Snoring and flute playing
Many of us experience snoring as we grow older and/or heavier. Snoring
involves the jaw, tongue, and airway, and these are also involved in flute
playing. Therefore, when we look into snoring control, we want to make
sure it does not affect our playing.
Snoring should not be confused with sleep apnea, with which you actually
stop breathing in your sleep. 75% of snorers do experience apnea, and if
you do, you should seek medical advice.
When we sleep, our jaws and tongues relax and block our airways, which
causes snoring, especially when we sleep on our backs. Sometimes the
solution is simpleŚlose some weight, try a higher pillow, or sleep on your
side. Just as in playing, proper posture when sleeping helps to keep our
airway open. If these remedies do not work, though, there are a few simple
appliances you should try.
First are the well-known Breathe Right strips. These help keep the
nostrils open during the night and work well for some snorers without
affecting flute playing.
The next category is tongue stabilizing devices. These sit on your lips
and pull on your tongue by suction to prevent it from falling back
into your airway. My personal favorite is the Good Morning Snore Solution
www.goodmorningsnoresolution.com. Its small tongue cup does not make my
tongue tender like some can. The AVEO TSD was my first device, but its
large tongue cup left my tongue tender and unable to play the flute for a
Finally, we have the Mandible Advancement Device. This device pulls your
lower jaw forward into a slight under bite position, which in turn keeps
your tongue from falling back. The ZQuiet is ready to use and comfortable.
The hinged design allows talking and even taking a sip of water while
wearing it. I find that my jaw relaxes to normal position within minutes
of waking, and I am ready to play. I am not sure my dentist will approve
of it, though, because I am biting on its plastic surface.
VitaSleep and SnoreRX are more advanced MADs that use a boil-and-bite
technique to assure a better fit. Both are adjustable, but neither are
hinged or allow talking or drinking. Both are recommended by
http://www.topsnoringmouthpieces.com. Many dentists today are prescribing
and making more advanced MADs, but these can cost more than a student
If your snoring is mild and you do not think you have apnea, I suggest you
try one of these devices. You will awake more refreshed and ready to make