Keep the Peace in the Bedroom with a Snore Stopping Sleep Mask

Despite what my wife says, I have absolutely no evidence that I snore. After all, I’ve never actually heard me snoring. But I’ll take her word for it that I do, and that it bothers her, so perhaps I should be a sport and build this snore-detecting vibrating sleep mask so she can get a few winks more.

Part wearable tech and part life hack, [mopluschen]’s project requires a little of the threadworker’s skill. The textile part of the project is actually pretty simple, and although [mopluschen] went with a custom mask made from fabric and foam shoulder pads, it should be possible to round up a ready-made mask that could be easily modified. The electronics are equally simple – an Arduino with a sound sensor module and a couple of Lilypad Vibe boards. The mic rides just above the snore resonating chamber and the vibrators are right over the eyes. When your snore volume exceeds a preset threshold, the motors wake you up.

Whether this fixes the underlying problem or just evens the score with your sleep partner is debatable, but either way there’s some potential here. And not just for snore-correction – a similar system could detect a smoke alarm and help rouse the hearing impaired. But if the sewing part of this project puts you off, you should probably check out [Jenny List]’s persuasive argument that sewing is not just for cosplayers anymore.

27 thoughts on “Keep the Peace in the Bedroom with a Snore Stopping Sleep Mask

  1. Well, as one who snored for years, I got tested and found out that I had Sleep Apnea. My test results determined that I was having around 15,000 breathing disturbances per night. Got fitted for a Sleep Apnea mask and unit and was tested on the first few nights using it. That 15,000 disturbances were reduced to 1 [one] and my snoring disappeared.

    Most insurance will cover the cost of these so, it was well worth it to us.

    1. How many hours do you sleep a night? at 50 AHI I was considered sever, but with eight hours of sleep that is only 400 events per night. Currently down to less than 5 AHI (5 events per hour), but sleep is still elusive (bad nights three hours, good nights five hours)

      1. Yes, I requested my initial study results and my AHI was 92.8/hour and at 8.5 hours of sleep, that night that = 788.8 total. I must be losing my memory too…Sorry for the gross inflation of that number.

        So, the results were Very Severe obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome and Severe oxygen desaturation during the study.

    2. Since sleep apnea disturbs sleep, and this disturbs sleep, this might just be a sleep disturbing machine and actually reduce anyone’s sleep quality. But the alarm for the hearing impaired is a good idea.

      1. Apnea events are an interruption in breathing, whereas this would (presumably) disturb you before it gets to that point. I don’t know if that’s going to be significant in how restful your sleep turns out to be. If the vibration is adjustable, perhaps it can be set to just slightly disturb, rather than fully awaken, the wearer.

        Personally, I’ll stick with my CPAP – my new one has me down to less than 3 events/hour.

  2. Mopluschen, as Kurt says, check out the sleep apnea aspects of your snoring. Really. Waking yourself up at the moment when you fall into your deepest, most relaxed sleep is a very destructive thing to do to yourself. Do yourself and your partner a favour, and get tested. I know that an air pump beside the bed is inconvenient. But the feeling you get when you wake up refreshed is totally worth it.

    1. “Waking yourself up at the moment when you fall into your deepest, most relaxed sleep is a very destructive thing to do” Absolutely true.

      I once shared a room on a holiday stay with somebody and as I was on the upper bed of a vertical two bed combination he could (and did) easily wake me up when I started to fall asleep (and snore) by punching against the mattress. This was really horrible, started to make me paranoid and I felt soon nearly ready to kill this guy. Luckily we found some earplugs for him then.
      But I would not so much consider an air pump inconvenient but having to use a respirator during sleeping. Of course I know, that people in hospital intensive care need such things to survive, but normally they are heavily sedated and do not need to get up for work on the next morning.

    2. +1 too

      I finally convinced myself that I had a problem by recording audio while I slept. In the recording, I could hear the train in the distance, then myself as I becan to snore. After a few minutes, anyone would be able to tell I was having problems breathing (it was painfull to listen to).

      When I was tested, my numbers weren’t as bad as others have reported here. (I lost that report, but I remember blood O2 saturation dropping to 88% (doctors begin to get concerned at 90%). I was having headaches every morning that persisted untill the afternoon.

