They're marketed with promises of a snore-free night's sleep. But according to consumer experts in Britain, many products that claim to cure snoring may be full of hot air.

The health magazine Health Which? has released a study that suggests manufacturers are misleading consumers and that their studies have little or no scientific basis.

A panel of experts was asked to look at eight products and to rate manufacturers on how they backed up their claims. Each product was then given a research rating based on the quality of the evidence they provided.

Panelists criticized the quality or lack of evidence, the size of the studies or the methods by which the products are supposed to work.

The English know a thing or two about snoring. An estimated 40 per cent of people in the United Kingdom snore regularly.

More than two million Canadians have sleep disorders, from insomnia to snoring. According to Statistics Canada, one in three men and one in four women snore.

Some likely causes are excess weight, alcohol consumption, collapsed airways or blocked nasal passages. Health Which? says products aimed at one cause may not work if snoring is a result of something else.

The best way to get to the root of the problem is to visit a doctor. Snoring could be a symptom of a more serious problem, such as sleep apnea a condition which combines snoring with feelings of drowsiness throughout the day and pauses in breathing during sleep.

"People have to be very careful before spending money on devices advertised when there's no objective evidence that they work," says Neil Douglas, professor of respiratory and chest medicine at the Scottish National Sleep Centre.

In the short term, an understanding nudge to the ribs from a sleep-deprived partner is often more effective than most snoring products.

  • Breathe Right Nasal Strips: one of the best ratings to keep congested passages open
  • Good Night Stop Snore Mouthwash: claim of 78 per cent success rate has no evidence
  • Nozovent: only helps if snorers habit was caused by nasal obstruction
  • Snoreeze Spray: criticized for its 'grossly exaggerated' claims of helping thousands
  • Snore No More nasal spray: success was marginal
  • Somni Snore Guard: no evidence it works
  • Snore Stop Chewable Tablets: claims to work in 80 per cent of patients, no evidence to back up
  • Y-Snore Nose Drops: homeopathic product, claims are 'very much exaggerated'