Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mouth And Throat Exercises For Sleep Apnea

I've been busy with work but I came across this study and wanted to post it for Jody.

Short of a CPAP machine and weight loss to reduce the pauses in breathing that sleep apnea sufferers experience, this study found that mouth and throat exercises were remarkably effective at improving breathing, reducing snoring, and reducing daytime sleepiness and mood swings (those related to poor sleep at least).

Since sleep apnea is now known to contribute to high blood pressure, insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease, there's the chance that going through these motions could add years to your life, if not improve its quality:

Effects of Oropharyngeal Exercises on Patients with Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2009

The second page of the study details the actual exercises. In brief, they involve combinations of sucking, swallowing, chewing, breathing, and speaking. Oh, and tongue brushing (with a toothbrush). For about 30 minutes a day in total.

Here's a video that accompanied the article:


1 comment:

Perovskia said...

Interesting. Thanks, Bix. I've read it, but I'm going to read over it a couple more times (it always takes me a couple reads to digest studies) :)

The exercises are interesting, but they don't tell you *why* it works. Simply because you're working the muscles and they'll become more structured/stronger?

I plan to join the church choir this fall. Singing, they say, also works the muscles and helps with sleep apnea. I've been told I'm a good singer (I disagree, but I digress) so I thought it'd be a double-win.