What Causes Sleep Apnea and Snoring? Exercises Help Stop Snoring and Sleep Apnea Update 05/2022

People that snore frequently find it difficult to sleep with their spouses, roommates, or family members. Disrupted sleep and the need to sleep in separate rooms may be a result of this disorder.

It’s normal to desire to snore less in order to prevent these issues. At the same time, it can be difficult to identify which snoring-reduction strategies are supported by scientific evidence.

Exercises to strengthen the muscles in the mouth and throat can reduce snoring in persons with mild snoring, according to studies. Mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea can be helped with the same mouth and throat exercises (OSA).

Oropharyngeal exercises are sometimes known as “myofunctional therapy.” Typically, this technique is learned through the guidance of a qualified myofunctional therapy practitioner.

In order for these mouth exercises to be effective, they must be practiced over time. Those who snore and suffer from mild to moderate OSA have claimed that these exercises help them sleep better when done correctly.

What Causes Sleep Apnea and Snoring?

People with OSA are the most likely to suffer from this condition. OSA is a sleep apnea disorder in which the muscles at the back of the throat relax. As a result, the muscles around the airways weaken and collapse. The brain eventually realizes that it isn’t getting enough oxygen, and it tells you to take a deep breath and return back to sleep. As a result, specialists believe the person may snort or choke. These incidents will occur on a regular basis during the night.Sleep apnea is associated with snoring as one of its symptoms. However, it is possible to snore without having sleep apnea.

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, also known as facial and mouth myofascial dysfunctions, are the focus of myofunctional therapy, an exercise program (OMDs). Most cases of OMD are caused by a lack of air intake through the nose or mouth. Study results have shown that oral myofunctional therapy (OMT) can effectively treat snoring and other sleep-related issues, according to the Academy of Myofunctional Therapy. Tongue, throat, and face muscles should be strengthened with these workouts in order to prevent airway obstruction.

How Can Mouth Exercises Help Stop Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are caused by floppy airway muscles, inadequate tongue alignment (“tongue posture”), and breathing through the mouth while asleep. In order to strengthen the airway and tongue muscles, mouth and throat exercises can be used to encourage nose breathing.

Mouth and throat exercises, including going to the gym, can help tone and strengthen the muscles in your mouth and airways. To avoid fluttering and flopping, tighten your muscles.

These activities are known as “oropharyngeal exercises” or “myofunctional therapy” in the medical community. Located in the back of your mouth, the oropharynx includes the back of your tongue, the sides of your throat, tonsils, adenoids, and the soft palate (the soft muscular part at the back of the roof of the mouth).

Doing oropharyngeal exercises while you are awake may prevent the tissue from becoming too floppy and vibrating during sleep, according to researchers. Toning these muscles has been reported to improve snoring and milder kinds of obstructive sleep apnea, according to several studies.

Who Can Benefit From Mouth and Throat Exercises for Snoring?

Many studies have shown the positive effects of “myofunctional therapy” (mouth and throat exercises) on patients who snore or have a mild to moderate apnea. Myofunctional therapy is most effective when used in conjunction with a CPAP machine or following surgery for obstructive sleep apnea.

Exercises of the mouth and throat, even for minor cases of snoring, are not always successful. When it comes to the effectiveness of these exercises, personal characteristics like one’s mouth, tongue, or throat can have an impact.

Snoring that is caused by alcohol or the use of sedatives that relax muscles at the back of the throat may make oropharyngeal exercises ineffective.

How Often Do You Need To Do Mouth Exercises for Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

According to current research, the best way to reduce snoring or OSA is to conduct mouth exercises for at least 10 minutes every day for three months. It is common for people to do the exercises two to three times daily.

It’s been shown in most studies that three months of mouth and throat workouts are beneficial.

Another study found that reducing snoring might be improved by playing a smartphone game that included myofunctional exercises.

Anti-snoring exercises don’t work overnight like any other workout, so don’t expect to see results right away. You don’t need any specific gym equipment to perform these exercises, and you can do them nearly anyplace.

Are There Side Effects to Mouth and Throat Exercises?

In spite of the fact that some people find myofunctional treatment monotonous or stupid, there are no physical consequences.

People who snore and suffer from obstructive sleep apnea may be at danger if they choose to employ mouth exercises instead of other prescribed therapies. Before beginning or terminating any sort of snoring or sleep apnea treatment, it is best to consult a doctor.

What Mouth Exercises Can Help Stop Snoring?

The tongue, facial muscles, and throat can all be strengthened through a variety of particular training approaches. There are many different ways to combine these exercises and execute them twice or three times a day.

Tongue Exercises

Tongue Exercise #1: Tongue Slide

  • Take a moment to place the tip of your tongue against the rear of your upper front teeth. Slide your tongue backward, with the tip gliding down the roof of your mouth, in a slow, deliberate motion. Do this a minimum of five to ten times.
  • Strengthening your tongue and throat muscles is the goal of this exercise.

