Mouth And Throat Exercises To Stop Snoring
Human anatomy is a fascinating subject to study, even when it comes to snoring. The ongoing research done by medical professionals for snoring has uncovered effective exercises to stop snoring that you can do from home. What is a mouth exercise? Simply put, snoring exercises help mitigate the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. Yes, sleep apnea exercises may coincide with snoring exercises—as do breathing exercises for sleep apnea and tongue exercises for sleep apnea—so your at-home therapy and exercise may benefit either symptom.
Why Do We Snore?
Most people snore occasionally, but for others, it is a chronic issue. If you’re someone who wasn’t known to snore but started to suddenly, not to worry! Snoring can be caused by a number of factors:
- Weight gain
- Mouth anatomy
- Sinus issues
- Sleeping position
- A cold
- Lack of sleep
- Alcohol consumption
- Getting older
When you fall asleep, your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and throat loosen up. These muscles and tissues relax enough so that every time you breathe, they block part of your airway and create a vibration. The snoring that you hear is the result of the airway resisting your breathing, causing the vibration.
If you fall into the category of someone whose snoring is keeping you and others from getting your full eight hours, you may have to opt for a few lifestyle changes, even apart from the snoring exercises. You may have to adjust how you sleep, lose weight or cut out drinking and smoking. Consult with a physician to decide what the best course of action is for your individual health, as snoring can also be a sign of a sleep disorder.
How Do Mouth Exercises Work?
Mouth exercises to stop snoring work in a variety of ways depending on which part of your mouth you’re focusing on. The following are types of mouth exercises, (aka snoring exercises), that can strengthen your muscles and help you sleep better:
- Face exercises: Like tongue exercises, face exercises will help you build muscle in areas you need to beef up in order to navigate your airways if they get partially blocked. They may feel a little unusual, but your nostrils will thank you!
- Tongue exercises: These exercises will involve full use of your tongue, even doing tongue pushups! Since your tongue plays a big role in blocking your airway and causing you to snore, it’s important that you build the muscle in this area.
- Breathing exercises: Breathing through your nose isn’t an exercise you would think you’d have to practice, but believe it or not, it’s not as intuitive as you might think! To reduce snoring, practice only breathing with your nostrils.
- Speaking exercises: Just like you work out to tone up your arms and legs, you also need to work out your throat muscles. These exercises involve lots of enunciation and even a little bit of singing, so feel free to practice these in the shower.
Which Mouth Exercises Can Help You Stop Snoring?
By doing face exercises, you can reduce snoring because you’re engaging areas of your mouth you utilize while you sleep.
- Clench your mouth and cheek muscles by pursing your lips together. Then, slowly relax your muscles and let your mouth and jaw loosen up.
- Use a finger to gently pull one of your cheeks out. While you do this, use the muscles in your cheek to resist getting pulled.
Tongue exercises will toughen up your tongue so you can breathe a little easier while you sleep instead of having it block your airway. Here are a few tongue exercises to stop snoring:
- Put the tip of your tongue along the back of your top two front teeth, then gradually push the tip of your tongue back along the roof of your mouth. Then push your tongue forward again.
- Stretch your tongue out by sticking it out and trying to reach for your nose or chin. Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Time for tongue pushups! Push your tongue against the roof of your mouth and hold it there for several seconds. Be sure that your whole tongue is pressed against it. Next, press the tip of your tongue against your two lower front teeth and hold this position again for several seconds. Make sure your entire tongue is pressed against the bottom of your mouth when you do this.
Breathing exercises through your nose can be challenging if you’re experiencing congestion, so be sure to clear your airways before attempting this exercise.
- Close your mouth and inhale using your nose. Now, close one of your nostrils and practice just breathing out of that side of your nose. Now try the other nostril. While doing this exercise, make sure to switch out which nostril you practice breathing through.
Speaking exercises might seem a little ridiculous, but toning the muscles in your throat will toughen up your airways and make it easier to breathe while you’re sleeping.
- When you sing, you’re using all kinds of mouth, face, and throat muscles. However, instead of just belting out a chorus in the shower, focus on the repetition and enunciation of sounds.
- Pretend you’re back in kindergarten and practice your vowels: a-e-i-o-u. Just like with singing, focus on enunciating each sound. Practice saying each vowel in a variety of ways, fast and slow or high and low.
What Are Other Alternatives To Stop Snoring?
As helpful as these snoring exercises are, they’re not the only alternatives to stop snoring. Here are a few substitutes for exercises to stop snoring:
- Lose weight: Sometimes, an increase in body weight may cause tissue in your throat to expand, resulting in breathing resistance and snoring. The tissues in our body have different elasticity properties, and your throat has quite a bit of elastic tissue. Despite the elasticity, an increase in body weight may result in your airway decreasing in size, creating resistance and, therefore, snoring. If snoring is an issue for you, consult with your physician on whether your weight could be related.
- Change sleeping positions: While the best sleeping position differs for each person, there are certain positions that are considered better to help decrease snoring: your stomach or your side. By sleeping in these positions, you can keep your tongue from blocking your throat and vibrating every time you take a breath. You can also try propping your head up with multiple pillows.
- Avoid alcohol: If you want to eliminate snoring, one way is to stop drinking before you go to bed. Alcohol loosens up your throat muscles and diminishes your body’s natural ability to navigate an airway obstruction. Avoiding alcohol, especially excessive drinking, before you go to bed is an effective countermeasure to eliminate the nuisance of snoring.
- Use mouthpieces: Mouthpieces are oral appliances that you can use to adjust the position of your jaw and tongue. By modifying the positioning of your jaw and tongue, you may be able to help reduce snoring. To use a mouthpiece effectively, you may have to consult with your dentist. A dentist will be able to help you properly fit the mouthpiece, so it is effective.
When it comes to snoring, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Everyone has their quirky sleep habits, like talking during sleep or tossing and turning, and snoring is a completely normal behavior during sleep. However, it can also be a real pain if it keeps you or others up at night. Just like most problems, there’s no one right way to stop snoring. In fact, it may even be multiple methods that prove most effective for you.
Effective exercises to stop snoring include tongue, face, breathing, and speaking exercises. Though, you may also have to incorporate other lifestyle changes such as losing weight, switching out your mattress, or eliminating alcohol to further reduce your midnight noise making. You may even want to consider purchasing a mouthpiece. However you decide to approach it, experiment with what does and doesn’t work, and include your doctor in your decision-making process.