuations (progesterone plummets faster than estrogen, so an increased ratio), that may be a contributing factor to hot flashes.
Estrogen is made from testosterone by the enzyme aromatase and added into our body through the way of stress, grains, dairy, alcohol, smoking cigarettes, blood sugar issues, and chemicals in beauty, cleaning and skin care products that mimic estrogen. Fat cells make estrogen and secrete an enzyme called aromatase that converts testosterone into estrogen.
Additional factors that can raise estrogen stem from stress (e.g., mental/emotional, untreated concerns, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle) that shunts resources derived from vitamin D and cholesterol into pathways that make cortisol instead of our sex hormones. Many of the lifestyle habits mentioned above add extra strain on the liver’s detoxification systems, which is also the main organ responsible for binding up and detoxing excess estrogen, as well as testosterone, progesterone, and cortisol, and responsible for over 500 processes. On a side note, estrogen doesn’t always have to be out of range on any test, as normal estrogen levels can be high if testosterone and progesterone are very low.
Too much estrogen can affect other organ systems such as our thyroid by increasing a protein that binds up the thyroid hormone (and slows down metabolism- another hindrance when we want to lose weight).
Estrogen also disrupts gut bacteria that also helps excrete excess, inhibiting melatonin (our sleep hormone), and contributing to sugar and carbohydrate cravings by making our cells more resistant to insulin (what takes glucose into our cells for energy).
While estrogen now seems like a likely culprit, we are caught in a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario, as a poor diet can also be a stressor on the body (stress also inhibits thyroid hormone, which can slow down bowel movements and allow toxins to get reabsorbed) contributes to weight gain and inadequate gut health, amongst other issues.
Not sleeping well alters hormone balance as most hormones get produced at night, and a more sedentary lifestyle can add extra pounds, which correlates to extra hormones. Anxiety and depression may have some organic cause too as estrogen is broken down by an enzyme called catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT), the same enzyme responsible for breaking down more excitatory neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (as well as certain drugs and foreign substances). If there’s not enough to go around, then neither estrogen nor these neurotransmitters can get broken down to appropriate levels. And typically anxiety and depression aren’t in the recipe for what it means to get good, solid sleep.
There is hope for balancing hormones and sleeping soundly! Hormones are wonky, pulsatile, and quite volatile yet fortunately, the many ways we can help balance them are ways we can also improve sleep. Focusing on dark leafy green vegetables (e.g., kale, spinach, chard) and cruciferous (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) are packed with many vitamins and minerals needed to make and metabolize hormones, as well as fiber that helps feed good gut bacteria.
Cruciferous vegetables, in particular, have a sulfur compound that helps turn estrogen into one of it’s more protective metabolites, as well as bind up extra estrogen. Healthy fats are a must, as fats are the building blocks of hormones, and also help diminish cravings, improve weight loss efforts, and improve moods, such as through nutrients found in avocado, nuts, wild salmon, olive oil, and coconut oil. Magnesium (also knows as ‘nature’s relaxer’) is also an important mineral, found in foods like nuts and avocados, and through Epsom salt baths! Aiming for bedtime before 10:30 pm optimizes our melatonin production (our most potent endogenous antioxidant) and helps prevent that ‘second wind’ that usually happens around 11 pm.
Working with a knowledgeable practitioner can further help guide and prioritize treatments and tests, especially when considering herb/drug/nutrient interaction, as well as what tests to order. Fortunately, even being able to work these tips into your lifestyle adds high value as it also doubles as preventative care.
The majority of plagues to our health take place over a period of years and only inspire us to change when our lives are affected by a diagnosis.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single cause for any problem, making it increasingly difficult to find a ‘magic pill.’ Instead, the many etiologies that cause disease need to be addressed, from diet and lifestyle, and then adding in supplements and potentially medications to heal.
Supplemental solutions such as anti snoring devices can improve snoring, but determining the root cause of snoring and insomnia is also critical.
Sleep is incredibly important to our well-being and health. Sleep allows hormones (e.g. thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, growth hormone) to restore and rejuvenate, reduces cortisol (stress hormone that very much contributes to weight gain), reduces sugar/carbohydrate cravings, improves mood, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, helps you live longer, and improves our ability to grow muscle by burning more calories at rest.
Most of our melatonin, our sleep hormone, is made between 11pm-3am, and it’s also our body’s most potent endogenous antioxidant (helps get rid of inflammation, free radicals, and harmful chemicals in our body), so going to sleep at 10/10:30 pm (before our second wind- usually around 11 pm) allows for optimal production, as cortisol also decreases (inverse to melatonin).
Cortisol begins to rise (melatonin falls) around 6-8am to wake us up in the morning and get us out of bed. Disrupted sleep and going to bed too late on a regular basis, or even a few days a week, can mess with this curve and leave cortisol high, in which case coffee, Redbull, and a few more cookies are needed for a jolt of energy.
Melatonin is made in the pineal gland in the brain, and is signaled to release towards the end of the day and when it gets dark. Most Melatonin is made in our gut (all the more reason for a healthful diet).
Optimal sleep is 7-9 hours per night, with the first four being the most important, as we go through a few different sleep stages. We’re fairly conscious during Stage 1, while Stage 2 is a little deeper and less likely to be woken up. Stage 3 and 4 are much deeper, where if woken you feel pretty groggy, as here hormones are made, and tissue growth and regeneration takes place.
REM is our last stage, occurring about 90 minutes in, and involves processes that support our energy throughout the day. Unfortunately, many medications and sleep aids disrupt, or don’t allow, these later stages.
Sleep and Weight Gain
Poor quality sleep contributes to weight gain as it allows for chronically elevated and disrupted levels of cortisol (causing weight gain in/around the abdomen). Also, cortisol also increases ghrelin, a hormone that tells us we need energy immediately (enter carbohydrate/sugar cravings), and decreases leptin, a hormone that tells us we’re satiated. Irregular sleep (sometimes caused by snoring) can also signal that we are in danger (think of how sleep deprivation is a form of torture), so metabolism slows for the body to hang on to its resources of additional fuel to stay awake (those excess calories we stored in our fat cells).
Furthermore, weight/weight gain is a type of inflammation/stress on the body, which also releases cortisol, messes with melatonin production, increases blood sugar and hunger hormones, all of which can affect sleep quality.
Fortunately, there are many strategies to address the vicious cycle of how sleep and weight feed into each other. Literally.
First, our body likes rhythm- think of how our hormones and other metabolites are made throughout a 24-hour schedule- we mess with the schedule, we mess with our health. Head to bed at the same time most nights of the week, especially around 10/10:30 pm for 7-9 hours of sleep. Aim for 15-minute increments backward if you’re starting from after midnight, as it can be a drastic change/shock.
Next, fill your half your plate with dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale, broccoli, chard, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, collards), as these foods are incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals needed to synthesize important hormones, work to detox/lower inflammation, and balance food cravings. Add in some avocado, coconut oil, and olive oil to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
Last, get your vitamin D levels optimized around 50 ng/mL, as it’s an important nutrient to overall health. While these are great foundations to have in place and will help benefit many other issues, consider speaking with a knowledgeable professional who can also work to get to the cause of disease and understand any herb/drug/nutrient interactions.