Tongue Exercise #2: Tongue Stretch

  • As far as you can, extend your tongue out to the side. While gazing up at the ceiling, use your tongue to lightly brush over your chin. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then progressively increase the time. Repeat 5 times.
  • Exercising for its own sake: Increase the strength of your tongue

Tongue Exercise #3: Tongue Push Up

  • Make a fist with your tongue and press it all the way up on the roof of your mouth. For the next ten seconds, hold this position. Repeat 5 times.
  • The goal is to strengthen and tone the tongue and soft palate.

Tongue Exercise #4: Tongue Push Down

  • Put the tip of your tongue against your lower front teeth, and then flatten the rear of your tongue against the floor of your mouth. This is a good way to start a conversation. For the next ten seconds, hold this position. Repeat 5 times.
  • The goal is to strengthen and tone the tongue and soft palate.

Face Exercises

Snoring can be reduced by doing mouth exercises that work your facial muscles. They can be performed multiple times a day.
Face Exercise #1: Cheek Hook

  • With the help of a hooking finger, gently draw your right cheek outside, and then bring it back inward by flexing your facial muscles Each side should be repeated a total of ten times.
  • Purpose: Ensures that the mouth is shut when you inhale.

Face Exercise #2:

  • Purse your lips to tightly seal your mouth. Relax your jaw and lips before opening your mouth. Repeat for ten times.
  • Improves jaw, face, and throat muscular tone and strength.

Breathing Through Your Nose

Learn to breathe normally by focusing on how your nose feels as you exhale.

  1. Inhale through your nostrils while keeping your mouth shut and your jaw relaxed.
  2. Close the other nostril with a finger or knuckle as well.
  3. Using your open nostrils, slowly exhale your breath.
  4. Alternate nostrils for around 10 repetitions.
  5. There are many reasons why you could discover that one of your nostrils is more congested than the other.

Improves nasal breathing, which helps to keep the airway open while you sleep.

Pronouncing Vowel Sounds

Repeating vowel sounds can assist tone the muscles in your throat, thus it’s a good idea to do so.

Repeat the a-e-i-o-u vowel sounds. Start with pronouncing each vowel normally, and then modify the length of the sound or the rate at which you say the vowel to achieve the desired effect. Ten or twenty repetitions of the same sound, followed by a change of sound, should enough. There are a variety of ways to make sounds, such as combining sounds (such as ooo-aaah).

Singing

Singing uses a variety of muscles in the mouth and throat, including vowels, to produce a wide range of sounds. Snoring may be reduced by focusing on singing, according to preliminary studies. Instead of simply singing the words, concentrate on making each sound as distinct as possible by emphasizing repetition and aggressive pronounciation.

14 Exercises for a better nights sleep.

Make these a regular part of your regimen for best benefits. You may do any of these exercises as you clean the home, watch Netflix, walk the dog, pick up the kids from school, sing in the shower, or whatever else you have going on in your life at that moment.

Exercise 1

Take 3 minutes each day to recite each of the vowels [a-e-i-o-u].

Exercise 2

For three minutes, slip your tongue backwards behind your upper front teeth.

Exercise 3

Using the tongue against the roof of the mouth, make a high-pitched clicking sound. For 15 seconds, click the tongue and repeat 10 times.

Exercise 4

For 30 seconds, keep your mouth open and contract the muscle in the back of your throat. [TIP: watch your uvula in a mirror to notice how it moves.]

Exercise 5

For 30 seconds, shift your jaw to the right while keeping your mouth open. Repeat on the left side as well..

Exercise 6

Spend some time singing if you want a more enjoyable workout. Singing can help reduce snoring by tightening up the throat and soft palate muscles.

Exercise 7

Push up and hold for 5 seconds with the tip of the tongue against the hard palate on the roof of the mouth, right behind the top teeth. Repeat for ten times.

Exercise 8

Roll your tongue like a taco shell by folding the edges toward the middle lengthwise. Hold it out as far as you can while holding it folded for 10 seconds before letting go. Repeat for ten times.

Exercise 9

Try to contact the tip of your nose with your tongue. Relax after holding for 10 seconds. Repeat for ten times.

Exercise 10

Strike out and try to touch the bottom of your chin with the tip of your tongue. Relax after holding for 10 seconds. Repeat for ten times.

Exercise 11

Extend your tongue as far to the left as possible. Relax after holding for 10 seconds. Repeat for ten times.

Exercise 12

Extend your tongue as far to the right as it will go, then retract it. Relax after holding for 10 seconds. Repeat for ten times.

