Snoring is a common health problem that can affect anyone. It depreciates the quality of your sleep, which leads to a world of undesirable effects such as daytime sleepiness and poor concentration; it puts you at odds with your bed partner, and worse of all, it is detrimental to your health.
Lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can cause weight gain, which subsequently increases snoring, vicious, huh?
The good news is that there are various tried and proven exercises to help minimize or end snoring once and for all. In this article, I will discuss some exercises that strengthen the tongue and throat muscles associated with snoring can dramatically reduce the intensity and frequency of snoring.
What Exercises Can Help Reduce or Stop Snoring?
There are various exercises that use a specific technique to strengthen the tongue, facial muscles, and throat. Combining these exercises in varying ways and performing them twice or thrice every day can help you fix the snoring
Below is a breakdown of four tongue exercises that have proved helpful in minimizing snoring.
1) Tongue Slide
Position the tip of your tongue against the back of your top front teeth. Slide it backward with the tip moving along the roof of your mouth and then back to your teeth. – Repeat this 5-10 times.
This exercise helps strengthen your tongue and throat muscles.
2) Tongue Stretch
Stick your tongue out of your mouth as far as you can. Curl it down and attempt to reach your chin while facing the ceiling. Hold it as far as it can go for about 10-15 seconds. Repeat this five times. This exercise is ideal for increasing tongue strength.
3) Tongue Push Up
Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.
This exercise improves the strength and tone of your tongue and helps keep the soft part of your palate firm and healthy.
4) Tongue Push Down
This exercise is the opposite of the tongue push-up. Place the tip of your tongue tight against your lower front teeth, and push the back of your tongue firmly against the floor of your mouth. Maintain this position for 10 seconds, then repeat five times.
This exercise is excellent for improving the tone and strength of your tongue and soft palate.
Mouth exercises engage your facial muscles to help prevent snoring. You can perform these exercises several times per day.
1) Cheek Hook
Clean your hands, and put your right index finger into your mouth, making sure to press the inside of your finger against the length of your left cheek. Engage your cheek muscle and return the pressure against your finger. Repeat ten times on each side.
This exercise helps to keep your mouth closed while breathing
2) Shut and Purse
Close your mouth tightly by pursing your lips and hold for 30 seconds. Then open your mouth, relaxing your jaw and lips. Repeat this ten times.
It helps improve the tone and strength of jaws as well as facial and throat muscles.
3) Breathing Through Your Nose
Practice breathing through your nose by closing your mouth and relaxing your jaw, and then inhaling through the nose. Next, close off one nostril using a finger or knuckle and breathe out gently through the open nostril. Repeat ten times while alternating between nostrils.
If you notice that one nostril is more congested than the other, practice breathing through the congested one. This exercise enhances nasal breathing during sleep which stabilizes the airway during sleep.
4) Pronouncing Vowel Sounds
Repeat each vowel [a, e, i, o, u] out loud. Start by saying each usually, and then adjust how much you stretch out the sound or the speed at which you say the vowel. Repeat the same sound 10 or 20 times in a row, and then change to a different sound.
You can then mix sounds (such as eee-iii-Aaah) and repeat. Do this for 3 minutes a few times a day. Saying different vowel sounds engage your throat muscles, and repeating these sounds can help tone those muscles.
Singing involves multiple muscles in the mouth and throat, and it involves pronouncing different sounds, vowels included. According to research, focused singing training can help minimize snoring. When singing, don’t just do it the usual way; instead, try to focus on repeating and forcefully pronouncing individual sounds.
Floppy airway muscles, poor tongue posture or positioning, and breathing through the mouth during sleep are responsible for snoring and sleep apnea.
Myofunctional Therapy refers to the neuromuscular re-education of oral and facial muscles. These exercises focus on the muscles that help us chew and swallow. They are designed to promote breathing through your nose. They also fortify the proper position of your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
According to research, doing repetitive oropharyngeal exercises during the day can help keep the tissue from becoming too floppy and vibrating while sleeping. These exercises have proven effective in reducing snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea.
How often should you do the oropharyngeal exercises?
Most sleep doctors recommend that you do the exercises for at least 10 minutes every day for three months. Don’t forget that it may take a little bit of time to firm up the muscles and witness any actual results, just like with all other exercises. Consistency is key.
A lot of snorers who gave the above mouth exercises a try have seen positive results. They are easy, inexpensive, and can be performed from the comfort of your home. However, like most causes of treatment, they don’t resolve to snore for everyone. Some people have seen better results by combining these exercises and use of anti-snoring devices that reduce snoring. If you need to, consult your doctor or a speech therapist for specific advice on how to perform these exercises. Also, remember to be patient. It might take a while before exercises to strengthen the mouth, tongue, and throat start to pay off.