If you’ve been struggling to find a sleep apnea treatment that’s both effective AND doesn’t involve wearing horrible equipment to bed, you’re going to love this, because…
In this article we describe a treatment that:
- Is easy to do
- Can be done at home
- Is free
- Has no side effects
- Is proven in scientific trials to cure sleep apnea
Quick Navigation♣ What Are Mouth & Throat Exercises For Sleep Apnea?♣ How Can Mouth & Throat Exercises Cure My Sleep Apnea?♣ Main Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):♣ How Orofacial Exercises Eliminate the Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):♣ Where’s The Proof That These Exercises Work?♣ Tongue Exercises For Sleep Apnea♣ Throat Exercises For Sleep Apnea♣ Soft Palate Exercises For Sleep Apnea♣ Jaw Exercises For Sleep Apnea♣ Sleep Apnea Exercise Program
♣ What Are Mouth & Throat Exercises For Sleep Apnea?
If you’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, there’s a good chance that you can improve your condition with mouth and throat exercises.
All of the sleep apnea mouth and throat exercises are aimed at improving the muscle and tissue strength within your upper respiratory system.
It’s possible that when you hear about exercises for the mouth and throat, you’re mentally picturing areas that you can see on the outside of the body.
In fact, these exercises involve more of what you can’t see. They include the soft palate and the area of the tongue at the back of your mouth.
In addition to the interior of your mouth, exercises for sleep apnea also target the mid-throat (oropharynx) and lower throat (laryngopharynx) areas.
Some throat exercises strengthen the front of your neck and help to correctly position your jaw if it’s not properly aligned when you are sleeping.
♣ How Can Mouth & Throat Exercises Cure My Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when your body doesn’t get enough oxygen while you’re sleeping. While snoring is an indicator of a sleep disturbance, not everyone with OSA snores.
Both shallow breathing, hypopnea, and complete breathing blockage, apnea, are obstructive sleep patterns. Contributing factors can range from body defects, injuries, illnesses, diseases and aging to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol use, and obesity.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mild or moderate OSA, you’ll really appreciate how mouth and throat exercises (also called “orofacial exercises” or “oropharyngeal exercises”) can help you to diminish or eliminate your sleep disorder.
If you haven’t already been diagnosed, but think that you might have OSA, you’ll want to know about the main causes of OSA.
♣ Main Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):
Whatever caused your OSA, the result is that your breathing becomes restrictive. This restriction leads to poor quality of sleep, daytime sleepiness, loss of concentration, and may even contribute to other serious pulmonary or cardio issues.
- Age related loss of muscle tone in your mouth and throat; Your tongue, like the rest of your muscles, relaxes when you sleep and this allows your tongue to move backwards and obstruct your breathing.
- Receding or protruding jawline; A protruding jawline is misaligned which pulls on and stretches the muscles of the tongue. A receding jawline is small in size and crowds the tongue inside the mouth.
The tongue can block your entire airway when it relaxes during sleep if you have either condition.
- Enlarged soft palate and/or tongue; If you have an enlarged soft palate or tongue, your airway is already partially blocked during your waking hours.
During your sleeping hours, either condition can significantly block the air coming into your body.
- Elongated Uvula; the tear drop shaped bell at the back of your mouth. An elongated uvula can rest on the back of your tongue and this may inhibit air flow into your lungs when you’re laying down.
- Narrowing of your airway passages due to illnesses or diseases, excess weight or a thick neck size; Ways that medical conditions can narrow your respiratory system include muscle deterioration, fat deposits, artery corrosion, and decreased lung capability.
If you’re overweight, the extra pounds can place additional pressure on your respiratory system when you’re laying down. A thick neckline can restrict the intake of air when you’re laying down.
♣ How Orofacial Exercises Eliminate the Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):
The goals of orofacial exercises are to tighten and strengthen your upper respiratory muscles. This is done to widen your airway and to let you get an adequate supply of air into your lungs without the use of any medical or dental device or machine.
