I hate the feeling of having something stuck in my throat so I end up “clearing” my throat and making this annoying noise whenever I have too much dairy product or alcohol, which results in congestion. Unfortunately, this happened recently when we took a mini-vacation over the holidays and enjoyed some fabulous wine and scrumptious meals and desserts that included lots of cheese and milk. Up until that point, I had been sleeping well and continued to do the exercises I described in my book. I should also mention that we drove about 15 hours away from where we live in one day. So, that was about 30 hours in a round trip, mostly sitting in the same position and sometimes slouching. When we got back, I had a very difficult time getting good sleep and my vision was extremely blurry. This led to my most recent discovery.
Ever since I was young, I have always slouched in a chair because I have been shorter than most people and my legs would dangle off the chair unless I slid down and slouched. This became a bad habit and still happens on occasion. I believe this self-induced slouching led to physiological changes in my spine over the years, especially near the neck area, which locked my spine and limited my range of motion.
I have always been pretty good at self-diagnosing problems with my body and being able to figure out how to relieve the symptoms. I think that is why I have had success in figuring out how to relieve my sleep apnea. During my quest to figure out my sleep apnea, I realized there was a stiffness in my spine near the base of my neck. I spent some time working out the “kinks” so to speak. However, I hadn’t yet solved my jaw problem and tongue problem, so the results were not conclusive at that time. So, I stopped focusing on that area.
Having solved the jaw and tongue problem recently, I revisited the neck fusion problem and tried out a new exercise. I sit on the floor and grab onto something that is angled and secure at about chest level. I lean back, relax my head, and let gravity pull it down as far as possible. At some point, there is a tightness in my spine near the neck area which prevents the head from moving. When I leave it there awhile, I can feel something in my joints release. It is a bit painful but I don’t force anything and if it is too painful, I pull myself back up and stop. After about a minute of this, I pull myself up, raise my chest, and let my head fall backward at the same time. I do that exercise multiple times. When I am done, my head is able to drop forward to a normal level.
In the past, my range of motion was limited and my head would never drop to a level such that my eyes were level with another person’s eyes. My chin would be slightly up in the air and I would move my eyes downward, so that I could look into the other person’s eyes.
Now, when I lay down in bed, my jaw doesn’t slide back as far as previously. Additionally, the congestion in my throat is less severe and I don’t feel the need to “clear” my throat as often. Ultimately, this led to better sleep and better vision. The first night of falling asleep after doing these exercises, I awoke the next morning feeling great, like I had slept in my ergonomic recliner chair — waking up groggy, happy, and extremely well rested. So, I guess I will need to update the eBook one more time.
I don’t know if it is the same for everyone else who has a sleep apnea problem but hopefully this will help you in some way. Happy Sleeping!