Two Sample Exercises You Can Try Right Now:
Exercise #1: Tongue Slide
Purpose of the Tongue Slide exercise: To tone and strengthen the tongue muscles.
Steps to Do The Tongue Slide Exercise:
Looking straight ahead, position the tip of your tongue against the back of your top front teeth
Slide your tongue backward
Repeat 10 times
Exercise #2: Soft Palate Blowing
Purpose of the Soft Palate Blowing exercise: To tone and strengthen the muscles of the soft palate (i.e the roof of your mouth) and throat.
Steps to Do The Soft Palate Blowing Exercise:
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
How Do These Exercises Cure Sleep Apnea (and Snoring)?
The main reason people do exercises for obstructive sleep apnea is to build and strengthen the muscles located around their airway. By doing these exercises, the airway is a lot less likely to completely collapse and become blocked off during sleep.
So what kinds of exercises strengthen the airway?
Here are the main categories of exercises, for each body area:
Many people don’t realize that the tongue is a muscle. If the tongue becomes weak it can drop into the throat, causing an airway blockage. Tongue exercises assist in building the tongue’s tone and strength.
A tense jaw can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. If the jaw is tight it can place pressure directly on the breathing passages. Jaw exercises will help to loosen and relax the jaw muscles.
Weakened throat muscles can collapse during sleep, causing the airway to become blocked. Throat exercises help to build, tone and strengthen the throat muscles. The exercises also open the throat up more to prevent it closing upon sleep.
Soft Palate Exercises:
The soft palate muscles located around the base of the tongue relax during sleep. A weak soft palate can flap around and its tip can fall down onto the tongue. The soft palate exercises lift the soft palate up. The exercises also tone and strength the soft palate.
Who Are These Exercises Best For?
Where's The Proof That These Exercises Work?
If you're like most people, you're probably thinking at this point: “these exercises seem so simple. How do I know they actually work?”It’s a little-known fact that since 2007, there have been a number of scientific studies carried out on orofacial exercises (also called “oropharyngeal exercises”), to determine if these exercises are truly effective.
These studies have been carried out in the sleep laboratories of universities, and speech pathology clinics around the world.
Here's a quick rundown of some of the studies that have been conducted:
“Oropharyngeal exercises can significantly reduce obstructive sleep apnea severity and symptoms. Oropharyngeal exercises are a very promising treatment for those with moderate obstructive sleep apnea.”Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Click here to read the study)
“Doing oropharyngeal exercises significantly decreases the severity of primary snoring. It is recommended that oropharyngeal exercises can be a therapeutic choice for patients with mild to moderate degrees of primary snoring.”European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology (Click here to read the study)
“The results speak for themselves. This study has been conducted to prove what a lot of speech language pathologists already had an inclination of, anyway – oropharyngeal exercises can in fact help, if not cure, obstructive sleep apnea.”Dr. Brian Wright, Speech Language Pathologist
These exercises have also helped thousands of ordinary people eliminate their sleep apnea. Here's a small sample:
My GP recommended a CPAP machine to begin with. I hated it and couldn’t sleep with it on. It felt very restricting.Nick from Lincolnshire, England
I tried various other methods, even yoga! Then a friend mentioned they’d heard about a study regarding oropharyngeal exercises.
Desperate to be rid of the CPAP machine I went via my GP to a speech language pathologist and enquired about the exercises.
I started a routine of 8 exercises. I was instructed to do these 4 times daily, and in the initial week I noticed a difference.
I continued with them each day. Then I cut them down to twice daily. Now I do the routine just once a day.
Personally I wouldn’t stop them completely for fear of my obstructive sleep apnea returning to the same level that it was prior to the exercises.
I do still have the odd bad night and when that happens I simply up the routine for the following few days.
It did not take long, after doing the exercises you recommend, to strengthen my throat muscles, jaw, palate and to see results.Steven Fanelli
I was diagnosed (less than a year ago) with severe sleep apnea.
However, after reading your materials educating me on what OSA is, what its causes are, and what can be done about it, I sleep much better at night (pun intended).
Anyway, I have been doing the exercises (albeit inconsistently) and seeing results.
Imagine what can be done if (should be “when”) I’m consistently practicing these exercises!
I’m looking forward to whatever else you share in the future re: OSA. Thank you for what you do. I’m very grateful.
Here's What You Should Do Next:
- Make sure you've downloaded the free report with sample exercises (top of this page)
- Do the sample exercises for the next few days, and make a note of your progress
- Watch your email inbox for two more free mouth & throat exercises, as well as info on the next type of sleep apnea exercise (hint: you can do it in the shower!)
Please don’t hesitate to send a message to my direct email address:
To your good health,Marc MacDonald, M.Sc. Editor, ApneaTreatmentCenter.com and SleepApneaExercise.com