Didgeridoo It Yourself: DIY Sleep Instrument

didgeridoo, myofunctional therapy, tongue and facial exercises

Have you ever heard the rumbling of the instrument called the didgeridoo? This instrument originated in Australia and is thought to be one of the oldest instruments in history.  Essentially, this instrument is a hollowed-out piece of wood that you play with your mouth to create music. Much like other woodwind instruments; flutes, recorders, and the clarinet.  This instrument continues today to be a relevant piece of aboriginal culture and, interestingly enough, the sleep medicine industry.

DIY Sleep Instrument

Can this ancient instrument really improve sleeping in the modern world of medicine?  Well, actually, there is research out there that suggests that practicing and playing this instrument can improve your sleep.  If you follow our blog you might remember the “Tongue Exercises for Sleep Apneablog post.  It talks about exercising your airway muscles to improve your sleep quality, especially if suffering from snoring or sleep apnea.  The didgeridoo concept isn’t much different, the only difference is you get to enjoy the music that it creates.

This historic instrument can improve your airway breathing and as a result, decrease the symptoms of sleep apnea.  A research study was done in England that verified the findings of this idea.  They looked at a small group of people that practiced their didgeridoo for 20-30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. This practice resulted in decreased snoring, better sleep for bed partners and significant decreases in apnea events per hour. There was no medical intervention to achieve these results.  That means no CPAP and no Oral Appliance!

In Conclusion:

It’s important to know that these results come with work. Consistent exercise is key to maintain oneness of the muscles. It is just like the rest of your body and how those muscles work. If you stop working out you lose muscle tone, the same goes for the didgeridoo.  If you don’t practice than your airway muscles will lose their tone and tightness.

Want to give didgeridoo a try?  You can always find some on Amazon or at your local music store.  There is a great video here, that gives an intro to the concept and talks about the basic techniques.  Let us know how the practicing goes, and if it improves your sleep quality. We always like to hear about the different ways that patients can achieve a better night’s sleep.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, consult a sleep professional at once. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea can lead to a host of health concerns.  Don’t worry, CPAP is not the only therapy option.  Contact us to learn more about oral appliance therapy today!


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