Effectiveness of nasal dilators in preventing snoringFeatured science projectScience project video

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Complexity level:
5
Project cost ($):
30
Time required:
1 day for preparation, 200 days for experiment
Material availability:
Easily found. Nasal dilators may be purchased a drugstore
Safety concerns:

None

Abstract

This science fair project was done to find out the effectiveness of using a nasal dilator in stopping the snoring of the participants. The experiment was conducted by video recording the participants sleeping with and without nasal dilators.

Hypothesis

The nasal dilator will help to reduce the snoring period of the participants.
 

Background

Snoring and nasal dilators

Snoring occurs in most adults when the nasal passageway gets obstructed during sleep. The flow of the air we breathe while sleeping will cause vibrations along the respiratory wall and its structures, resulting in the snoring sound. The loudness of the snoring can range from very mild to very loud, and can cause a lot of discomfort and unpleasantness for others sleeping in the same room.

Snoring occurs in almost 30% of adults but this figure will increase to over 50% in people aged over 60. This shows that people will tend to snore more as they grow older. Snoring also causes sleep deprivation for the person who snores and others around them. This causes them to become drowsy and irritable, and lack focus during daytime. Snoring has also been associated with a higher risk of heart attack.

The most common cure for snoring is using a nasal dilator. This is a device that is used to open the nasal passages in the nose so that the breathing can be done more easily and with less resistance. Nasal dilators are available for both external and internal use. External nasal dilators are more common and are mounted over the bridge of the nose. Nasal dilators are also used to relieve nose congestion and improve exercise performance.
 

Scientific Terms

Snoring, nasal dilators

Materials

The materials required for the experiment:

-    1 digital video camcorder that records directly to DVDs. Ensure that the camcorder has night vision functionality
-    20 blank DVDs
-    10 external nasal dilators
-    1 DVD player
-    1 television
-    1 stopwatch

Procedure

1.    For this experiment, the independent variable is the participants sleeping without the nasal dilator and with an external nasal dilator. The dependent variable is the length of time for which a participant snores during a night’s sleep. This is determined by viewing the video recorded the night before and measuring the time with a stopwatch. The constants (control variables) are the type of nasal dilator, the length of observation and the number of participants.

2.    Select ten participants known to have snoring problems to take part in this experiment. For each of the participants, for the first 10 days, place the digital video camcorder in each of their bedrooms every night and record them whilst they sleep. The recording will be done for 8 hours while they sleep.

3.    The next day, play back the DVD to time the number of hours that the participants spend snoring during the 8 hours of sleep. Record your readings in a table, as shown below.

4.    Then, give each of the 10 participants an external nasal dilator to use while sleeping. Repeat steps 2 and 3 every day for a period of 10 days, using the same 10 participants. Note the number of hours during which the participants were recorded snoring while using the nasal dilator, and record your readings in a table.
 

Observation

The results show that using the nasal dilator was able to reduce the length of snoring time among the participants. Some participants were even able to stop snoring completely.
 

 

Condition Snoring time of participants (in minutes)
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Without nasal dilator 129 238 59 217 184 77 268 135 88 152
With nasal dilator 32 46 0 35 22 0 55 15 0 29

nasal dilators science fair project

Conclusion

The hypothesis that the nasal dilator will help to reduce the snoring period of the participants has been proven to be true.

Snoring can interrupt and disturb the sleep of both the snorer and the person sharing the snorer’s bedroom. This causes them to become drowsy, easily irritable and unfocused during the day. Sometimes, the person with the snoring problem will become isolated and may face problems with their roommate or spouse. Simple remedies like using a nasal dilator or changing the sleeping position can help to reduce snoring.
 

Also consider

Try to repeat the experiment by observing the number of time the participant tosses and turns during sleep with and without the nasal dilator.

The experiment can also be repeated to compare the effectiveness of external use and internal use nasal dilators.
 

References

Snoring - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snoring

What is a nasal dilator? - http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-nasal-dilator.htm

How to stop snoring - http://helpguide.org/life/snoring.htm
 

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