Didgeridoo Cures Sleep Apnea?

Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial — Puhan et al. 332 (7536): 266 — BMJ.

No, not a shamanistic ritual.

The didgeridoo is an Australian aborigine wind instrument. It is a long tube, traditionally made of wood. The timbre and tone depend upon the size of the instrument, whether the wood is straight or has a more interesting shape. If you attend folk festivals you’ve probably heard a digeridoo. You can buy quite nice ones made of plastic – the one pictured at left is a good example. You can even make one yourself out of a leftover length of plastic pipe.



The didgeridoo is sometimes used as part of a musical meditation. Its droning tone is very relaxing. I found digeridoo music to be a nice complement to reiki.

 

In conclusion, didgeridoo playing improved daytime sleepiness in patients with moderate snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea and reduced sleep disturbance in their partners. Larger trials are needed to confirm our preliminary findings, but our results may give hope to the many people with moderate obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and snoring, as well as to their partners.

Long-term didj use won’t ever take the place of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), but the music sounds a whole lot better than an air pump.

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