As some of you might remember from my digeridoo post, I have had a sleep issue. The problem is I snore loudly and continuously and I have borderline sleep apnea. Health wise, I am otherwise fine - 6'1", 220, lift, run, etc.
I've had this issue for a while, though I didn't realize it was actually an issue. I thought my level of fatigue was normal due to my lifestyle. Turns out I was wrong.
I previously attacked the problem by taking up playing the digeridoo. This certainly helped improve my breathing as well as tone my throat and mouth muscles. But it didn't eliminate the problem.
In a never ending quest to improve myself, I decided to take another stab at resolving this issue. The common "solution" to sleep issues like mine is a CPAP machine. I'm not going there. I consider those a crutch more than a solution.
In my research, I happen to come across an interesting fact: people are supposed to breathe through their noses when they sleep. Not their mouths. In fact, a great majority of people who snore are mouth breathers, not nose breathers. I am a definitive mouth breather.
Then I came across an interesting life hack called mouth taping, wherein one tapes their mouth shut in order to force one to breathe through their nose or relearn to breathe through their nose. There are several Youtube videos on this.
Sounds hokey, right ? I really wanted to solve my borderline apnea problem without using a CPAP, so I tried it.
I shave my facial hair, so I was able to mouth tape by using a single strip of 3M scotch tape from under my nose to my chin. It worked perfectly but there was a problem - I couldn't breathe well through my nose. Not well enough to fall asleep anyway.
So I consulted a pharmacist about this and they recommended a nasal spray called Otrivin. I now do a nasal mist 30 minutes before I go to bed to open up my sinuses.
Even with Otrivin the first few nights were rough. I actually woke up with the tape torn off. I must have done it subconsciously. But after a few nights, I was sleeping through the night with the tape intact, breathing through my nose.
I no longer snore at all.
My snorelab score is essentially zero.
My sleep is much more restful.
This morning I woke at 6AM completely rested. No more morning fog.
I have more patience with myself and with things around me that irritate me.
I have more control over my eating.
I don't doze off in the day any more.
And interestingly enough I feel more tired at night when it is time to go to bed and I fall asleep easier. It is like my body now knows when it should be awake and when it should be asleep.
Mouth taping has made a big improvement in my life.
I hope this helps someone.