Do you or a loved one suffer from snoring? Snoring can be annoying to your partner, but it can disrupt your sleep as well.
There are many causes of snoring, such as smoking, weight gain, alcohol, or more serious health issues like sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when the soft tissue in the head and neck areas vibrate.
Oropharyngeal exercises are a non-surgical way to reduce snoring by strengthening the muscles in the throat and mouth. This will help to keep the muscles from relaxing or collapsing during sleep, which causes the vibrations known as snoring. In this study, after three months, a clinical trial concluded the amount of snores as well as the loudness both decreased approximately 50% by the patients who consistently practiced oropharyngeal exercises.
The following simple exercises can benefit people who have obstructive sleep apnea, weak throat muscles, and those who breathe through their mouth when sleeping.
#1 Push the tip of your tongue against the hard palate (top of your mouth) and slide your tongue backwards keeping pressure as you do so. Repeat 20 times.
#2 Keep the bottom of your tongue pressed against the floor of your mouth. Make sure that the tip of your tongue is always touching your bottom front teeth. Repeat 20 times.
#3 Bring the surface of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and press it against it. It is as if you are making a clicking noise. Repeat 20 times.
#4 A simple exercise you can practice at least three times a day is to chew your food evenly. Be aware of how you are chewing and if you tend to favor one side more. This can be practiced outside of meal times too by making gentle chewing motions. Notice how you engage your cheek muscles when doing this exercise.
#5 With clean hands, insert your right index finger into your mouth and push against your left cheek. Engage your left cheek muscles and push back against the finger. Change fingers and press into you other cheek. Do these 10 times per side.
#6 Lift your soft palate (uvula, tonsils, and surrounding area) as if you are saying “ah” at the doctors. You may want to do this in front of a mirror to see if the soft palate is actually lifting up until you recognize the correct feeling. Repeat 20 times.
#7 Open your mouth to its full extent and then close mouth until your lips touch. Repeat 20 times.
#8 Pucker your lips similar to when making a fish face and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 20 times.
#9 Pucker your mouth (“o” shaped with your lips) so your lips are not touching, and your jaw is opened. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times.
#10 Stick your tongue out and try to lick your chin. Next, move your tongue up and try to lick your nose. Do your best to keep your tongue straight when reaching for the chin or nose. Repeat 20 times.
#11 Singing vowel sounds in long monotone sounds can help. Increase your volume each time to make your vocal cords work harder. Make sure you feel vibrations in your throat from your vocal cords when doing this, so you know it’s working.
#12 Sitting or standing straight up, tilt your head back and lift your chin, so it is facing the ceiling. You should feel stretching from your chin down to throat. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times. This also helps to keep a double chin at bay!
#13 Gargling is a simple and effective way to move and strengthen the area where collapsing or relaxing tissue is most likely to occur. Use warm water and gargle it loudly.
#14 Repeat the following sounds as quickly as you can, but make sure to pronounce them accurately. You can also increase your volume to work on your vocal cords as in #11. “Ma,” “La,” “Da,” and “Ka.”
#15 With your mouth slightly open, move your tongue side to side as quickly as you can. Make sure your tongue is touches your lips before moving it to the other side.
For best results, practice these exercises each day. They can be performed when it is most convenient for you. They can even be done during your commute to and from work.
These exercises are a great choice to try before looking for surgical remedies. Other help options can include anti-snoring pillows, nasal or throat sprays, and sleep positioning devices.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!