6 simple exercises proven to reduce snoring

A study finds that these easy mouth and tongue workouts significantly reduced the frequency and power of snoring, no devices or surgery required.

Pity the bedmate who sleeps with a chronic snorer. Pity the chronic snorer who suffers exhausted resentment from their underslept bedmate. Snoring is no picnic, yet surprisingly, there is no standard treatment available for primary snoring or snoring associated with mild forms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

But now, there is hope! Behold the practice of oropharyngeal – mouth and tongue – exercises.

A Brazilian study has found that in patients with primary snoring or mild OSA, oropharyngeal exercises significantly reduced the frequency of snoring by 36 percent and total power of snoring by 59 percent.

While up to roughly 54 percent of people saw logs at night, the management of patients with primary snoring or mild OSA has been poorly investigated. This far, treatment of snoring has included everything from avoiding alcohol and sedatives, switching sleeping positions, weight loss, treatment of nasal problems, palate and upper airway surgeries, and use of dental sleep devices.

But when the research team put oropharyngeal exercises to the test, they came to a profound conclusion. These simple workouts worked.

"Past studies have focused on self-reporting questionnaires. New forms of treatment for snoring focusing on objective measures were needed. We tested the effectiveness of oropharyngeal exercises to reduce snoring," said Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, MD, PhD, study author, "the exercises significantly reduced snoring in our study group."

"This study demonstrates a promising, noninvasive treatment for large populations suffering from snoring, the snorers and their bed partners, that are largely omitted from research and treatment," said Barbara Phillips from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. "Frankly, this will change the advice that I give to my patients who snore. And that's a lot of people."

Exercises included:

  • Pushing the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and sliding the tongue backward.
  • Sucking the tongue upward against the roof of the mouth, and pressing the entire tongue against the roof of the mouth.
  • Forcing the back of the tongue against the floor of the mouth while keeping the tip of the tongue in contact with the bottom, front teeth.
  • And elevating the back of the roof of the mouth and uvula while saying the vowel "A."

With some visual aids – sorry they're not pretty. (For an expanded view, see the press release here):
© American College of Chest Physicians/Vanessa Ieto

Tags: Health | Medicine | Sleep

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