- Age Related: Orofacial exercises work to strengthen the weakened muscles at the back of your mouth, within your throat, and at the front of the neck.
- Jawline: Jaw exercises work to help you maintain your jaw in a position that enables you to breathe properly during sleep.
- Enlarged soft palate and/or tongue: Orofacial exercises work to strengthen the muscles of your tongue, especially in the area of your hyoid bone, the area at the base of your tongue.
This will help to provide some space between the tongue and the soft palate and allow for the widening your airway.
- Elongated Uvula: Exercises that strengthen the muscles of your tongue and throat will widen your airway passage and diminish or eliminate the obstruction caused by an elongated uvula.
- Illness, Disease, Excess Weight, and Thick Neckline: Orofacial exercises work to strengthen those areas weakened by illness, disease, excess weight and a thick neckline.
As the muscles in your mouth and throat are tightened, you’ll be able to breathe better and reduce or eliminate the reasons for apnea episodes.
The comments here about how these exercises can lessen or eliminate your sleep apnea are more than theories, they are also supported with proof of their effectiveness.
♣ Where’s The Proof That These Exercises Work?
Medical organizations and universities have conducted a large number of clinical studies on the subject of sleep apnea. There are a few prominent trials solely dedicated to the effectiveness of mouth and throat exercises.
Without exception, all of the studies concluded that oropharyngeal exercises do work.
Rather than list an exhaustive description of medical parameters, terminologies, and measurements, the following websites are provided for your convenience to read at your leisure.
The most important result of the wide range of trial material is that facial and throat exercises will reduce sleep apnea episodes.
Study # 1: Performed By the Sao Paulo University Medical School:
1. The gold standard amongst these trials is a study performed by the Sao Paulo University Medical School in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and it concentrated on the relationship of snoring and OSA.
This study involved 39 patients with a primary issue of snoring and who had been diagnosed with snoring and/or mild or moderate OSA.
The patients were put into two groups; one without oropharyngeal exercises (controlled), and the other with daily oropharyngeal exercises (therapy).
After three months, the study concluded that the controlled group did not show any measurable improvement.
However, the therapy group demonstrated a measurable reduction in snoring and this indicated that treatment with oropharyngeal exercises may help people with snoring and mild or moderate OSA.
This research study has been mentioned and supported by:
- The National Institutes of Health,
- The American College of Chest Physicians and the Sleep Laboratory of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
- Medical Xpress, Science X network – This is a web-based health news service that reports on comprehensive coverage in various fields of medical, dental and health professions.
- The American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine article,
- MedPage Today, – This is an online service for breaking medical news and it partners with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Study # 2: Performed By the Sao Paulo University Medical School:
2. Another significant study on mouth and throat exercises performed by the Sao Paulo University Medical School in Sao Paulo, Brazil, concentrated on the effect of oropharyngeal exercises on patients with moderate OSA. The study is registered at Clinical Trials. This study involved 31 patients who had been diagnosed with moderate OSA. The patients were put into two groups; one without oropharyngeal exercises (controlled), and the other with daily oropharyngeal exercises (therapy).
The therapy involved repetition and holding exercises performed several times a day. After three months, the study concluded that the controlled group did not show any measurable improvement.
However, the therapy group demonstrated a measurable reduction in apnea episodes and this indicated that treatment with oropharyngeal exercises may help people with moderate OSA.
This research study has been mentioned and supported by:
- Scientific Publication Data,
- The health section of Time Inc. Network,
- The Diabetes Education and Research Center,
- The National Institutes of Health,
3. Additional defining mouth and throat exercise studies and articles containing positive results are:
- The effects of oropharyngeal-lingual exercises in patients with primary snoring. This is an article about a study done at the Guilan University of Medical Sciences in Rasht, Iran.
- Upper Airway Exercises in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is an article about a study performed at Egypt’s Mansoura University.
