What's Causing My Sleep Apnea?

The vast majority of people with sleep apnea suffer from what’s called “obstructive sleep apnea”, or OSA (a small percentage of people have “central sleep apnea”. Central sleep apnea is very different from OSA, and is caused by neurological factors. I’ll be talking only about obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, here).

When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tissues in your upper throat relax and collapse together while you’re sleeping. This blocks the air’s passage temporarily.

Here’s how it happens while you’re asleep:

  • Travelling to the lungs, the air will make its journey via the nose, mouth and throat (all known as the ‘upper airway’)
  • Normally the rear of a person’s throat is soft and naturally falls inward when the person breathes.
  • Muscles in the throat will be working against the collapse, trying to maintain an open airway.
  • When the tissues at the rear of the throat collapse and become temporarily blocked off, apnea will happen and the person’s breathing is halted (“apnea” is a Greek word that means “cessation of breath”).
  • Apnea can also occur if a person has a tongue that is too thick, or a soft palate (the back part of the top of your throat) that is flabby.

There’s also a connection with snoring here. Flabby tissues in the mouth and throat not only collapse when you fall asleep. They also VIBRATE – which is what causes snoring.

So the key to conquering obstructive sleep apnea (and snoring) is to have STRONG muscles to keep your throat open while you sleep – muscles in your throat, tongue and soft palate.

Let’s move on to HOW you can strengthen those muscles.

How Can Exercise Cure My 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:

  • Tongue exercises: 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.
  • Jaw exercises: 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.
  • Throat exercises: 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.

Please watch the video below in which Dr. Mike Nelson, Director of the SMCC Sleep Lab, describes the benefit of orofacial exercises for sleep apnea:

Why Try The Sleep Apnea Exercise Program?

  1. No need to sleep with uncomfortable (and expensive) equipment
  2. No need for dangerous (and expensive) surgery
  3. You can do the exercises in the comfort of your own home – or wherever you like!
  4. Cure your sleep apnea AND your snoring at the same time!
  5. My 60-day, no-hassles, money-back guarantee. You have no risk!
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