Tuesday, February 24, 2009

There’s a Reason Things Happen: Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Lately I had noticed that I was tired all the time even though I was getting quite a bit of sleep, but noticed with alarming frequency, that I would be roused out of sleep by a disruption in breathing, usually accompanied with a very dry and sore throat.

One night, after experiencing that same situation again, I realized it was brought about by the constriction of the airway produced by the acute angle to accommodate a pillow, and so I immediately threw the pillow aside and lay flat on my back, with my head tilted back and chin up at the highest point sensing that my brain needed the blood flow benefit of being lowest to the heart, while noticing that in that position, the airway was completely open and relaxed -- as is usually required for successful artificial respiration, which in fact, was the position I had adopted to optimize breathing and blood flow.

I hadn’t really researched snoring and sleep apnea before, but although there is a near universal agreement of its clinical cause, there is no practical recommendation for curing that problem except for the many exotic treatments on sale by medical professionals as well as others.

Nobody seemed to suggest that the major reason for snoring and sleep apnea (obstructed breathing), is the acute angle adopted by the neck to accommodate a pillow -- that is not a problem if one fully lies flat on their back with the head tilted back so as to ensure an open airway -- as they do prior to giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

It should be obvious to any casual observer that an acute angle created by the pillow, creates an angle that constricts the airway -- rather than allowing a straight, open, relaxed passage -- and in this position, it is impossible to create the snoring sound -- while it is assured, if the head is tilted forward, with the chin tucked in.

But prior to definitively determining this effect and result, I went and bought a drinking cup with built-in straw that is used so successfully in hospitals to administer water to lying patients, since I had no idea I would find such a quick fix to my tortured and parched throat -- by sleeping in the position that does not produce a constriction (obstruction) of my air passage, which is the cause of snoring and sleep apnea -- for probably most people without a genetic defect.

And that's the simple solution -- don't cause it in the first place, but rather, optimize one's breathing position to the well-proven standard.


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