Monday, April 13, 2009

Didgeridoo for Sleep Apnea???

Ever heard of a didgeridoo? I read a very crazy news article from Reuters this weekend that talked about how regular didgeridoo playing can help with sleep apnea:

Regular didgeridoo playing reduces snoring and daytime sleepiness, finds a study published by the British Medical Journal. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome are common sleep disorders caused by the collapse of the upper airways.

Reports of didgeridoo players experiencing reduced daytime sleepiness and snoring after practicing, led experts in Switzerland to test the theory that training of the upper airways by didgeridoo playing can improve these disorders. They identified 25 patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and who complained about snoring. Patients were randomly allocated to an intervention group (didgeridoo lessons and daily practice at home for four months) or a control group (remained on a waiting list for lessons). Compared with the control group, daytime sleepiness and apnea scores improved significantly in the didgeridoo group. Partners of patients in the didgeridoo group also reported much less sleep disturbance.
The authors conclude that regular training of the upper airways by didgeridoo playing reduces daytime sleepiness and snoring in people with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and also improves the sleep quality of partners.

I'm sure some of you are sick of reading about the sleep problems that I've had for so many years, but how could I not share this bizarre nugget of medical research? I've been using the CPAP machine for the last 5 nights, and so far haven't had much relief for my daytime sleepiness. According to my sleep tech friend Lori, it'll be at least two weeks before I have a real marked difference in my sleep/wake cycle. I am dedicated to finding a way to finally have restful sleep, and I wonder if I'd have any luck with the didge. Course, I'm not sure I'd want to invest in the very strange instrument without renting one first, and I have no idea where I'd rent a didgeridoo. Maybe I could join an Australian Club, or hang out at the Australian Consulate's office. What do you think, does this seem like craziness, or do you thing there's something to it? One thing's for sure, I could totally pull off the Aboriginal hair...after a night of the CPAP headgear, my hair look like a banchee!


Lori said...

That is the funniest thing ever! That actually comes from a real medical journal??? Crazy! But I am curious and have to look into it now. Thanks for the info.

KC Mom said...

My sister brought one of those home from Australia...maybe I should borrow it!

Elsja said...

Seriously that is awesome. I see those guys playing the didgeridoos every weekend down by the harbour. I should stop by and ask them if they have any snoring problems. :)

devri said...

I love just looking at the markings on them, reminds me of Tonga!

Tripacerchick said...

I think there are strange ways to correct a lot of things that we have to deal with. I'm sure that on some level this works. It wouldn't surprise me.

Laree said...

That is just crazy! Have you ever seen "View from the Top" with gwyneth Paltrow? That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the title.

I wonder if you could find a CD with digeridoos playing?

Lori said...

I was going to suggest hunting for a Didgeridoo musical CD also. It just might help.

Kemi said...

I bet there's something to it.

Different musical instruments require different breathing techniques, and to be able to correctly move air through something so long as a didgeridoo would require a lot of airway coordination.

With that being said, a musical CD might be nice to listen to, but probably not helpful for the sleep apnea-didgeridoo breathing therapy. :)

jen said...

i have no idea of the sleep benefits ... but i love to listen to them ...
especially in the midst of a drum circle. fun.

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