Didgeridoo to the Rescue!
There may be some hope yet for those suffering from this epidemic.
A recent Swiss study has found one possible cure for snoring...the didgeridoo!
What is a didgeridoo? It's an ancient musical instrument, native to Northern Austrailia's aboriginal people. It's made from tree limbs or trunks and hollowed out. The didgeridoo player blows into the instrument, and it produces this rhythmic low-pitched buzzing sound. If you've seen the movie "Crocodile Dundee," you would probably remember the sound of the didgeridoo playing constantly in the background, just to remind us that Paul's Hogan's character is indeed from Austrailia. Interestingly, the didgeridoo plays only one note. Click here to listen to a sample of a didgeridoo (mp3 format).
So what was the Swiss study?
The researchers examined 25 patients who suffered from snoring and moderate sleep apnoea to scientifically assess what impact didgeridoo playing would have on them. Half the group were given daily lessons in playing the Austrailian instrument. After being taught how to place their lips over the instrument and produce a keynote for 20 to 30 seconds, they learned the art of circular breathing. Circular breathing is a technique of inhaling through the nose while maintaining airflow through the instrument, using the cheeks as bellows. It's the same technique jazz musicians utilize while playing the trumpet. The participants had to practice at home for at least 20 minutes on at least five days a week.
I assume getting half nekkid and wearing body paint wasn't part of the didgeridoo experience.
Over a four-month trial period, participants noticed a significant improvement in their daytime sleepiness and sleep apnea. And their partners also reported less disturbance from snoring. The researchers say training the upper airways through the breathing techniques required to play the didgeridoo was behind the improvement.
"Our results may give hope to many people with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and snoring, as well as their partners," the report's authors said, whose research is being published in the British Medical Journal.
It's an interesting study, and perhaps similar exercises and circular breathing techniques can be developed and employed to help those with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea problems. I've heard rumors that these brillant Swiss researches are working on a new project for 2006:
Playing the Contrabass may help cure erectile dysfunction.