New research shows that people who play wind instruments display less signs of snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). So if you’re worried about your snoring, and a flute doesn’t appeal to you – don’t panic. You can always try a saxophone or the clarinet instead.
A study in sound
A new study split participants into two categories: people who played high resistance wind instruments (like an oboe or a trumpet) and people who didn’t play any form of wind instrument. The participants were also given a questionnaire to fill in. This was designed to assess their risk of snoring, daytime sleepiness and high blood pressure – all symptoms of sleep apnoea. All players and non-players then had their lung functions evaluated.
Interestingly, the study revealed that there was no link between improved lung functions and a lower risk of developing sleep apnoea. But there was evidence of sleep apnoea being reduced in wind instrument musicians. This is because the players tended to have increased muscle tone in their upper airways.
Why do we need good muscle tension?
We need good muscle tone to keep the upper airway open properly during the night. This stops the vibration of the soft tissue in the throat – the sound we hear as snoring.
When wind musicians play their instruments, they exercise the throat muscles that usually collapse or narrow when a person snores. Because of this strengthened muscle tone, they are less likely to develop OSA.
Reduce your risk of sleep apnoea
If you’re keeping your partner awake all night, it might be the perfect time to learn a new skill. However odd it sounds, a flute or a trumpet could be the answer to a good night’s sleep – and studies have shown that even didgeridoos can improve the symptoms of sleep apnoea.
But if picking up a new instrument seems like a little too much work, an oral device could provide you with effective relief. It works by gently holding your jaw in the right position while you sleep; this works on those muscles, opens your airway and helps you breathe easily. Another option is to use a CPAP machine. It supplies a constant stream of air through a face mask, helping to prevent your airway from collapsing.
If you suspect you might be suffering from sleep apnoea, we recommend that you visit your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t leave it to chance - your sleep and your health are worth it.
Many people don’t realize that colds and flu can cause snoring, or make snoring even worse. When your nasal tissue swells during a cold, the airflow through your nose becomes blocked or restricted. This congestion may force you to breathe through your mouth, which can lead to snoring.
So how do I get a good night’s sleep?
1) Elevate your head. Sleeping flat on your back is not a good idea. Use an extra pillow to help drain your sinuses, and reduce congestion.
2) Steer clear of antihistamines that contain sedatives. These relax your upper airways, causing more air resistance in your nose and throat which can lead to snoring. The same applies to alcohol and sleeping pills.
3) Use a humidifier if you can. If you have a humidifier, try and use it while you have a cold. This will help keep the air in your bedroom moist.
4) Have a hot shower before bed. The warm water can help open your nasal pages.
5) Try using Snoreeze Nasal Strips or Snoreeze Nasal Spray, available at Boots. Both products work by opening the airways in your nose to provide snoring relief. The nasal spray contains a unique blend of natural active ingredients, while the nasal strips are both hypoallergenic and latex-free. You could experience up to 8 hours of peaceful, snore-free sleep.
Get healthy faster
Snoring stops you from getting a good night’s sleep. Achieving an uninterrupted 7-9 hours of sleep per night is very important for your health, especially when your immune system is fighting a cold. The act of snoring can also make a sore throat feel worse; the vibrations in the back of your throat can result in a dry, scratchy feeling.
Getting enough sleep means you can get healthy faster. Try to go to bed earlier than usual, and rest when you need to. By looking after yourself, and using a good snoring relief product, you’ll be over your cold in no time at all.
Look out for the special Snoreeze display in-store at Boots now.
As freezing temperatures are forecast to continue into the weekend, the UK is wrapping-up to stay warm in the run up to Christmas. For many of us, we’ve already received our first surprise gift of the festive season… a cold!
Well, a lot more than you may think. A typical symptom of the common cold is a nasal congestion. This can cause obstruction of the nasal passages, forcing you to breathe through your mouth which can lead to snoring.
Nasal irritation often increases during the night which can further increase the impact that a blocked nose can have on snoring.
This video by NHS Choices provides some useful information on how to prevent contracting a virus.
For those of you who are unlucky enough to catch a cold, try using Snoreeze Nasal Spray or Snoreeze Nasal Strips to relieve nasal congestion.