VitalSleep is an FDA-approved mandibular advancement device (MAD) that functions as an anti-snoring mouthpiece, with over 300,000 users worldwide.
MADs are placed inside the mouth to hold the lower jaw forward. This type of device has been used since 1902 to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), because moving the jaw forward allows better breathing and in turn controls snoring.
VitalSleep does not use toxic substances like BPA and latex and is recommended by doctors.
But can it stop you snoring, what results can results can you expect, and are there any potential side effects.
I answer all these questions and more, below.
Do MAD's Like VitalSleep Work?
Research shows that they are effective for the majority of snoring sufferers.
Research conducted at the Department of Thoracic Medicine at Middlesex Hospital, UK, tested MADs similar to VitalSleep. Out of 94 test subjects, 80 reported reduced snoring, equating to a 85% effectiveness rate.
Who Makes VitalSleep?
VitalSleep is the flagship product of the US-based Snore Reliever Company, and the creation of Dr. Richard Koffler and David Hernandez, an ex serial snorer who always felt exhausted without proper rest.
According to Hernandez, his dentist prescribed him a mandibular mouthpiece at $3,000. The mouthpiece broke not long after and turned out to be a waste of time. This led him to embark on a mission to create an affordable and effective device.
Hernandez, a physical therapist by trade sought the help of Dr. Richard Koffler, who earned his credentials from Tel Aviv University.
Together, they patented a cheaper alternative and, since then, VitalSleep has grown to arguably be the most popular MAD on the market because of its comfort, effectiveness, and affordable price.
How does VitalSleep work?
Just like other anti-snoring devices, VitalSleep is composed of two trays that hold the top and bottom sets of the teeth. Imagine a gum shield used by a boxer These trays work together to move the lower jaw forward.
With the boil and bite system, which we will discuss in more detail in a moment, both trays are customized to fit the top and bottom rows of teeth.
Boil and bite anti-snoring devices are categorized into two types: fixed and adjustable.
Fixed MADs can provide good results, but the adjustable ones are proven to be more effective due to their individual customization.
VitalSleep falls under the adjustable category. This means that there are two units used in instead of one.
A sliding mechanism joins the top and bottom units together, which makes the jaw advancement adjustable up to 8mm; providing a more comfortable fit.
How does jaw repositioning prevent snoring?
The key to stopping snoring is to improve airflow.
VitalSleep forcibly advances the lower jaw, allowing airflow at the back of the throat to increase when the mouth is open or closed.
The tongue is at the root of the snoring problem.
You see, during sleep, a relaxed tongue tends to drop backward. When it does, the airway is partially blocked and this causes vibration in the tissues.
The VitalSleep trays work by repositioning the jaw. When the lower jaw is pulled forward, the tongue is also drawn forward at the bottom of the mouth. As a result, the airway is opened and breathing is improved.
What makes VitalSleep different from other MADs?
What makes VitalSleep different is its capability to advance the lower tray without restriction.
You'll find that many MADs are set in a certain position and don't account for individual needs. But by using a hex key, you can adjust the device to be more comfortable.
You turn each screw clockwise to bring the lower half forward, making sure you balance each side for proper symmetry. Doing so will allow you to set the level of advancement of your lower jaw.
VitalSleep also provides custom sizes for men and women. This is interesting because people usually presume that it is only men that suffer badly from snoring. This isn't the case; research shows that gender is not significant in snoring prevalence (1).
VitalSleep doesn't need to be prescribed and you can buy it online. You don't need a professional to help you set it up and it's accessible straight out the box.
How to set VitalSleep up – boil and bite
To set up VitalSleep to match your mouth, it uses a boil and bite mechanism. The trays are made of a special thermoplastic that gets softer when heat is applied.
Historically, you would have paid a dentist an extortionate amount of money to create a custom mould.
Here's how to do it:
- Boil a saucepan of water: do not submerge VitalSleep in the boiling water.
