A bedroom secret that needs to be exposed


Sunday 21st July 2013 

Yes it’s hot – lovely isn’t it?

Well for some of us the chance to bask in a garden chair with a cool glass of ginger ale in our hands is a true delight.

But I have begun to hear from a few folk who aren’t having so much fun.

Hot weather fundamentally changes the quality of the air, and the heavy moist conditions of late condense pollutants, pollen and dust in the atmosphere

So anyone with asthma, hay fever or breathing problems is feeling it – and they have my sincere sympathies. Later on I want to tell you about some simple breathing exercises that can help.

However, things like asthma, hay fever and sleep apnoea also cause another problem that is blighting the life of many others.

Let me tell you all about it...

...I’m sure that many of you don’t realise that you are a culprit, but you can be absolutely sure that your victims are desperate to tell you all about it – if only they knew where you were!

Are you a hidden blight? A night time villain perhaps?

Last night I was lying awake in the early hours.

It might be the excitement of the upcoming book launch, the heavy humid atmosphere or the fact that I had too much cheese, honey and crackers before bedtime – but I definitely saw every hour on the clock.
I hate not being able to sleep.

More than that though I also know how a good nights sleep helps keep me in good health.

When we sleep our bodies have a chance to heal, to unload muscles and to download our thoughts and memories – filing them neatly away in our memory banks.

This means we wake feeling light, refreshed and clear headed – rather than I do now; dull witted, aching and miserable – but also angry with my neighbour.

Let me explain.

We are fortunate to live in a detached house so very rarely do those next door interfere with us – although with teenage kids and big stereos I’m not sure that they would say the same of us!

But last night because we had all the windows open I was more than acutely aware of what happens in next doors bedroom.

Don’t worry I am not about to curdle the milk on your cornflakes by regaling you with my version of Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades of Ray anyone!), the experience was much less interesting, but much more disturbing than that.

I lay there wondering what on earth was making that noise?

The sound was akin to someone dragging a bag of pebbles over a corrugated tin roof then squeezing a cat through a mangle – I kid you not. As this sound continued for what seemed like hours I had plenty of time to build my similes I assure you.

I got up and padded around the house trying desperately to locate the source of feline torture, but the further I travelled from the bedroom the quieter the sound got.

Returning to bedroom I glared accusingly at Lara, but as always, she was sleeping like an innocent barely making a sound.

I walked across to the open window wondering whether the dog had escaped and was beating up a local moggy, but old faithful wasn’t the culprit – this time at least.

From the open window I deduced the nature of my criminal adversary – it was my mild mannered neighbour snoring!

The truth about night time roaring

Snoring is caused when we relax.

As soon as we go to sleep, our nasal airways loosen up, but for some people when they breathe during sleep, their airways get so narrow that their nasal passages vibrate from the vocal chords to the roof of the mouth.

The sound of snoring can be worsened by sleeping on your back, having a nasal obstruction such as that caused by asthma or hay fever, or being out of condition.

You may believe that when I say ‘out of condition’ I’m referring to being overweight or unfit, but I’m actually referring to a very specific and misunderstood group of muscles.

Long ago I learnt the benefit of toning up the small muscles at the back of my throat by using a specialised breathing trainer.

This discovery came from a piece of research I did into a serious condition called sleep apnoea, which is basically the very worst type of snoring, but one that can actually be fatal.

Surprisingly I discovered that didgeridoo players never snore or suffer from sleep apnoea and this had been proven scientifically.
Read all about this discovery and a link to the research piece here

Last night I did contemplate getting a didgeridoo and belting my neighbour over the head with it, reasoning that the induced coma would at least let us all get some kip!

However, in the still calm of the morning I might suggest a lunchtime wander to the local and a quiet word in his ear about doing a few simple breathing exercises to help calm his throat down of a night.

The snorers guide

Not all snoring is from the same cause it seems, so it is worth working out what type of snorer you are.

A few years ago the BBC did a programme about snoring as part of their Inside Out series, here’s their classification;

- Mouth breathers - Open mouth and try to snore. Close mouth and try again. If you can't, you're a mouth breather and this will create more tension on the smooth muscle in the pharynx.

- Collapsed nostril snorers - Close mouth and one nostril and breathe. If it collapses, try again holding open with clean matchstick.

- Tongue based snorers - Poke your tongue out as far as you can, and grip it with your teeth. Try to snore and see if you can make a noise. If the noise is reduced, you're probably this type, and will benefit from breathing exercises.

- Unhealthy lifestyle snorers - If your collar size is 17 inches or more, you are at a greater risk of snoring, and interestingly this is when muscle tone in the throat is most relevant.

I hope you have a good nights sleep... especially a quiet one!
Next week I will definitely be back with my new book, so keep a look out for the news – some of you are in for a really big surprise as well!

Yours, as always 




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