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!