Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stop Snoring and Apnea Remedy

Plus: A Likely Cause for High Blood Pressure

I understand from reading a great book, "The Promise of Sleep" by Dr William Dement that ALL snoring is a form of sleep disorder. There are two main kinds of snoring. One is not only annoying to other people. It means your throat is collapsed and your body is having to work harder to suck in air - and is suffering to some extent or other from lack of oxygen.

The worst kind of snoring is life-threatening. It is called "apnea". Fifty million people in the USA suffer from it and most of them don't know it. About 38,000 fatal heart attacks and strokes each year are from apnea. Dr Dement says that apnea sufferers often have super loud snoring and high blood pressure. They are often subject to extreme fatigue. A person with apnea literally stops breathing while asleep, because their throat collapses. They then 'wake-up' but don't remember that they did, then start breathing again and then go back to sleep. This can happen hundreds of times in a night. And yet a full night's undisturbed sleep is crucial to good health. No wonder they are exhausted!

In addition, people with apnea always have their heart beat slow in a way that would disturb cardiologists if they saw it during the day time. They may even have their heart actually stop for a number of seconds before starting again. Dement was studying one person's sleep when their heart stopped for 11 seconds. He was told by a cardiologist that if the heart stops for about 20 seconds, that is the end for that person.

Apnea sufferers can fall asleep at any time, for a second or for longer. One study showed they have TEN TIMES the chance of being in a car accident as other people.

Dr Dement says that this is a failure of evolution. However, he also adds something interesting - that the width and shape of one's jaws is related to whether or not one has apnea. In the brilliant book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" the author Weston Price, a dentist, records through photographs of people from many different areas of the world, including Eskimos, Tribal Africans, Pacific Islanders, Swiss and Scotsmen, how the introduction of processed foods, especially sugar and white flour, to these people caused their jaws to get narrower. (This is in addition to an increase in health problems). See

So apnea may be a result of our poor modern, processed diets, not a result of evolution.

Obviously, if you suspect you have apnea or any other serious sleep disorder or sleepiness, you should see a sleep specialist. Dement also recommends that you see a sleep specialist if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease, as people with these problems nearly always suffer from apnea, and healing the apnea can make a big difference. I also recommend you read "The Promise of Sleep". See

Unfortunately, according to Dement, most doctors do not take sleep problems any where nearly as seriously as they should, or even know much about them.

My mother saw a sleep specialist after reading Dement's book and it was confirmed she had Apnea. But their remedies did not work for her. Eventually she discovered the work of Dr Butago who started a breathing technique for asthmatics. He recommends that an Apnea sufferer tapes their mouth shut before going to sleep. This forces them to breath through their nose, not their throat. This works for her.

As for the less threatening kinds of snoring, I believe from my own experience with my clients that two main contributions to this are:


Milk and cheese, especially yellow cheeses. The worst seems to be "American" or processed cheeses which have little or no cheese in them, but an unnatural mix of ingredients instead. Milk and cheese causes the production of mucus. See

Give these up for 3 weeks and see if that doesn't make a difference.

Also, you probably already know: If the person who is snoring is lying on their back, just turn them onto their side. A great way to do this is to have them wear a knapsack full of things like towels and tennis balls. Have them wear it for 3 weeks and/or until they stop lying on their back.

Various anti-snoring pillows on the market can also help, by changing the shape of how they hold their head.

If they are on their side, just say "(name) stop snoring". That may help too.

Kinesiology may also help. In particular, if you have an electrical system in your body that kinesiologists call the "cloacals" you may find that having that corrected may improve your sleep.