Life / Health

Need some Z's? Try Zzoma

Want hubbie to turn over and stop snoring? Maybe a new gizmo called Zzoma is the answer to your dreams.

Researchers in Philadelphia have developed this experimental new device to curb sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing many times throughout the night. In about 50 per cent of mild cases, the problem is related to your sleeping position. It is bad while you are sleeping on your back, but when you switch to your side, it goes away. About nine per cent of middle-aged women and 24 per cent of men have sleep apnea. Many who have it aren't even aware of it - but their partners sure are!

Sleep apnea is a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke - not to mention fatigue. "They don't make the connection between the fact that they snore loudly at night and they complain about being tired during the day," says Samuel Krachman, professor of medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. He is one of the developers of Zzoma.

Zzoma is worn like a belt around the chest. At the back there is a piece of firm foam covered in canvas that prevents the wearer from sleeping on his back. Developers say it is easier to use than a commonly used treatment - the continuous positive airway pressure machine - which blows air onto a person's face to keep their airway open.

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