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Sleep Apnea Music: A New Kind of Lullaby

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“If music be the fruit of love, play on; give me excess of it…” – Shakespeare

Music is a universal language. It doesn’t matter where you are in the entire world, pick up an instrument or a sing a song, and someone hears you. Creating music is the oldest tradition in the world, so it is not surprising that the scientific medical world is incorporating music in treatment suggestions. Medical professionals are using the soothing, healing powers of music in hospitals and treatment facilities to test the effect of music on patients suffering from various ailments. The brain clings to music, feeds on it; a large portion of exposed patients experienced heightened control of bodily functions, increased intelligence, heightened brain activity, and improved motor skill function.

Many sleep specialists believe that music could relieve anxiety, decrease nausea, ease depression, manage pain, increase ability to concentrate, improve mood, increase mobility, and even lower heart rate.

How Does Music Help Sleep Apnea?

Music therapy has become one of the medical world’s favorite treatment options to investigate. A significant amount of scientific evidence supports the theory that music can help heal the body, and the soul.

  • Music Stimulates Your Glands: The pituitary gland controls hormones in the body that stimulate the nervous system and affect the flow of blood in your body. Blood flow is one of the biggest influences on our emotions and mood changes. Scientists believe that music can stimulate the pituitary gland. Thus, the type of music that you choose to listen to can have a large effect on your mood. People who suffer from Sleep Apnea often become nervous when it’s time for bed; feeling fear causes the body to release stress hormones. Stress hormones are one of the biggest contributors to daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, and memory loss in apnea sufferers. Listening to soothing music when you’re trying to drift off to sleep can help you clear your mind and prepare for pleasant dreaming.
  • What kinds of music should I listen to for Sleep Apnea?
      • Classical: If you take the time to listen, classical music can be unbelievably relaxing. Listen to the instrumentals and let all of the tension release from your body as you breathe in and out. Classical music is thought to promote concentration, retention, and relaxation. Some kinds of classical music are played with specific scales called “ragas”. These scales produce frequencies and sound waves that are manifested in the brain and spark receptor activity. Hearing soft, classical music after you wake up from an episode of apnea can help you keep your cool, keep your stress levels down.
      • Cyclical: Repetitive music with a cyclical pattern shows promising evidence of assisting breathing pattern regulation. The human heart beats about 72 times a minute; music that includes 72 beats can help you zone in on your body’s unique rhythm. Focusing on your breathing patterns, and letting yourself relax can make falling asleep easier and more pleasurable. Focus on the rhythmic beats until it becomes effortless.

DON’T: If you want to fall asleep, and sleep all the way through the night, do not put on any music that may sound anxious, frantic, sudden, or violent. The tone of the music will affect your mood. It won’t be easy to get a good night of sleep with inconstant beats and sudden changes affecting your blood flow and brain stimulation.

Blow Sleep Apnea Away

The ears are not the only windows through which music affects health. Playing musical instruments, especially wind instruments, can help improve the respiratory muscles in the upper. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the airway collapses, but strengthening the airway through dedicated wind instrument exercise can prevent those tissues from collapsing so easily. Older men who sleep in the supine position, especially those a tad overweight, have an increased risk of developing Sleep Apnea and should consider the benefits of musicianship. The didgeridoo is the one of the most popular and medically acknowledged instruments that can help strengthen the muscles in the upper airway.

Ancient Instrument May Assist Apnea

The didgeridoo may very well be one of the world’s oldest instruments. It was originally developed by a group of Aboriginal People based in Australia. The didgeridoo was initially meant to be used as a percussion instrument.

What is a didgeridoo? Essentially, the didgeridoo is just a long tube. The size and shape of the tube create vibrating sounds deep in pitch. The frequency of vibrations created by the wind instrument can help loosen and relax all of the muscles in the airway. A legitimate didgeridoo can be pretty expensive, but there are inexpensive versions that produce the same soothing vibrations.

How does the didgeridoo help treat Sleep Apnea? Practicing playing this instrument can help you learn the technique of circular breathing. During circular breathing, air is being exhaled while air is being inhaled at the same time. Circular breathing takes perseverance, dedication, and concentration. It may be difficult to get the hang of at first, but after you grasp the technique of circular breathing, you will see huge improvements in your lung capacity and respiratory strength. The instrument is quite large and takes a lot of power to play. The ‘didge’ is a fail-proof treatment for sleeping disorders. If you don’t experience immediate reduction in your Sleep Apnea symptoms, don’t get worried; airway muscles take time to strengthen. As long as you are dedicated to giving the treatment a chance, and are willing to practice everyday, the benefits will come in time.

How do I play the didgeridoo? The didgeridoo is a great tool for loosing the muscles of the mouth, face, and neck. In order to produce quality vibrations from the instrument, you must first relax your lips. When your lips are loose, simply blow in the top of the instrument. Vibrations are created from the friction of your lips buzzing together; the sound travels down the tube and produces the low-pitched “wahhhh” sound. It is important to remember that musical treatment, as well as any other alternative Sleep Apnea treatment, can not be trusted as a sole defense against apnea.

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