The tongue played a significant role across all of the studies. Emphasis was placed on strengthening the tongue, training it to be correctly aligned within the mouth, and its ability to function appropriately in coordination with the jaw.
♣ Tongue Exercises For Sleep Apnea
There are two major tongue related issues that contribute to sleep apnea. One issue weakens the muscles at the base of the tongue and the other issue is an enlarged tongue.
Either issue will enable the tongue to move backwards in your mouth and obstruct the upper throat area when your muscles relax during sleep. Tongue exercises are aimed at strengthening the muscles at the base and the back of your tongue. The result of tongue exercises is to prevent your tongue from shifting backwards and blocking the airway into your throat while you sleep. The back of your tongue intersects at the mid-level of your throat. This intersection of your tongue and throat is crucial in its need to remain open so that you’ll be able to breathe freely.
♣ Throat Exercises For Sleep Apnea
Your throat (pharynx) runs the length from your nasal cavities and mouth to your vocal cords and esophagus.
Weakened or damaged muscles in your throat can interfere with your breathing process during the day, but can specifically interfere with your breathing when you lay down at night. One throat exercise for sleep apnea aims to tighten and strengthen the muscles at the back of your throat. Other exercises help lift an elongated uvula, widen your airway, and reduce the size of a thick neckline.
The aim of throat exercises is to decrease or eliminate sleep disorder episodes. The roof of your mouth is called the palate. The front of the roof is the hard palate and the back of the roof is the soft palate.
The soft palate is a major player in your breathing and swallowing abilities and is positioned between the back of your tongue and your throat.
♣ Soft Palate Exercises For Sleep Apnea
An enlarged soft palate means that it can actually rest on the back of your tongue and inhibit your airway. This encourages sleep apnea occurrences when your tongue relaxes, moves backwards in your mouth, and comes in contact with the soft palate. Soft palate exercises elevate the palate away from your tongue and throat. This enables your throat to expand and allows you to breathe normally while you’re laying down.
Another benefit of soft palate exercises is that you re-learn how to breathe naturally through your nose. Certain oral speech sounds are produced through the use of your soft palate, middle tongue section and your jaw. A small or large jaw can interfere with your speaking, chewing, and breathing abilities.
♣ Jaw Exercises For Sleep Apnea
If you have a small jawline you may be restricting the natural positioning of your tongue. This can force your tongue backwards in your mouth and obstruct your breathing.
If your jaw is not positioned correctly while you’re sleeping, it can result in snoring because your airway is partially or totally blocked. Jaw exercises work to help you correct its position during sleep and the result will enable you to breathe properly.
Jaw exercises help to tighten the muscles at the base of your tongue which will reduce your snoring and help to reduce your sleep disorder incidents.
♣ Sleep Apnea Exercise Program
An ideal exercise program to reduce or eliminate sleep apnea episodes will incorporate all four major upper respiratory regions; the throat, tongue, soft palate and jaw.
The exercises work all oropharyngeal muscles by eliminating fatty tissue, tightening flabby muscles in the throat, and opening your airway.
Just as you’d follow a daily exercise routine for body tone and strength, a sleep apnea exercise program is intended to be a positive lifelong routine.
You can perform these exercises throughout the day, but some exercises will improve your quality of sleep if they’re done shortly before going to bed.
The best part of a sleep apnea exercise program is that the benefits are endless and easy. You’ll regain quality deep sleep, eliminate daytime sleepiness, reduce or eliminate snoring, and diminish or end your sleep disruption episodes.
An exercise program is non-invasive, risk-free, and financially friendly.
For your peace of mind and breathing freedom, a sleep apnea exercise program is definitely something you should try. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
To read the article related to this video please click this link: Sleep Apnea Exercises: 5 Effective Exercises To Try At Home
References and Resources:
- Effect of speech therapy as adjunct treatment to continuous positive airway pressure on the quality of life of patients with obstructive sleep apnea