The hell-on-Earth that is a snoring partner could soon be banished thanks to the didgeridoo. A study in the British Medical Journal found that regular playing of the wind instrument used by indigenous Australians reduces snoring and daytime sleepiness.
The study was carried out by Swiss researchers who wanted to test the theory that training of the upper airways by didgeridoo playing can improve sleep apnea syndrome. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are common sleep disorders caused by the collapse of the upper airways.
The study involved 25 patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, half of whom received didgeridoo lessons and practiced daily for four months. Compared to the subjects who received no training, the didgeridoo players daytime sleepiness and apnea scores improved significantly. Partners of patients in the didgeridoo group also reported much less sleep disturbance. A combined analysis of sleep related measures showed a moderate to large effect due to the didgeridoo playing.
The researchers are upbeat about the didgeridoo findings. "Larger trials are needed to confirm our preliminary findings, but our results may give hope to the many people with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and snoring, as well as to their partners," they concluded.
Source: British Medical Journal