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Ask The Experts: Stop Snoring, Houston!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Introduction: Welcome to the Ask The Expert show on W4CY radio and talk for TV, where we bring you educational information from Top local experts in the fields of legal Health, financial, and Home Improvement. Now sit back and listen to experts in family law association law, hearing loss business brokers Home Care along with many other topics. Now here id your host, Steve O.

Steve O: I am so excited about today's show. Our first expert is related to something that's dear to my heart. We're going to be talking about sleep apnea and snoring, which I admit I have suffered from it for probably six years now, and you know people don't know how serious sleep apnea is, and you're going to learn about it. Today we're gonna see you have problems snoring, which really can hurt your relationship - are you or do you have sleep apnea? We have got the most fantastic expert with us.


Let me introduce you to our expert Janet Bennett, M.Ed. She's a speech and language pathologist and Janet, I am so happy to have you on the show.

Janet: Thank you. I'm glad to be here

Steve O: Well, I got to tell you, I know people don't take sleep apnea seriously enough right  you can actually die from sleep apnea because you literally stop breathing, that's right and you know I gotta also tell you and people out there, who have snoring problems, boy it can really hurt a relationship and we're going to be talking about that today I am so glad we have you on our show, first of all, tell everybody about your background

Janet: I am a Speech/Language Pathologist. I have a Master's Degree in it, and I've been practicing in private practice for many years. I started thinking about being a speech pathologist when I was 12 years old because I watched the movie “The Miracle Worker.” I didn't know the word “speech pathologist,” but I knew I wanted to help people like that person on TV had done. So, from age 12 on, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I never dreamed that it would end up being about snoring though - so we didn't even know what that was back then.

Steve O: I know, I know, and, you know what also, Janet some people don't even know if they have a snoring problem

Janet: That's right! Actually, I believe that snoring has a very poor social connotation to it. People are embarrassed. Every adult pair that I worked with would say, “I don't snore.”  One would say, “I don't snore,” and I would think, “well, why would you lie about that, or why would your wife say you do when you don't?” It's they are embarrassed to say they snore, and it's too bad because we can help get rid of that very quickly.

Steve O: Yeah, that's what we're going to talk about today. I’ve got to tell you - my wife used to tell me that she doesn't snore. So, one night, I just had to do this. I turned the tape recorder on when she fell asleep and started snoring. I played it for her the next day and she was shocked! She acted surprised, and you're right, people don't know if they do or not snore at night. It's okay if you snore because you can correct that.  That's what we're gonna talk about.

Tell us a little bit about how long have you been in practice for.

Janet: Do I really have to tell you that?! I’ve been in practice since 1977. So, shall I tell you how I discovered a cure for snoring?

I was in my office one day - I was treating tongue thrust. I'm sure that a lot of your viewers know what a tongue thrust is: When one swallows and the the tongue might push the back of the teeth or come between the teeth. Anyway, they are swallowing incorrectly and they might have a lisp,, they might have buck teeth where the tongue has pushed the teeth out. There are lots of things that come with tongue thrust.

Anyway, I was treating a 14-year-old football player for a tongue thrust he came to me for his third lesson and his mom stuck her head in the door and said, “Janet what are you doing to Adam?” I said, “what do you mean?” and she said, “well, he's always been the loudest snorer in the world the windows rattle. Now he's not making a sound!”

Well, that's amazing! I didn't know anything about snoring - nothing. He had no apparatus either, I looked at him and I said, “Adam, tell me more,” and he said, “well it's true! I'm doing better in school, and I'm concentrating better. I'm waking up feeling better and I run faster well, when he said I run faster. I thought, “Hmm this might be important and you know if this makes you run faster.” So, I ran home to a computer didn't even have a computer in my office at the time and I knew I was going to get on the computer and find that they were treating snoring with tongue exercises, I believe.

But no, that's not what I found! He was running faster as a football player because he was getting better sleep, yes. Giving him more energy, yes. See, apparently, what he did was he took my exercises - I had only seen him two times -so he had learned about four or five exercises to do and he was determined, I believe, to stop snoring. So, he did it. He just became very mindful of what I was asking him to do, and he nipped it in the bud immediately. He started seeing results very quickly. He woke up feeling refreshed, and the thing is, all of this comes back to mouth breathing.

There are so many different things that are intertwined and go together, so I can't just treat a tongue thrust without treating mouth breathing and sleep apnea (if it's there)

Let Me Tell the audience that I'm not a medical person and I cannot say that my program will make your sleep apnea go away. What I can say is that my program will stop your snoring. If you think about it, if you stop snoring, I don't see how you can have sleep apnea

Steve O: Oh, that makes sense. Well, what is the is there difference between sleep apnea and snoring?

