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.
Stopping snoring may also help you to reduce your Alzheimer’s risk
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Put simply, Alzheimer’s is the early death of brain cells. This leads to fewer and fewer nerve connections between the surviving brain cells. For a properly functioning brain, the number of nerve connections are just as important as the number of living cells.
Losing more and more connections leads to increasing memory loss and a decline in mental powers of reasoning. Scientists are still trying to discover what causes this loss.
One area of growing interest is the role of ‘hypoxia’ in Alzheimer’s Disease. Hypoxia simply means oxygen starvation. Researchers into dementia are becoming more and more convinced that oxygen starvation is a powerful driver behind the development of Alzheimer’s.
Snoring is a sign of sleep related breathing interruptions and Hypoxia
Snoring is the sound of difficulty in breathing. Muscles that normally keep open the airways of the nose and throat relax during sleep. Unsupported by muscle tone, the lining of these airways collapse blocking them for up to several seconds many times a night.
Blocked airways cause oxygen starvation. The brain tries to turn the oxygen on again by forcing deeper breaths. Sudden breaths rattle through the obstructed airways causing loud, sometimes explosive, bursts of snoring.
The most severe form is snoring is a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). OSA suffers can snore loud enough to wake anyone sharing a bed, without waking themselves.
OSA is a response to on-going oxygen starvation. To stop snoring means finding a way to keep those airways open. This is the first step towards preventing night-time oxygen starvation and protecting yourself against Alzheimer’s.
Stop snoring, fight Hypoxia and reduce Alzheimer’s risk
Anything that helps you breathe freely and easily whilst you sleep will help relieve your snoring problems. Keeping your sleep area free of allergens like pollen, dust or pet hairs and making sure you have enough ventilation is a good start. Good pillow-support for your neck and head also helps.
You can help restore muscle tone to your airways and ease the dryness of your throat with tried and tested snoring relief aids such as Snoreeze lozenges and melt-in-the-mouth oral strips.
Snoreeze nasal spray and throat spray will directly target snoring caused by colds, allergies or a blocked nose. A unique blend of effective ingredients ease congestion and soreness for easy breathing and a peaceful night’s sleep.
Just like breathing aids used by athletes, Snoreeze nasal strips help brace and support the nostrils. Keeping your nostrils open helps air to flow in and out of your nasal passages more easily.
For loud, severe snoring the reusable Snoreeze oral device will keep your jaw in the best position for easy breathing. The sides of your throat are prevented from rasping against each other ending your snoring problem for you and your partner.
*Sleep apnoea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. If you suspect you have OSA, we recommend you see your doctor.
Awareness: Men’s Health Week 12-18 June
Snoring won’t Kill him; but stop your man snoring and it could save his life!
One in 5 British men die before the age of 65. It is no coincidence that some of the biggest killers of men ie. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are linked to symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder that causes a sudden break in breathing and very loud snoring.
The big killers of men are present more commonly in men with OSA
If your man’s sudden and very loud snoring often wakes you, then he probably has the symptoms of OSA. Stories of men sleeping through many OSA attacks in a single night are not unusual. Just because he doesn’t wake when he snores, that does not mean his health is not suffering. Showing signs of tiredness, being irritable and unable to concentrate after a night of loud snoring, the chances are his OSA is starting to affect this health.
How snoring and OSA put’s your man’s health at risk
Snoring is the noise made when he’s struggling to breathe whilst asleep. Obstruction of the airways gets more likely as men get older, less fit and put on weight. All these things weaken and put pressure on the muscles that should keep airways open. Obstructed airways means less air gets to the lungs. Sometimes the obstruction is so severe that no air gets to the lungs for between several seconds and up tp a minute. This is called an “apnoea” and if these occur with regularity you probably have OSA.
As a result, dangerously little oxygen gets to the brain. It reacts by momentarily waking him and causes him to take a sudden, deep and very noisy breath.
