Every so often, we here at SleepBetter come across a sleep-related story that sounds too weird to be true. Sometimes they are, but this one actually makes sense when you think about it.
Researchers have determined that playing the flute or another wind instrument like the saxophone can reduce your risk of sleep apnea if you’re at high risk for the dangerous sleep disorder.
The scientists, based in India, conducted lung function testing in 64 people who played a wind instrument and compared results to a control group of 65 people who did not play any wind instruments. All participants also completed ta questionnaire used to assess the risk of sleep apnea.
In the end, it was found that the group who played the wind instruments had a lower risk of developing sleep apnea. However, no difference was seen between the two groups in the lung function tests. The researchers believe this is due to the increased muscle tone in the upper airways, which wind instrument players are likely to have.
“The findings of our small study present an interesting theory on preventative measures or treatment in sleep apnea,” said Silas Daniel Raj, one of the authors of the study. “If the findings are confirmed in larger groups, wind instrument playing could become a cheap and non-invasive method of preventing sleep apnea in those at risk of developing the condition.”