Janet: Let's say a person starts breathing from their mouth. Maybe they aren't always breathing through their mouth, but something happens that sometimes we could get really sick. And, for a long time, our nose is congested, and we have to breathe through our mouth. You know, something like that could get you in the habit of mouth breathing. If it goes on too long so this person, the same person who's snoring, mouth breathing when they start snoring, if they start snoring louder and their mouth opens wider and that can lead to sleep apnea.

What happens is the snore (the sound of it) comes from when the part of the tongue is sliding back into the throat and blocking some of the Airway. The noise worsens as more of the tongue slides down and blocks the airway - it can cut off your air, and that's when you stop breathing. Suddenly, your brain makes you snort and wake up right and saves your life.

Steve O: Okay, that's true, so true.

Janet: So, what I've learned is that our tongue has a natural suctioning ability. Whenever you are asleep and all your muscles are relaxed and you’re asleep, your tongue starts creeping back down your throat and fills up your throat, and the suctioning ability of the tongue takes over. That's why it's so hard to get the tongue out of the airway. It's actually kind of suctioned in there.

Then this snort is what kicks it out. So, what the Correct My Tongue Thurst program has done from the beginning is taken that attribute of the tongue (the suctioning ability) and train you to suction your tongue to the roof of your mouth, so it can't fall and block your airway.

Steve O: Janet, this is so important, and our show doesn't just cover you - it covers down to Galveston, goes up to Huntsville, and I want everyone to know that you can call your office doesn't matter where they live, and you can do kind of telemedicine over the Internet using Zoom.

Janet: Yes, The sky's the limit. 

Steve O: Now, I'm not trying to scare anybody, but you need the truth. Janet, if someone lets sleep apnea go and the snoring, tell them you know there are problems with that well.

Janet: It's hard on your heart. Every time that you stop breathing, your heart takes a hit. I'm not a cardiologist - we know that if you stop breathing long enough, that's where the death part comes in. If your brain doesn't wake you up quickly, there's a type of sleep apnea called central sleep apnea, and that part of the brain that wakes you up doesn't work very well in people with central sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is where the brain is working well, and hopefully, it will wake you up, but you need to find out how to stop snoring because that will stop the sleep apnea people.

Steve O: I may tell you, if somebody tells you that you're snoring, you're probably snoring and we are going to educate you on Janet's show. and I want you really to take this seriously. I went years and I didn't I just kind of blew it off and it's detrimental to your health, first of all. It could cause real problems. You know what, I have to tell you - I have a CPAP machine. They are not cheap, and a lot of the apparatuses out there are not cheap. You're kind of giving people a way that they don't have to spend as much money doing it your way - and a lot of it they're going to find out it has to do with Tongue Thrust.

Janet: That's right, a tongue thrust, and all of this goes back to mouth breathing. Mouth breathing is the real culprit! Many people have a tongue that is just too big for their mouth. So, picture yourself falling asleep - your muscles are all relaxed, and your tongue, because it is too wide for your mouth, it's just going to slowly part your lips. So, all of a sudden, you can be mouth breathing and not even know. So, that is the culprit. Because, now that causes you to have other problems, the snoring, the sleep apnea, and we have to treat the tongue thrust to teach you how to close your lips properly.

Steve O: It's all intertwined. Do you think that when you see someone who's actually breathing out of their mouth, you know they have a parting of the lips, do you think they're having a problem?

Janet: Absolutely! Many people are like this with just their lips parted some right when they're awake. Some people breathe through their nose while they're awake, but mouths breathe during the night.

Steve O: Now, how do you know if you mouth breathe?

Janet: I found that people will tell me, “no, I don't breathe through my mouth.” But by the time we hang up, they know they breathe through their mouth and the way they know that is because I ask questions. My main question is: “Do you wake up with a dry mouth? If you wake up with a dry mouth, you breathe through your mouth.”

Steve O: Gotcha. That makes sense. There's no question - some people wake up with a headache.

Janet: A lot of people wake up with a headache that goes away within 30 minutes. Some people wake up with a sore throat, and what we don't realize, I can take this a step further with a hoarse voice. I'll get otolaryngologists to send people to me for hoarseness, and actually, their larynx is just dehydrated from all the mouth breathing. there are so many different physical problems that go with that. Some more of my questions and the viewers and listeners today think about, as I'm saying them, I'm going to make sure I don't miss much.

  1. You're going to wake up tired if you’re mouth breathing.
  2. You're tired - you wish you could sleep for five more minutes - yes, that tells you're a mouth breather.
  3. You go to work, you get up, you go to work, and then about one o'clock, you're sleepy, you have that daytime sleepiness, you're a mouth breather.

It All Leads back to that. There are other things I've learned over the years of working with people who mouth breathe, and that is that there are all kinds of health issues that are associated with it. I started this thinking it was just snoring that I was going to be treating okay snoring and tongue thrusts but indeed people  whenever they train their tongue to live on the roof of their mouth, so it's out of the way of the airway.

