Recently a study came out of Brazil showing that a few simple tongue exercises can reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. Participants in the study showed a 39% lessening in sleep apnea symptoms over the control group. This is by no means a cure for sleep apnea, but can aid in lessening your symptoms. Always consult a physician for the correct diagnosis and best treatment options for your anatomy.
Here is the basis for the study
For most people with sleep apnea the tissues situated within the upper throat relax and collapse together while the person is sleeping, blocking the air’s passage temporarily. The main purpose of the exercises is to build and strengthen the muscles located around the airway. Once the exercises are part of your daily routine the airway is a lot less likely to completely collapse and become blocked off during sleep.
The muscles that will be targeted during the exercises are:
- Soft Palate
Exercises For The Tongue
- Looking straight ahead, position the tip of your tongue against the back of your top, front teeth.
- Slide your tongue backward.
- Repeat 10 times.
Purpose – to tone and strengthen the tongue and throat muscles.
Exercises For The Soft Palate
Soft Palate Blowing
- Inhale air through your nose.
- Exhale via your mouth. As you exhale press your lips together. This action forms a resistance.
- When you exhale tighten your abdomen.
- Maintain the blowing for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times
- Repeat 4 times a day.
Purpose – the soft palate and uvula are elevated during this exercise. The elevation process is exercising the muscles. The pharynx will expand and be enlarged. The respiratory system is also being trained in this exercise.
Exercises For The Throat & Neck
The Tiger Yell (no actual yelling required!) The action of opening your mouth wide mimics a tiger going to yell/roar). Best performed in front of a mirror.
- Open your mouth as wide as possible, and stick your tongue out in a downward position. Your tongue needs to be stuck out as far as it can be.
- The uvula, the small fleshy piece in the back of your throat, needs to be lifted upwards as you stick your tongue out.
- The mirror is used to ensure that you’re lifting the uvula up correctly. You’ll soon begin to sense that you’ve lifted it and won’t require the mirror.
- Hold the lifted uvula for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Purpose – to exercise and strengthen all the muscles in the back of your throat.
By adopting the above exercises into your daily routine you could significantly reduce the amount of sleep apnea symptoms. As always, consult a physician for the correct diagnosis and best treatment options for your anatomy.
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, been diagnosed or would like to find out how you can avoid the high risk of developing other conditions, contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a consultation.