Exercise 13

Keep your lips pursed and your mouth shut. Hold for a full 30 seconds.

Exercise 14

10 seconds of strong pressure with the tip of your tongue against a spoon held to the front of your lips. Don’t allow your tongue droop or slant downward when speaking. Repeat ten times

When Should You See a Doctor About Snoring?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be the cause of some cases of snoring. If sleep apnea stays undiagnosed and untreated, it can have a negative impact on your health.

If you have any of the following, you should see a doctor:

  • A snoring sound that is similar to choking, gasping, or even snorting.
  • Daytime sleepiness or exhaustion is noticeable.
  • Depression, slowing of the mind, or a decrease in attention span are all possible side effects.
  • I’m waking up with a headache in the morning.
  • Blood pressure is too high.
  • obesity or a recent increase in body fat

A home remedy for some forms of snoring, such as loud breathing during sleep, can be found in mouth exercises, but this is not the only option. Even if they prove to be beneficial, a doctor’s treatment plan may call for more measures.

When it comes to speech therapy, these mouth exercises are very similar. Ask your doctor for a referral to a speech therapist or someone with knowledge in exercises to strengthen the mouth, tongue, and throat if you want specific advice on how to conduct these exercises.

Why do we snore? How is it connected to sleep apnea?

The space behind your tongue narrows as you go off to sleep. Relaxation of the tissue causes it to sag. Inhaling and exhaling causes the loose tissue in the area to flutter. As though it were a flag being tossed about in the wind. Snoring is caused by the airflow vibrating this tissue. When these relaxed muscles relax to the point that they block the airway, obstructive sleep apnea occurs. Sleep disturbances such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lead to reduced levels of oxygen in the bloodstream.

How to Stop Snoring

Roof Smoosh

Assume that the roof of your mouth is a suction cup, and use it to grab your tongue until there is no space or air between them. Repeat 20 times, holding each rep for a count of 3.

Tongue Carpet

Using your tongue as a “carpet” for the floor of your mouth, perform this exercise. Press your tongue on the back of your bottom teeth to get things started. Then, while keeping the tongue in touch with your teeth, press it down to the bottom of the mouth.

Say Ahhhhh!

Open your mouth, tilt your head back slightly, and give a lengthy, somewhat exaggerated “ahhhhh” when the doctor asks you to do so during a physical examination. Make sure you do this 20 times over.

Cheek Push

Your inner left cheek should be pressed with your right index finger. Count to ten before switching sides.

Chew Evenly

Most of us tend to eat from one side of our mouth more frequently, resulting in less exercise for our opposing side. The goal of this exercise is to reinforce the habit of chewing on both sides equally. You can also ensure that your teeth on both sides of your mouth are used equally by chewing evenly.

More Snoring and Sleep Apnea Remedies

Weight Loss

It is possible to snore and suffer from sleep apnea because of excess weight in the neck and throat. Weight loss may therefore help alleviate your problems.

Positional Therapy

Training people to sleep on their side, which is the best position for those with apnea, is a part of this treatment plan. If you suffer from a condition known as Positional Apneic Syndrome (POSA), you may benefit from this treatment.

Avoid Alcohol

If you drink a glass of wine before going to sleep, you should reconsider. Because alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, it can induce airway obstruction, resulting in snoring.

Don’t Smoke

Some studies believe that smoking induces inflammation of the upper airways, which is why smokers snore. Snoring decreased among persons who quit smoking in 1988, despite the fact that it can take many years to see improvements.

CPAP Machines

One of the most common treatments for OSA is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Using a mask, these gadgets can supply you with air pressure.

Oral Devices

Oral devices meant to open up your throat while you’re resting may potentially be an option in addition to mouth exercises. The easiest method to get your hands on one of these devices is to get in touch with your dentist, who will be able to custom-fit one for your specific needs.

Use a Nasal Strip

Snoring can be reduced by using nasal strips. These simple gadgets raise and widen the nasal airways, making breathing easier. Snoring is less likely to occur as a result of the increased airflow.

Try a New Mattress

Snoring may not be caused by your mattress, but it could alleviate the problem. If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s recommended that you sleep on your side, but an uncomfortable bed could make it difficult. Think about purchasing a high-quality mattress that will make it easier for you to modify your sleeping position, which will reduce your snoring chances.

Surgery

Surgery may be necessary in more serious situations. After all other options have been exhausted, this is usually considered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are snoring exercises effective?

Experts found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea who engaged in oropharyngeal exercise, which refers to the upper throat, were able to reduce the severity and symptoms of their condition.

How often should you do snoring exercises?

These exercises, according to the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, should be performed every day until the problem is resolved. According to the experts, the length of treatment can range from six months to a year.

Is snoring dangerous?

It is possible that snoring is a sign of something more serious, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to major health issues like heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes.
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