About Nora Smart Snoring Solution
For years, you’ve essentially had two options if you snore: wear a chinstrap or a mouthpiece, neither of which are particularly comfortable (or attractive). Sure, design enhancements have made these tried-and-true devices more effective and pleasant to use, but they all work pretty much the same way.
The Nora Smart Snoring Solution aims to turns things on its head, though—literally. Instead of using a device that attaches to your body and can actually decrease the quality of your sleep, Nora combines a bedside monitor, an under-pillow inflator, and a smartphone app.
Together, this patent pending technology promises to gently move your head when you start snoring, thereby preventing your sleeping partner from waking. Best of all, the company claims you won’t feel a thing, so your sleep won’t be impacted, regardless of your sleeping position or where your head rests on the pillow.
Even if you just started researching anti-snoring products, you probably understand that the Nora Smart Snoring Solution is unlike anything else on the market. But does that necessarily mean it’s right for you?
We’ll walk you through what we learned during our research so you can better answer this important question.
What’s the Primary Cause of Snoring?
We’ll cover a lot of ground in this review, so we won’t load you down with a lot of unnecessary science jargon right off the bat.
In a nutshell though, snoring is caused when the soft tissue (specifically the uvula) at the back of your throat relaxes as you sleep. This narrows your airway, so as air moves past, it vibrates and causes the sound that rumbles the whole house.
While this is the physical manifestation of snoring, the root cause can generally be traced back to dozens of different factors (or combinations thereof), including being overweight, age (the older you are the more likely you’ll snore), stress, alcohol and tobacco use, some medications, and much more.
Because of all these different factors, as well as the fact that snoring can indicate much more severe conditions (like sleep apnea), the first person you talk with about your snoring should be your doctor.
Given this, exactly how does the Nora system help reduce the sound of your snoring?
What Makes Nora a “Smart Snoring Solution”?
According to their website, Nora can “play a significant role in enhancing your sleep continuity, and in turn your daytime performance.” Exactly how does it do this? Overall, the Nora Snoring system consists of 3 parts:
- A small device that looks almost like an egg sliced lengthwise, known as the bedsider. Why? Because it’ll be placed close to your bed.
- An inflatable pillow insert.
- An iOS smartphone app (an Android version is said to be in the works).
Let’s take a look at each of these individually.
Nora’s Bedsider Device
The company tells us their bedsider’s “organic shape is inspired by natural objects,” and its “smooth matte finish looks great in any setting.” We’re also told the bedsider is used to detect your snoring, but we’re not provided any technical specifications regarding exactly how it does this (microphones or other sensors used, for example).
Once your snoring reaches a certain level, the bedsider activates and begins inflating the pillow insert (more about this next). The company claims this design helps keep all electronics away from your head, making sure you sleep as naturally as possible.
You can keep Nora’s bedsider plugged in, or it’ll last up to two weeks on a single charge.
Nora’s bedsider device listens and activates once your snoring exceeds a certain level. Image credit: Nora.
The company tells us that Nora’s bedsider adapts to ambient noise like fans, traffic, air conditioning, or a white noise machine, and will still work equally well.
The Nora Snoring Solution Pillow Insert
According to the company, Nora’s padded pillow insert easily slips underneath your pillow, between it and the pillowcase. They claim it’ll work with all types of pillows, whether soft or firm.
Once the bedsider detects early sounds of snoring, it will activate a mini-pump that remains out of the way inside a portable case placed under your bed. This acts to inflate or deflate Nora’s insert, which will slowly, gently reposition your head, stimulate your throat muscles, and allow you to “breathe normally again.”
Because Nora’s insert is padded, we’re told that you’ll be able to comfortably put your arm under your pillow. Also, the insert rises equally across the length of your pillow, so you can put your head anywhere. Finally, you’ll be able to sleep on your back or side, while using the unit for 3 nights without charging the battery.
Nora’s bedsider monitors your snoring and then inflates/deflates the pillow insert to activate throat muscles and decrease your snoring volume. Image credit: Nora.
Where Does Nora Snoring Solution’s App Come In?
Finally, Nora claims their companion iOS app will provide “valuable insights into your snoring and sleep patterns,” including overnight audio recordings, and also allow you to see how the system reduces your snoring over time.