They train that, and they train themselves to breathe through their nose. It can be scary at first, but it works! We do it slowly, then they notice that all these other problems go away. Like, all of a sudden, they don't have that bloated feeling.

Steve O: Well, what does that have to do with it?

Janet: Whenever you breathe through your mouth, and you're chewing food, you have to open your mouth to get some air in because you think that's the only way you can breathe. When you do that, you get too much air in your body, so you feel bloated. So, that goes away.

Badad dreams have to do with mouth breathing. Aches and pains in the shoulder and neck have to do with mouth breathing. I'm looking here look at other things - some people wake up, and their bed sheets are all messy or on the floor.

Steve O: Is what are you saying that it has to do with mouth breathing?

Janet: Well, yes, as a matter of fact. Whenever you mouth breathe, you're getting cold, dirty air into your body and you can't make you can't your body can't release nitric oxide, which is so important.

Some people have restless leg syndrome. They're just restless sleepers - so when you start this program (and it's just seven weeks long of tongue and lip exercises). When you start, if you do your exercises, you will immediately start feeling some changes. For example. you may wake up one morning, and your sheets aren't as messy. It's like gradual changes - or you might wake up, and your mouth isn't as dry.

Steve O: So is your program weekly, twice a week, or how does it work?

Janet: You get the program online - it's digital. You start lesson one you'll give get new exercises each week. You'll be expected to practice the exercises two times a day. Now, I know there are some exercise programs out there - and you have to spend like three hours, but my program only requires 15 minutes each time you practice, twice a day.

One of the great things about my program is that now I have included videos with me training an adult male how to do these exercises so that you can be sure they're doing them correctly. You can watch me train somebody doing those exercises that you're supposed to be practicing.

Then there’s a second video you go to when you want to practice. In this video,  I'm sitting there waiting to exercise with you. I will count for you, if you have to count. I will time things, but I wanted this to be an easy-to-use program. You've got to be accountable to someone - so you can be accountable to me!

We'll get through it together in seven weeks.

Steve O: Okay, you think about that. Seven weeks. Now, what about after the seven weeks is over? Do they still have to do the exercises?

Janet: Well, not really. So, let's think about that right quickly the muscles in our tongue and lips all these muscles have muscle memory. So, if you go to the gym and you work out your arms and your legs, that's great. You build them up, but let's say you have to stop going to the gym - you're going to lose some of that. Because you aren't using those same muscles right in the way that you were.

However, I believe that when you stop, you're going to get your tongue toned and stronger and also skinnier. I forgot I need to throw that in there because I talked about the wide tongues; this program also accounts for that and can make your tongue skinnier.

So after seven weeks, your tongue's very strong. So you are going to continue what you've always done with your tongue and your lips. You're going to chew your food, you are going to talk to people, and you will still use your tongue the way you always have. But, now it's in good shape, with new muscle memory, and it should stay good. But I do provide a straightforward maintenance program just to remind you of some of my favorite exercises that can bring you back into the fold if you think that you're slipping for some reason. 

Steve O: First of all Janet's going to be back again with us next month because I've got so many more questions for you and you are kind enough If someone contacts you through your website you will give them a 10% discount (Code: “houston”).

I think that's wonderful and I gotta tell you that because I'm on a CPAP machine. If this works for you, this is so much better than being on that machine because the machine is not the most comfortable thing to have on every night while you're sleeping. I have to tell you, you should at least try this first.

We'll let you know when Janet's going to be back okay, and if you'd like, we're going to be in other cities too with the show. So, Janet, I am so glad we are blessed to have you, and we will see you again next month.

Janet: Thank you so much.

Steve O: No, thank you, Janet! That is Janet Bennett and I'm telling you, as a sleep apnea patient, I am so glad that we have her because if we can show you a better way to stop snoring without some kind of gimmick (there’s a lot of them out there, folks. Some tell you to clip something on your nose and it's going to stop snoring - I promise you I've tried them all - the only thing that worked for me was the CPAP machine, and here we’re basically showing you a way that you don't have to use a CPAP machine. So, try our Janet’s program here and stop snoring, Houston!


Opinions expressed in this show are solely those of the hosts and their guests and not those of W4CY radio, its employees, or its affiliates. We make no recommendations or endorsements for radio show programs. For services or products mentioned on air or on our web, no liability, explicit or implied, shall be extended to W4CY radio, its employees, or affiliates. Any questions or comments should be directed to those show hosts.

Janet M. Bennett

Written by:

Janet Bennett, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, is a Speech Pathologist in private practice in Asheville, NC, since 1977. She specializes in treating tongue thrust, a swallowing disorder that can result in buckteeth, an open bite, a lisp, snoring, and other problems that have not yet been made known to most people.