Sleep apnea refers to a condition when you stop breathing while you are asleep at night. In the context of this article, which focuses on obstructive sleep apnea, this disturbance to breathing?happens when your throat tissues block the air passage. This condition?results in snoring, and may trigger other long-term problems such as heart problems and high blood pressure. Studies have also shown that obesity and sleep apnea have a close link. Excess fat adds weight to the neck, throat, jaw muscles and soft palate. Being overweight therefore increases your risk of developing sleep apnea. Other?studies have shown however that certain specific sleep apnea exercises can significantly reduce or cure the problem. Here are the 6 best exercises for sleep apnea, which in combination with a few natural treatments for sleep apnea can get you breathing right again.
Throat Exercises for Sleep Apnea
These are exercises that aim at strengthening the muscles in and around your throat. The exercises help tone throat muscles that are directly responsible for keeping the tongue, throat, and jaw open. There are several ways you can do throat exercises. One of them is the ?tiger yell?. You have to open your mouth wide while not making any noise. Stand in front of a mirror and open your mouth as wide as possible. Ensure that your tongue sticks out as far as you can to the extent of almost licking your chin. With the help of the mirror, try to see the uvula (the small bell-shaped tissue at the back of your mouth). You can repeat this exercise three to four times daily.
Jaw Exercises for Sleep Apnea
Did you know that a tight jaw adds pressure on your air passage? Loosening, relaxing and toning your jaw muscles can help improve your condition. Jaw tension relief exercises involve moving your jaws up and down. Another useful exercise is the jaw resistance exercise. For this routine, place your fist under your chin and try opening your mouth. The idea here is to stop your mouth from opening by using your fist as resistance. You can repeat this up to ten (10) times, around 2-4 times per day. Do remember that jaw exercises help to relax your rigid jaw which will strengthen and improve your throat muscles.
Singing exercises to Combat Sleep Apnea
Your vocal chords are your throat?s strongest muscles. Singing will exercise your vocal chords. When singing songs for sleep apnea, there are specific songs with special sounds you should sing. These specific tones target the soft palate, tongue, nasopharynx and palatopharyngeal tissues. Singing exercises help in toning throat muscles and prevent them from collapsing and vibrating when you are asleep. The most effective syllable you can sing is the ‘Ung-gah.’ These syllables enable your soft palate to move up and down. The singing exercises are fun and easy, and you will enjoy doing them every day.
Soft palate Exercises for Remedying Sleep Apnea
Weak, relaxed and overhanging soft palate tissues can block your throat when you are sleeping. Soft palate exercises can help expand your throat and improve your overall respiratory system. Such exercises include soft palate-blowing. This is where you close your mouth and inhale via your nose. Then exhale through your mouth but keep your lips intact so that it provides resistance as you exhale. When exhaling, tighten your abdomen. Continue blowing up to a count of 5. Repeat this exercise up to 10 times. You should aim to do this exercise at least 3-4 times daily.
Tongue Exercises for Sleep Apnea
Doing tongue exercises every day for 30 minutes can help cure symptoms of sleep apnea as well as decrease chances of snoring. Tongue exercises help to strengthen the muscles in your jaw. The best tongue exercise to do is the tongue slide. To do tongue slide, you have to look right in front of you. When your head’s in the right place, position your tongue so that it is touching your upper front teeth. Slide it back while touching the roof of your mouth. You can repeat this for about ten times.
Balloon Breathing Exercises for Sleep Apnea
The Balloon inflation exercise is simple to do and is considered vital for strengthening the throat muscles. Take a balloon and position it around your lips. Inhale through your nose and the blow the air into the opening of the balloon. You can inflate the balloon as much as possible before releasing the air while not taking the balloon from your mouth. Balloon breathing is fun and straightforward to do. Consider doing it several times a day. You can stop it when you start feeling lightheaded.