  3. my wife has sleep apnoea in the long run in can cause all sorts of long term conditions, including difficult to diagnose heart problems. It is not something that should be self treated like this, if your partner is a heavy snorer get them to get it checked out, you could be greatly improving their long term health… (I had to nag my wife for months – nice swap there! but it was worth persevering !!!)

  4. I also was told I snored rather badly and tried all sorts of things to stop it with no avail. A sleep study showed mild sleep apnea – but not too bad and recommended a thing to bring my jaw forward, which for me was just a waste of time, after a visit to an Ear nose and throat specialist sent me of for a scan of my head showed minor obstructions in the sinuses. Not keen on the idea of surgery I tried one more thing. Losing some weight after dropping 10kg the snoring has stopped and no further action has been required.

    I also didn’t believe I snored until I fired up an app called snoring U to record me through the night I nearly fell out of bed when I looked at the graph it produced the next morning.

  5. Ugh, these ‘stop snoring’ things may work, but at the expense of disrupting your sleep even worse. See a specialist. The snoring might be benign and fixable with a biteguard, or you might have obstructive sleep apnea requiring surgery or a CPAP machine.

    You can use a homebrew stuff once you have treatment to see how well it is working. A snoring app on your phone can measure how well you’re cutting down on the noise, and an OpenEEG unit can give a rough estimate of wakefulness.

  6. I was falling asleep at work and went to get tested. I now use a machine and I no longer wake snore or fall asleep at work. Doctor stated that it could have caused a heart attack if I did not use my machine. It only takes a few days to get use to and well worth the minor trouble to be alive the next day. Get tested. Dont wait.

  7. Dan – I had one of these gadgets below from Sharper Image (still around BTW). They are quite annoying as hell! You may feel you don’t snore but this thing proves you do! It detects low frequency noises from you that you normally don’t hear while sleeping. It starts vibrating on your arm like a bug walking on you. So you instinctively shake your arm to rid yourself of it or pull the darn thing off by it’s Velcro and toss it. It vibrates too much for me and I know it’s NOT false alarms.

    Funny story I know everyone will enjoy as I was the butt of the joke: Was on a Greyhound to Cincy (Ohio) for my uncle’s funeral. I dosed off a few times and the darn thing was buzzing like crazy. I begged the guy next to me to nudge me if I start snoring. He refused. Then I heard this poor Russian dude up front of the bus snoring like a buzz saw. Many decibels!

    I look over at my bus neighbor and say: “I feel sorry for that guy. I have the exact same problem…”

    The ENTIRE bus in unison shouts out:”WE KNOW!!!” – boy was my face red! :-(
    (Yes I knew he was Russian as he started speaking later and it became obvious)

    Quickly temporary solution? Get one of your wife’s wide elastic hair bands. Strap it around your chin to your head. Yes you look incredibly stupid but you mouth stays closed and the snoring is mostly abated. But not from your nose. Try not to wake your spouse while she/he is snoring too. Do everything by accident (plausible deniability?). You may get hurt otherwise… :-)

    1. Obviously I meant “QUICKY” not “Quickly” – But anyway this is NOT for sleep apnea. Go see your doctor. This is for when you are in public and fall asleep in a meeting or something. Nothing worse than sitting in a fishbowl environment like in the back of an auditorium and the analyst on the stage is droning on and on about this scenario or that scenario and you fall back in your seat like Homer Simpson with your mouth open and slobbering with your snoring pealing the wall paper behind you. At least this thing warns you when you start the baby-snoring sounds and keeps you awake. Or you could put those fake eyes on your sunglasses? The chin strap looks too stupid for any public meeting.

  8. “After all, I’ve never actually heard me snoring.” Two nights back I had a dream in which there was a very annoying, buzzy sort of noise that was interfering with a conversation that I was trying to have. I woke up in the middle of it, and Katie informed me that I had been snoring loudly. It wasn’t the first time that I’d been aware of my own snoring during a dream, just the most obvious that I can remember.

    For better (survival) or worse (annoyance), our hearing isn’t diminished during sleep.

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