Wind instruments are a common group of instruments that some of you may have learned how to play in Junior High. But did you know that it can help with that pesky snoring? I bet that isn’t something you thought of in Junior High, but you might want to break out that dust-covered trumpet if you struggle with snoring.
How do Wind Instruments work?
Wind instruments work by blowing air into them a certain way, hence the name “Wind”. The special airflow causes vibrations in the instrument which creates sound that travels to your ears. Creating this special airflow requires practice and is done by doing specific actions with your mouth and throat which can make the sounds produced sound better. These sounds can take years to sound good. This takes practice and this practice leads to better sound and stronger throat muscles.
How do Instruments relate to Snoring?
Snoring is a condition that is related to a weak upper airway. This causes tissue in the back of the throat to narrow your airway. The narrowed airway can create vibrations which is what we know as snoring.
How does snoring related to instruments?
As discussed previously, practice of wind instruments can strengthen your throat muscles. This can decrease the amount that your tongue and soft palate sag which, in turn, decreases the amount of snoring. Your tongue and soft palate sag less when practicing instruments since the muscle mass is increased and fatty tissue is decreased. This helps keep the upper airway conditioned and strong.
It has also been observed that playing wind instruments can also help obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea can be affected by this because it is basically snoring on steroids. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the airway is almost completely obstructed. The airway is limited because of similar problems as snoring, the tongue, and soft palate obstruct the airway. Sleep apnea is much more serious than snoring. This is because, during sleep, you can stop breathing since your airway is almost fully obstructed.
Which Instrument Should I Play?
As long as the instrument you choose to play is a wind instrument, it should be able to help with your snoring. Wind instruments anywhere from saxophones to didgeridoos have been observed to help decrease snoring. Playing something such as percussion or string instruments will not help, though, since they don’t use the airway to create sound at all unless you are singing. Singing has also been observed to decrease snoring also since it similarly strengthens the upper airway.
Soundly takes a very similar approach to the problem of snoring by helping strengthen your upper airway. Instead of having to learn music, buy an instrument, and practice for extended periods of time every day, Soundly offers a similar experience but in the form of a game. Soundly uses oropharyngeal exercises combined with a space invaders-esque game to help you decrease your snoring. All it takes is 15 minutes a day. You can try the app out for free also before you decide whether you want to continue with the game or leave to learn how to play a wind instrument!