The Killers: Sleep apnoea and heart disease
With each OSA attack, your oxygen-starved brain tells your lungs and heart to work harder. This sudden speeding up breaks the natural rhythm of your heart, causing stress damage. Stress on your heart causes it to enlarge by thickening its walls. It is harder to get vital oxygen into the tissues of an enlarged heart, causing it to work less efficiently. OSA is giving your man a weaker, less efficient heart that is vulnerable to sudden stress. Everything he needs for a potentially fatal heart attack.
Not only does the heart speed up when your lungs are not getting enough oxygen, if you have an apnoea the whole body momentarily springs into action just to get the breathing started again. This action needs an energy supply. A hormone called insulin is vital to managing blood sugar during sleep and the day.
Everytime an apnoea attack wakes him up, the sudden demand for energy crashes his insulin management system. Eventually the body becomes insulin resistant leaving him unable to control his soaring blood sugar levels. This is type 2 Diabetes.
The Killers: Sleep apnoea and stroke
Strokes are caused by brain damage. This damage can be due to oxygen starvation when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or by a burst blood vessel leaking blood into the brain.
A brain becomes more fragile with age. Increasing weight and lack of fitness make these blood vessels even narrower and more prone to blockage or bursts.
Sleep disorders, like OSA, starve a brain of oxygen and make a heart beat faster to make up for the shortfall. Extra blood pressure from a suddenly raised heart beat is dangerous for the brain. Heavy snoring is a sign that the brain is at risk of oxygen starvation.
Relieving snoring lowers the risk of early death – FACT!
Anything that helps your man to breathe easily whilst he sleeps will cut his risk of early death. Snore-free sleep will reduce stress on the heart and blood sugar levels.
Helping to keep airways open with the aid of Snoreeze all natural lozenges, nasal sprays, throat spray and dissolve in the mouth oral strips will ease night-time snoring. For heavy snoring, the Snoreeze oral device will gently keep him breathing freely all night long.
Stopping snoring is the effective first step towards lowering the risk of killer diseases and ensuring a long and healthy life.
Sleep apnoea is a condition in which a person stops breathing, either completely or somewhat, over and over again during sleep. These interruptions in breathing can be several seconds or even minutes long. The pauses in breathing disturb the normal sleep pattern and, if they are long enough, drop the oxygen level in the blood, eventually leading to other medical problems.
There are two main types of Sleep Apnoea:
In Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), the snorer is more or less strangled regularly during sleep. Imagine the part between the back of the nose and the voice-box as a hose pipe. Right, now imagine this hose pipe being frequently narrowed or closed off by negative pressure as the air inside is sucked out repeatedly. Something very similar happens to the air passage when a person has OSA.
In reality, the negative pressure happens when the snorer breaths in. The air passage closes off because the muscles holding it open are less active during sleep. Also, fatty tissue on the outside of the “hose pipe” can narrow the passage, making it easier to get blocked. Being overweight by only a few kilograms can significantly increase your chances of snoring, that can then develop into OSA.
When the air passage closes off, the snorer struggles to breathe and wakes up – gasping for air. The obstruction is then over, and normal breathing can carry on, allowing the snorer to fall asleep again. This happens over and over again during the night.
We all have heard a sleeping person snoring loudly, and then becomes quite, and starts breathing again with a gasp or snort. This is the classic description of a person with OSA. If severe enough, symptoms can include mood swings, depression, feeling tired, even when you’ve had plenty of sleep, and morning headaches.
The second and less common type of sleep apnoea is Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) in which there are pauses in breathing during sleep without obstruction to the air passage. In this instance, the brain “forgets” to send signals to the lungs to breathe. Since blockage of the air passage is not required to produce CSA, snoring is usually not a major symptom and may not be at all. CSA is usually the result of other medical conditions like some brain disorders, heart failure, drugs like sleeping tablets, or narcotics that restrain brain activity.
Both OSA and CSA can occur in the same person. When this happens, OSA is usually more severe than CSA.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea:
[Illustration of listed symptoms]
Here at Snoreeze, we believe that sleep is essential. That is why we offer a wide range of snoring relief products to suit everybody. You can visit our products page here and target the main cause of snoring. All products are available online without the need for a prescription.