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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Exercises Help Sleep Apnea

UPDATE: 12 June - related article from Australian nursing journal 


Throat Exercises Can Relieve Sleep Apnea

For people suffering from sleep apnea, specialized breathing machines are the standard treatment.
The machines use a method called continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, which keeps the airway open and relieves potentially dangerous pauses in breathing during the night. But the machines are expensive, and some people complain that the mask and headgear cause uncomfortable side effects, like congestion.
One free and fairly simple alternative may be exercises that strengthen the throat. While they aren’t as established or as well studied as breathing machines, some research suggests they may reduce the severity of sleep apnea by building up muscles around the airway, making them less likely to collapse at night.
In a study published last year in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, scientists recruited a group of people with obstructive sleep apnea and split them into two groups. One was trained to do breathing exercises daily, while the other did 30 minutes of throat exercises, including swallowing and chewing motions, placing the tip of the tongue against the front of the palate and sliding it back, and pronouncing certain vowels quickly and continuously.
After three months, subjects who did the throat exercises snored less, slept better and reduced the severity of their condition by 39 percent. They also showed reductions in neck circumference, a known risk factor for apnea. The control group showed almost no improvement.
Other randomized studies have found similar effects. One even showed that playing instruments that strengthen the airways, like the didgeridoo, can ease sleep apnea.
For people with sleep apnea, throat exercises may be a cheap and useful therapy.

More about disturbed sleep ---


Pollution linked to sleep problems

Published: June 16, 2010 at 1:32 AM

BOSTON, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers have linked air pollution and sleep-disordered breathing -- a known cause of heart disease.

Antonella Zanobetti, Dr. Susan Redline, Dr. Diane Gold of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues used data from the Sleep Heart Health Study, which included more than 6,000 participants from 1995 to 1998, as well as federal air pollution monitoring data from Framingham, Mass.; Minneapolis; New York; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; and Tucson.

The researchers said sleep-disordered breathing affects as many as 17 percent of U.S. adults.

Over all seasons, the study found short-term elevations in temperature were linked with increased in Respiratory Disturbance Index, which was used to gauge the severity of sleep-disordered breathing.

"Particles may influence sleep through effects on the central nervous system, as well as the upper airways," Zanobetti said in a statement. "Poor sleep may disproportionately afflict poor urban populations. Our findings suggest that one mechanism for poor sleep and sleep health disparities may relate to environmental pollution levels."

The study appears online ahead of the print edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.   © 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A good Sleep keeps the mind and body fresh. The beginning for all the problems in the body is lack of sleep. If a person does not have proper sleep, then throughout the day the person feels sleepy and tired. Sleep apnea is basically a condition that affects most people causing them to stop breathing for around 10-20 seconds as they sleep. The sleep apnea cannot be identified by the same person since it occurs during sleep. So if someone complaints about you for snoring, inform your partner or your family member who sleeps along with you to notice your sleeping condition during sleep. If you had sleep apnea, there are lots of medical procedures and devices to cure sleep apnea in a natural way.