Sleep disorders

Snoring exercises

Sleep snoring is caused by a decrease in the muscle tone of the uvula and soft palate. When passing through the narrowed airways, the air creates a concussion of the soft tissues of the anatomical structures of the pharynx, causing the appearance of a characteristic vibrating sound. 

Various methods are used to treat snoring, both medication and non-medication. A good effect is provided by specially designed exercises for snoring, which help to significantly reduce its severity, and in some cases even completely get rid of it.   

How does it work?

The purpose of the exercises is to train the muscles of the lower jaw and the anatomical structures of the upper respiratory tract (muscles of the soft upper palate, uvula, palatine curtain, tongue) to maintain physiologically normal tone. Exercising the muscles of the upper palate against snoring is especially effective. They prevent the airways from collapsing and narrowing during sleep.

Exercise is indicated primarily for uncomplicated snoring. In obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, in which, in addition to snoring, breathing stops during sleep are observed, they can also be practiced. They can help, but you should not count on an absolute effect, the main treatment must be carried out by a specialist.    

How to stop snoring with exercise?

Exercises for getting rid of snoring can be performed in different versions and as part of different complexes. Before considering them, it should be noted that anti-snoring exercises are effective only when used regularly for at least 2-3 weeks. All snoring exercises should be done before bed.

Examples of exercises:

  • Pull the tongue forward and downward as far as possible and hold it in this position for a few seconds. The exercise strengthens the muscles of the tongue, it should be performed twice a day with a repetition of 30 times.
  • Press on the chin with your hand and move the lower jaw with a slight force back and forth, resisting this movement. Do it twice a day, 20 times. 
  • Clamp a wooden stick with your teeth and hold for 3-4 minutes.
  • Open your mouth and make 10 circular movements with the lower jaw, first along and then counterclockwise.
  • With an effort to press the tongue on the upper palate for a minute. Three sets, a break of 30 seconds. Such gymnastics strengthens the muscles of the upper palate well.
  • Move the root of the tongue back towards the throat. In this case, the mouth should be closed, breathing is carried out through the nose. Do three sets of 30 times, rest between them – 30 seconds.
  • Pronounce the vowel sounds “and” and “y” out loud 20-25 times, straining the muscles of the neck.

A case from practice Patient N., 33 years old, turned to the Sleep Medicine Center for a consultation with a somnologist. Complains of snoring, wants to get rid of it. Snoring began to bother him six months ago. Previously, the man was a professional athlete, but 2 years ago after an injury, he retired and began to work as a security guard. Since then, there is no physical activity, gradually gaining weight. During the examination, the specialist found that the cause of snoring is the weakness of the muscles of the respiratory tract and the emerging obesity. The man was advised to lose weight, advised to sleep on his side with an elevated head position, and also to do special exercises. The man left the consultation somewhat disappointed, as he hoped for a quick solution to the problem, but he was still glad, as he feared that he would be sent for surgery. The patient began to follow the instructions and after 3 weeks noted that he began to snore less and less frequently. After 1.5 months, the snoring disappeared completely.   

Breathing exercises of yogis from snoring

In addition to the above, you can recommend yoga breathing exercises for snoring:

  • Yogic full breath. Start inhaling with the expansion of the lower, then the middle part of the abdomen, with the protrusion of its lower part and the subsequent rise of the chest. Watch the movement of the anterior abdominal wall: on inhalation, it rises, on exhalation, it retracts. The duration of exhalation is gradually increased. Run 5-6 times.
  • Nadi Shodhana. While sitting, breathe through your nose, alternating between each nostril. Closing the right nostril with your finger, inhale through the left, and vice versa. Perform 5 of these cycles.
  • Ujjayi. You need to do ujjayi just before bedtime. The muscles of the face and tongue are relaxed. Lower your chin, squeeze your larynx slightly so that a hissing sound is heard when breathing. Inhale, exhale slowly. Take five sets. This is a very effective breathing exercise to stop snoring.

Strelnikova’s gymnastics

Respiratory gymnastics Strelnikova also contains several exercises for snoring. Performing Strelnikova’s exercises, you need to breathe correctly. At the same time, a noisy short breath through the nose massages the structures of the nasopharynx, strengthening the nasal passages, and a soft, almost inaudible exhalation through the mouth has a beneficial effect on the soft palate. Doing a simple relaxing neck massage on your own can help reduce snoring. It is recommended to supplement the exercise with sleeping in the pose of a small child, tilting the torso to the knees. Sleep on a comfortable, low pillow on your side.

Snoring exercises can be performed individually or in combinations that are convenient for you.

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