Not Castanets

Don’t worry.  This socialist squirrel has not sold out.  This may look like an “advertorial” but be assured that I was paid nuts for this.  No, I am merely sharing with you my good experience with a particular medical product.

I snore.  Really bad.  My wife is either long suffering, a deep sleeper or slightly deaf.  And the snoring is a sign of something more sinister.  For awhile now, my wife has mentioned that I sometimes splutter at night when I am asleep as if I was struggling for breath.  I now know that I have been suffering from sleep apnea; a condition where due to some obstruction of the airway while I  sleep, I actually have lapses when I stop breathing and then re-start with a splutter.  In the long term this leads to all sorts of health issues.  The most immediately observable symptom is dropping off to sleep during the day at the drop of a hat; sometimes even when I am having a conversation.  I used to call these episodes “Panda-ing” cause pandas have that ability of dropping off immediately.  However, it really is not a laughing matter.

Anyway for the last month, I have been using a device called the Somnoguard. It looks like a gum guard that a boxer or an athlete would use and worn over the teeth.  But it also had a screw that can be turned like a medieval torture device which causes the lower jaw to move forward relative to the upper jaw.

Diagrams for you scientific types


The theory is that the apnea is caused by the soft palate or tongue closing off the airway at the back of the throat.  However, the obstruction is relieved when the lower jaw is moved forward and the chin is raised.  This is similar to the maneuver that is taught in first aid where, when  dealing with an unconscious person, the chin is moved forward and up to clear the airways.

Well, I can tell you that this works very well.  It takes a few days to get used to the discomfort of wearing Somnaguard but now I hardly realise it is there when I wear it at night.  More importantly, within a week, I stopped snoring; I feel much more alert during the day and my blood pressure has even been lowered.   So I fully recommend this procedure.

Now, “are there side effects?”; I hear you ask.  Well, the teeth and gums hurt a little at the beginning and the lips may crack.  The former goes away and the latter can be solved by using lip chap.  But did I tell you about the unexpected additional good benefits?  For one, you have a built in excuse for not taking part in long conversations at night cause you can do nothing  but grunt when you have the device in your mouth.

However, the main additional advantage is that it trains your jaw so that your chin sticks out.  I am told that this protruding chin look is quite the hit with the ladies.

I was hoping that it would help me look more like heart-throb Kirk Douglas.


The Protruding Chin and Cute Dimple Look


Unfortunately, my wife tells me that I now look like ………..

I am a Jay Leno fan ....... really but the chin ........ not so much.

17 thoughts on “Not Castanets”

  1. I’m glad you are getting better sleep. I could never sleep with something in my mouth. I’m sort of hyper aware of stuff even in my sleep and would have all sorts of weird dreams. I once slept with my ankle wrapped and dreamed all night that I had lost a shoe and kept wandering around with my one shoe on looking for the other shoe.

  2. I’m glad it’s working for you. 🙂 however, my first thought when I saw it was that you had all your teeth pulled and were wearing some funky dentures. 🙂 I learned recently that there was a time in history when it was considered fashionable to have all your teeth pulled and wear dentures. oi. and I so got off the subject. 😀 anywho…glad you are sleeping better and consequently feeling better.

  3. So glad you found something that works for you. Sleep is a valuable component of health. And if it stops snoring that is a good thing for the marriage bed. It is better than wearing a mask and you can always kiss around a chin. Old time dentures could give slivers if you kissed too hard. :o)

  4. Ah yes!Snoring! Sooo romantic! But I can see how some of those consequences would be highly undesirable….. Glad you’re getting your beauty rest—even if it’s not enhancing your beauty!

  5. Hmm, I wonder if my husband should get one of these. His snoring isn’t severe, but I’m a light sleeper, so it can wake me up sometimes.

    How did you get used to wearing that inside your mouth though?

  6. LGS, snoring is nothing to lose sleep over! But at least it is keeping the “freight train” in your house to a low-roar or a no-roar! I grew up in a house where my Dad was the loudest snorer on the planet and so, if you can believe this, I am so accustomed to it that whenever I hear it……..and yes, there is a serious snorer in my home now too…….I simply laugh, roll over and go back to sleep.
    Fortunately none of my squirrels snore. 🙂

  7. Mago,
    That is a frightening looking torture device! Eeep! Narcolepsy is a serious condition and pandas may suffer from it. In the case of sleep apnea, a person often does not get good quality REM sleep and as a result suffers from what is known as micro-sleeps.

    secret agent,
    It does work and provides better undisturbed sleep for both partners.

  8. Marja,
    Being a drama queen, I exaggerated the chin thing.

    I do recommend it but it is a bit painful at least for the first three days but you do get used to it after three days.

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