Snoring has been getting in between me and my boyfriend for the past four years. And unfortunately, I’m the problem. I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve gotten up, only to hear “you woke me up with your snoring again last night.” Our relationship is pretty much perfect otherwise (said the very annoying woman); it’s just this one thing that really gets in the way of complete and total harmony. So when I had the opportunity to try a device that promised to stop my snoring without having to wear a mouthguard or attach anything to my face (I have to wear a mouthguard for grinding my teeth anyway: shoutout to Otis Dental for helping me out with that), I was completely sold.
What is Smart Nora? It’s a sound activated device (adorably called the Pebble) that detects snoring, sending a signal to the air pump base that inflates an insert that you put under your pillow. When we’re sleeping, our upper throat muscles relax, narrowing the airway. When the insert inflates and deflates, it gently moves your pillow and head to stimulate the throat muscles and prompt a natural breathing pattern, reducing snoring.
I’ll admit, at first I was skeptical. How can a little insert under my pillow stop the chainsaw action that happens every time I fall asleep? The claims on site seemed almost too good to be true – increased ability to sleep through the night, feeling more rested when waking up, even claims that my partner would experience the same benefits! But, truly desperate, I was willing to give it a try.
The base / box is very cool. All of the necessary components (the Pebble, air pump, pillow insert, even plug adapters for international travel!) fit snugly inside, so I could definitely use this on-the-go. It’s not small enough to fit in a handbag, but it’s compact, and could be easily slipped inside my luggage.
Setup was easy enough. I made sure to charge the Pebble for a few hours so it would be ready to go. Right before bedtime, I cleared a little space on my nightstand for the Pebble, so Smart Nora already gets a point in my book for making me tidy up a bit. Then I connected the cables and the tube, plugged in the base, and placed the insert inside my pillowcase. There’s actually a padded cover that the insert can go inside of that I opted to use in case I wanted to put my hand under my pillow while I slept and didn’t want to feel the insert. I tapped the Pebble, tucked the base under my bed, and tried to go to sleep.
To get the best results, I set the sensitivity on the Pebble to the middle setting as suggested. I’ll admit that I still woke up once during the night, but it wasn’t while my pillow was moving, which was interesting. I don’t attribute my waking up to Smart Nora, but I was a bit disconcerted, like “why can’t I just sleep through the night for once?” When I got up in the morning, I felt rested (unusual for me) and my boyfriend didn’t have any complaints about my snoring. Since we both slept pretty much all the way through the night, we didn’t notice the noise of the mechanism at all. So it seems to follow through on its claim to be “whisper-quiet,” which was another major concern of mine, as I tend to be a light sleeper.
After one night with Nora, I was feeling optimistic and motivated to keep trying it.
I kept using Smart Nora for another week, and I have to say, things have gotten a lot better around my house. We haven’t had any weird, passive aggressive fights about my snoring and I’ve been sleeping through the night, every night. I didn’t adjust away from the medium sensitivity at any point because it seemed to be working well as is, and I wasn’t ever disturbed by the movement of the pillow, so I’m assuming that it was only activated via snores.
Kind of a fun detail that confirms my assumption – on night four, my boyfriend woke up because the dog was whining to go out (seriously, why are you waking up at 5 in the morning to pee? It’s not fair) and noticed me starting to snore. All of a sudden, the system activated!!!! My pillow started to slowly rise, and I apparently stopped snoring pretty much right away. So we can affirmatively confirm that Smart Nora does indeed work, and that it isn’t set off by the sounds of a whining Chihuahua but instead is “smart” enough to know what snores are and aren’t.
Even though there’s a 30-night money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied, I won’t be taking advantage of that. You’ll have to pull Smart Nora out of my cold, dead hands. It’s easy to use, completely non-invasive, and has changed my relationship (and my relationship with sleep!) for the better. Now if only we could train the dog to sleep through the night…