- Pour the hot water into a bowl and wait 10 seconds.
- Take a pair of tongs and dip VitalSleep in for 5 seconds.
- Now bite down gently for 10 seconds.
- Then take it out and use the tongs to put in cold water for 10 seconds so that it can set.
- Once done, you can try putting it in your mouth to test the fit. If it doesn't feel like a good fit, repeat the process.
Snoring is a problem that always stays with habitual snorers. VitalSleep is a long-term solution for snoring and you can use it as long as you like or need to.
Is there any maintenance required?
There's very little maintenance required and the device is durable. However, it is important that you clean it.
Clean VitalSleep gently and only with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and water. Or buy the cleaning kit from the website.
VitalSeep is designed to last 1-2 years, compared to other MADs that may only last a few months.
Are there any side effects to using VitalSleep?
MADs are have been known to cause discomfort, but such problems can be avoided when using adjustment tools.
When moulding a boil and bite MAD that is fixed, you are only allowed to stretch your jaw in a pre-set position. Doing otherwise compromises the effectiveness of the device, as the airway may still be partially blocked if the plastic isn’t moulded well to your teeth.
The pre-set position can cause discomfort, and you might end up with jaw pain and or a headache. This isn’t surprising given the fact that your jaw is forced to adopt a certain position for a couple of hours every night.
This problem is addressed by the Accu-Adjust technology, which makes the lower jaw adopt a natural position.
In the first few nights that you use VitalSleep, a low level of advancement can be used for the jaw before easing into the optimum position later on. With this adjustment scheme, the jaw is given time to adapt gradually rather than forcibly.
You may experience some drooling and gum soreness during the first week, though for the majority of users these issues cease as you get used to the device.
Who shouldn't use VitalSleep?
Before using VitalSleep, it is best to consult a dentist.
Anyone who plans to use any type of MAD should have strong front teeth. Your dentist must first approve your usage, especially if you have crowns or dental implants, or dental issues such as gum disease and loose teeth.
People wearing braces or permanent retainers aren’t advised to use VitalSleep because the trays are unable to mould perfectly to their teeth.
VitalSleep is designed to help habitual snorers but wasn’t designed to address a broad range of associated disorders. So if you suffer from central sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint disorder, jaw pain, or respiratory disorders such as emphysema or asthma, you should consult your doctor on the best course of action.
Is there a money-back guarantee and warranty?
VitalSleep is one of the few MADs on the market that offer a money-back guarantee.
You have 60 days to try the device and if it doesn’t work for you, the manufacturer will give you a full refund. A free size exchange is also available if you feel you purchased the wrong size.
Additionally, VitalSleep is covered by a one-year unconditional warranty. This means that if you encounter any issues using the device during the first year of use, you’re granted a new replacement with no surcharge.
How much does VitalSleep cost?
VitalSleep is priced at $69.95. It can only be bought from its website and is not available through any third party seller.
Shipping is free and customers who order an additional mouthpiece can purchase the second one for $49.
Orders arrive in 2-4 days if delivery is inside the US, and take 5-7 days if your location is outside the US.
In the US, choosing the UPS Priority mail will shorten the estimated time of arrival between 1-3 days.
It may seem daunting at first that to cure your snoring problem you have to resort to wearing a mouthpiece. But for most snoring sufferers, and their partners, living with snoring can become exhausting.
Not getting a proper night's sleep is detrimental to your health. Overtime, this can result in long-term health effects including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer (2).
So while an MAD might take some getting used to, if you can improve your sleep quality then you will improve your longevity.
Improved sleep also means a lower chance of auto and workplace accidents. It also means better relationships and decision making due to lower stress and anxiety levels.
One should also consider that there are other ways to improve snoring. Sleeping on your back increases your chance of snoring, as does being overweight (3).
Additionally, drinking alcohol up to 4-5 hours before sleeping will increase incidence of snoring – because alcohol reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely you'll snore (4).