Don’t have your phone nearby? Nora claims their system is fully functional without the app, although it will only help you better understand your snoring patterns.
There weren’t any app screenshots on the Nora website, although the company recently released some sneak peeks on their crowdfunding page, which appears to feature nightly and weekly statistics:
A sneak peek of Nora’s “Nightly Statistics View.” Image credit: Nora.
Which crowdfunding page, exactly?
Does the Nora Smart Snoring Solution Have Any Reviews?
As of writing, the Nora Snoring system is set for shipping November 2016. However, the project originally got its start on Kickstarter, where it earned more than $830,000 based on an original goal of $100K.
Because of its wholly unique approach to reducing snoring, the Smart Snoring system has received a decent amount of media attention, having been featured in Gizmag, Digital Trends, NBC News, and more. Again though, since Nora hasn’t been released, none of these provide any firsthand feedback.
From a company perspective, Smart Nora, Inc. is based out of San Francisco, CA and was co-founded by Behrouz Hariri. Dr. James MacFarlane, an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, also used his experience developing “innovative sleep educational programs for sleep technologists, medical students and physicians” to help bring Nora to market, although we’re not told exactly how.
The company claims the Nora Solution was designed, prototyped, and tested over the course of a year in response to the other “impractical and expensive products out there.” Recently, Nora won Shopify’s Build a Business competition.
If there isn’t any customer feedback for Nora yet, is there any clinical evidence to support the company’s claims?
Is the Nora Smart Snoring Solution Clinically Tested?
There’s no indication of the scale of Nora’s testing, whether or not it was conducted in a clinical setting, or the overall results. However, the company tells us that Nora has been tested by users for periods ranging anywhere from two weeks to six months, and that they “have experienced a great improvement in the quality and continuity of their sleep.”
To perhaps get an idea of how Nora was tested, this 5-minute video is well worth a watch:
How Much Does Nora Snoring Solution Cost?
Again, Nora Smart Snoring isn’t set to ship until November. It’s currently available for pre-order at $259, which will increase to $300 after shipping.
Money saving tip: There were a limited number of $239 pledges still remaining on Nora’s Kickstarter campaign at the time of our research. You could also enter your email address on their website to receive 10% off.
For this price, your order will include:
- Nora Bedsider
- Padded Pillow Insert
- Portable Softcase
- Universal Power Adapter
- Mobile Application
All Nora purchases come with free shipping to the US and Canada, as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee. However, the company indicates this is only valid “within thirty (30) days of the original purchase date.” Does this mean if you placed your pre-order today that your refund would be invalid by the time Nora ships in November?
For clarification, we emailed customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org and received a quick response letting us know the refund policy begins from the date your Nora is received.
Nora also comes with a 1-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. But should you even buy it in the first place?
Will Nora Make Your Home a Quieter Place?
If you live with a snorer, you know the drill: wake suddenly from your great dream, nudge/elbow/scream at the person next to you until they turn over, and repeat the process several times throughout the night. From this angle, the Nora system seems to do all the work for you, without waking anyone.
Sure, there are other anti-snoring products like mouthpieces, chinstraps, nostril inserts, and tapes, but these often leave the wearer uncomfortable and unable to get a good night’s sleep. There are also a variety of pillows that might help—but it’s all too easy to get back into your normal position and resume your snoring.
Is there anything exactly like Nora? The only thing we came across is the Snore Activated Nudging Pillow, although it looks and operates much differently than Nora—which, in our opinion (we haven’t tested either unit), appears to be much more comfortable.
However, there are a couple thoughts about Nora we should point out before wrapping up:
- It’s unclear whether the bedsider’s detection level can be customized. After all, some people wake sooner than others. Or, is it only a one-size-fits-all solution?
- Based on the testing video above, the pillow insert appears to emit a low-level hum. This seems to be very quiet, but again, some sleepers wake easier than others.
- While all the other sleeping positions were mentioned, stomach sleeping was not. So, if this is your preferred position, you could be out of luck.
When it comes down to it, the Nora Smart Snoring Solution may not address the root cause of your snoring, but it certainly seems like a unique method of reducing the volume of your snoring—and helping others (and you) get the sleep they deserve. It can even be used for those with sleep apnea!
Just remember that Nora hasn’t been manufactured yet, and a lot can happen between now and their release date!