Mouth & Throat Exercises for Sleep Apnea

Exercise Your Way to Noise-Free Nights

If your airway is narrow due to excess tissue, toning your throat muscles could be a solution to your sleep apnea and snoring. Explore our guide to learn ways you can pump up your pharyngeal muscles so you can breathe freely and get the quality sleep you need.

Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that occurs when your airway collapses during sleep, temporarily stopping the flow of oxygen. There are various risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea including family history, smoking, alcohol use, nasal congestion, and obesity.  

One of the most common and controllable risk factors is having a large neck circumference. Patients with thick necks tend to have excess tissue that results in narrow airways. A sleep apnea event occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, thereby blocking the flow of air.

A-E-I-O-U: Sing the Vowels

Many patients prefer natural ways of treating their sleep apnea and singing has been proven to have several benefits. In addition to improving sleep apnea and snoring, singing can relieve stress, improve lung function, and boost your mood and mental health. 

Singing the vowels in an elongated monotone has been shown to increase tone in the soft palate and throat. In one study, patients who sang for 20 minutes per day snored less often and weren't as loud when compared to non-singing patients.

Like most healthy habits, you’ll need to stick with it to see the desired results. While the study took place over three months, you should continue your chorus so you can continue enjoying the benefits. 

Work Out Your Sleep Apnea

In addition to singing, you’ll want to incorporate a few exercises that target the muscles in the throat, tongue, soft palate, and jaw. This will tone excess tissue and promote an open airway. Here are a few exercises you’ll want to add to your workout routine:

  • Puppy tongue - Open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out as far as you can, then move it downward towards your chin. 
  • Tongue push up and slide - Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then slide it towards your throat.
  • Don’t forget to stretch - Open your mouth as wide as you can and say ahhh. The noise should come from the back of your throat.
  • Release any jaw tension - Arch your tongue and press it against the roof of your mouth and slide it towards the back of your mouth as far as it will go. Keep it in this position and slowly open your mouth.
  • Sets & Reps - You’ll want to perform these exercises ten times and repeat them three times per day for the best results. 

Have Fun While Improving Your Health

You’ll be more likely to stick to your new routine if you can make it fun. Whether you prefer to sing in the shower or the car on your commute, one thing’s for sure, you can have fun while improving your condition. 

You can also incorporate your exercises into playtime with a child. Together, you can make funny faces while completing your mouth and throat exercises. By using the opportunity to bond with your kid, toning-up can be a nice addition to your quality time.

Treating Your Sleep Apnea From Every Angle

While mouth and throat exercises can help improve your symptoms, you’ll want to use these techniques in combination with a trusted method such as an oral appliance for the best results. 

To learn more about the benefits of an oral appliance, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawrence by calling (972) 542-9129

We offer a variety of sleep apnea and snoring treatments at our McKinney office. Together, we can tackle your condition from every angle and help you on your road to a quality night’s rest.