It’s not just you, sleepyhead: Complaints of sleep disorders are on the rise over the past year, according to Dr. Alon Avidan, professor of neurology and director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. “We’ve seen an epidemic of sleep issues of sleep disorders along with the pandemic, because you have more active observers now, people sleeping next to each other without business trips to break it up,” he says. “We’ve also seen problems with insomnia and anxiety, leading to abnormal dreaming. And now, some people are gaining weight because they’re indoors and not active,” which can also lead to sleep disruption.

And then there’s snoring—the noisy, sleep-wrecking condition that might indicate potentially serious health issues and definitely makes a restful night impossible, both for the snorer and the…snoree? Here’s how to deal with it.

What Causes Snoring, Anyway?

Snoring is caused by obstructions in the airway, leading to noisy breathing caused by vibration of the soft palate of the upper airways.

Dr. Avidan tells us, “When patients tell me, ‘Doctor, I am snoring every night and it’s bothersome and leading to daytime sleepiness,’ then I would need to order a sleep study because the snoring could actually signal a more serious condition like sleep apnea, which is when breathing actually stops periodically.” That condition, according to the Mayo Clinic, can lead to daytime sleepiness, frequent frustration or anger, difficulty concentrating and a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. Yikes! However, after being checked out at an overnight clinic or using at-home diagnostic tools under the guidance of a sleep specialist, Dr. Avidan says, a range of therapies can be prescribed, including new-fangled tech like a mouth guard that corrects jaw placement, a CPAP pressurized air mask and, perhaps most simply, an anti-snore pillow.

How Do Anti-Snore Pillows Help?

Dr. Avidan says anti-snore pillows are part of positional therapy—basically, getting snorers to stop sleeping on their back and instead resting on their sides. “When you are on back there is more chance for the tongue to relax on upper airways and obstruct breathing, so changing the body position to the side eliminates the gravitational risk,” he says. (So that’s why rolling over someone snoring shuts them up!) While Dr. Avidan doesn’t endorse one brand over another, he recommends checking for FDA certification for anti-snoring devices, or suggests an at home hack: “You can take a backpack and put a pillow in the it and sleep with it on, so you won’t roll onto your back.”

If you’re not quite ready to sleep with a Jansport strapped over your jammies, here’s our survey of the best anti-snore pillows on the market today.

RELATED: We Asked a Sleep Expert How to Sleep 8 Hours in 4 Hours (and If It’s Even Possible)

The Best Anti-Snore Pillows at a Glance:

Amazon

1. WoodyKnows 2021 Newly Upgraded Side-Sleeping Backpack

Best Backpack Style

“Any brand that makes it uncomfortable for a patient to sleep on their back will do the trick” says Dr. Avidan. And we like this model for its soft nylon fastener straps and non-scratchy zipper. We also appreciate that there’s an inner inflatable pouch that you can deflate for storage or travel.

$60 at Amazon

Brentwood

2. Zuma Foam Wedge Pillow

Best Wedge Shape

This is genius—when laid down on its longest side, it lifts your head, which gets your tongue and soft palate out of the way of air flow (and it can also help with acid reflux and dissipate pressure on the upper back and neck). And when the pillow is stood up using its narrowest side as a base, it makes a comfy backrest to sit up and work in bed.

Buy It ($49)

Relax The Back

3. Technogel Sleeping Anatomic Gel Pillow

Best Cooling Gel Design

A cooler room temperature—between 60 and 65 degrees, according to Dr. Avidan—can help insomniacs get to sleep and stay that way. This pillow has gel inserts that draw the heat from your head to dissipate in the bedroom. Which means your bedmate doesn’t have to shiver just because you need a colder room. Plus, the ergonomic design keeps your head and spine aligned so that you don’t wake up with a sore back.

Buy It ($179)

Sharper Image

4. The Sharper Image Advanced Anti-Snore Pillow

Best Neck Support

Need a little help re-training yourself to sleep on your side? This ventilated memory foam pillow has a little runway in the middle of one side to lay your head on, cradling it in a position you won’t be tempted to roll out of.

Buy It ($70)

Amazon

5. Slumberbump

Best Belt Style

This mesh belt keeps you from feeling too constricted, but also prevents you from rolling onto our back mid sleep cycle. Claustrophobic types will appreciate that, unlike with the backpack style pillow, this design has no shoulder straps that might make you feel, oh, harnessed for sleep.

$80 at Amazon

Saatva

6. Saatva Down Alternative

Best Down Alternative

Want a super-soft feeling pillow, but still need to make sure your pillow will hold your head up enough to prevent the dreaded airway blockage? This model gets the job done, hypoallergenically, with down alternative fibers that create micro-air pockets, alongside springy memory fiber clusters that keep up the support.

Buy It ($95)

Amazon

7. Coop Home Goods Eden Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Best Adjustable Loft

The inside is filled with gel-infused memory foam that you can take out or put back in until you get the perfect height for a snore-free sleep that’s comfortable (and thanks to the gel, cooling) for a whole night’s rest.

$80 at Amazon

Amazon

8. Sona Pillow Classic Anti-Snore Pillow

Best Arm Recess Design

Side snugglers, we see you, we got you: This pillow has a clever shape that allows either arm to tunnel under the pillow, positioning your body on the side without causing your arm or shoulder to fall asleep.

$60 from Amazon

Amazon

9. Honeydew Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow

Best for Side Sleepers

The semicircle cutout shape makes room for your shoulders to nestle comfortably, and the fill can be adjusted to your preference. Also, the addition of copper to the memory foam is both cooling and antimicrobial.

$100 from Amazon

Amazon

10. Sona Pillow O

Best Speaker Insert

Shaped like a flying saucer, this pillow gets raves from users who report that its slight downward slope repositions their jaw, thereby making more room for air in their breathing passageways while they sleep. Bonus: The hollowed-out section in the middle of the underside is perfect for a Bluetooth speaker or lavender-scented pad to help lull you to sleep.

$46 from Amazon

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