July 03, 2023 2 min read

A recent report commissioned by Mute in partnership with WebMD and One Poll reveals that over half of the world’s population snores — or at least admits it does [1]. But that snoring is widespread isn’t all that surprising. What’s surprising is what people will do to stop it. 

Many of the respondents said they were willing to go to “extreme measures” to stop their or their partner’s snoring, which is understandable. Snoring can be extremely annoying and embarrassing. In rare cases, it can disrupt a bed partner’s sleep so much that some may consider your snoring grounds for divorce [2]. 

While the surgery was cited as one such extreme measure, we know that some people take a less invasive route to treating snoring. One such remedy is a tennis ball sewn to the back of a pajama. 

Why Snorers Are Sewing Tennis Balls to Their PJs

Evidence shows that side sleeping is the best for snore prevention [3]. In contrast, back sleeping makes it more likely for your upper airways to collapse and obstruct normal airflow. Because switching to a side sleeping position isn’t always easy for side sleepers, some try to prevent themselves from rolling over at night with a simple tennis ball.

While this can seem funny or bizarre even, there’s a study that shows this method works. A 2008 study compared the tennis ball technique to nasal CPAP in the management of sleep apnea syndrome [4]. In case you’re not familiar: sleep apnea is when you stop repeatedly breathing at night, and it often causes loud snoring. The study found that the tennis ball technique did work in keeping participants in the side sleeping position and even reduced the frequency of their apnea episodes. 

Other Ways to Stop Snoring

But there are many other snore hacks out there — some less bizarre. Snoring is most often a problem in people who are overweight and older. That’s because excess weight and weak muscles can both make it more likely for your airways to constrict during sleep. Losing weight and staying active are sure ways to prevent and stop snoring.

Snoring can also happen when you drink alcohol or take sedatives since these things can relax your throat muscles. Avoiding both before bed can help. Using oral appliances such as a  tongue-stabilizing device helps keep the airways open by pushing the mouth slightly forward. 


  1. The 2023 Snoring and Sleep Report. Mute. Accessed June 2023.https://mutesnoring.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/2023_SnoringReport_GLOBAL.pdf

  1. Can Snoring Lead To Divorce? Edward J. Jennings, PA. https://www.ejj-law.com/can-snoring-lead-to-divorce/#:~:text=Some%20sources%20say%20that%20snoring,some%20point%20in%20their%20lives.

  1. Lee JB, Park YH, Hong JH, et al. Determining optimal sleep position in patients with positional sleep-disordered breathing using response surface analysis.J Sleep Res. 2009;18(1):26-35.doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00703.x

  1. Skinner MA, Kingshott RN, Filsell S, Taylor DR. Efficacy of the 'tennis ball technique' versus nCPAP in the management of position-dependent obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.Respirology. 2008;13(5):708-715.doi:10.1111/j.1440-1843.2008.01328.x

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