?My #1 Recommendation
In my opinion, it’s always best to look into natural methods before going for higher order (and frequently more costly) interventions. As such, if you’re looking for a guided program that will provide specialist instructions, Marc McDonald has created?SleepApneaExercise.com especially for persons like you. His program has been used by many, with great results! If you prefer videos, click this link instead: Sleep Apnea Exercise Program Video. The program is available both in immediately downloadable or physical forms,?and comes with 18 step-by-step videos and a 52-page manual. In my book, that’s definitely worth checking out!
We all know that sleep apnea can wreak havoc your life, particularly your ability to sleep well. If you don?t seek proper treatment in advance, this condition can take a toll on your health. By practicing these simple exercises you will see the improvement of the muscle tone of the soft palate and tongue and thus a decrease in airway obstruction. This leads to a reduction of the negative effects of sleep apnea, much better quality sleep and an improvement in your general health and well being.
Have you ever tried out a sleep apnea exercise program, or gone about it on your own? How did it work out for you? Drop me a line below, hearing about your experience would be great!
Sleep well until next time!
I am glad that I have come across this post as my father is suffering from these symptoms. You do a great job of explaining about this condition and offer people some excellent advice in terms of combating it.
He has trouble during the night with his snoring and occasionally wakes up unable to breathe.
I’m going to get my dad onto the balloon right away and see how that goes!
Thanks for writing this article
Hey Ryan, I’m glad you found value in this! Try out those exercises with your dad and do let me know how it goes. Note that the effects aren’t instantaneous, but over time the tone of the muscles and soft tissue in his upper airway will improve, which will influence his respiration positively during sleep. Keep in touch!
Hi, can you please tell me if somebody who is slim and lean can get this problem as i sometimes wake up in the morning and feel very tired as though i haven’t had much sleep and this can happen even if i have had over 9 hours sleep. I am around 11st 7lb in weight and around 5ft 5in tall. I don’t ever recall waking up in the middle of the night constantly however i did hear that that post people with this problem are waking up for 1 or 2 seconds and not even realising it. Any help is appreciated thanks.
Hey Adam, sleep apnea could happen to anyone really. Statistics sow that 1 in 5 adults have mild to moderate OSA, whilst 1 in 15 may have a severe form. If you’re tired after sleeping for 9 hrs and having additional side effects such as daytime drowsiness and morning headaches, I’d suggest talking to you doctor about a sleep study. It doesn’t hurt to be sure! Please let me know if you have further questions–I’d be happy to provide any guidance you may need.
This is a very informative post! I didn’t know there were exercises for the jaw, throat, and tongue muscle to alleviate snoring and help with sleep apnea. You mention to do the tiger yell 3-4 times daily, but how long should you hold the pose foreach time? Or will your tongue eventually fatigue and tell you when it’s time to rest?
Thanks for your comment, and for pointing out that missing bit, Martina. The tiger yell can be held for a count of 10 each time–it’s fairly light and easy to do.
My boyfriend is a big snorer. Even though I do not have any problem with the noise but I’m very concern this will affect his health in a long term. Tried several remedies like sleep on the side, clear his nose and change bed sheet but still the same. These exercises you’ve written are pretty new to me. Hopefully these exercises will work on him.
Thank you for writing this helpful article.
Hi Mellisa, thanks for reading. If your boyfriend is consistent with his exercises, he’ll definitely see improvement in his snoring. It would also be good for him to see a specialist if that’s possible. Do let me know how it turns out!
Hello, I’m keen to try these exercises for sleep apnea. With the Jaw Exercises – I’m following the written instructions but the photo indicates something different, a mouth open position with a fist under the jaw. Is there a second part of the exercise, or do I just ignore the photo?
Hi Sharon, thanks for pointing out that error! I’ve updated the post and included some new information: “Another useful exercise is the jaw resistance exercise. For this routine, place your fist under your chin and try opening your mouth. The idea here is to stop your mouth from opening by using your fist as resistance. You can repeat this up to ten (10) times, around 2-4 times per day.” Do let me know how well these exercises work out for you!
These comments were pretty helpful. Thanks!