Natural Relief for Sleep Apnea
We know that finding the right treatment for your sleep apnea can be a long process. But finding an effective solution is important for getting the quality sleep you need to live a longer, healthier life.
Thankfully, there are multiple sleep apnea treatments available for managing your symptoms. If you’re looking for a natural solution, Dr. Winkelmann recommends implementing mouth and throat exercises into your daily life. Also known as myofunctional therapy, these exercises are known to reduce symptoms and long-term effects of sleep-disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea.
Exercises for Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Practicing mouth and throat exercises while using an oral appliance can strengthen the relationship between the muscles of the face, tongue, and throat. Try these easy and effective exercises at home to strengthen your muscles and help you get a better night’s rest.
For this exercise, open your mouth as wide as possible, similar to a tiger roaring. Rather than yelling, stick your tongue out as far as you can until it’s close to your chin. Hold this position for five minutes, or as long as you can, to strengthen the muscles in the back of your throat.
Touch Nose & Chin
First, stick your tongue out and try to touch your nose. This’ll strengthen your jaw even if you can’t reach your nose. Next, try touching your chin with your tongue. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds.
To help minimize snoring, position the top of your tongue behind your front teeth. Slide your tongue back toward your throat, curling it. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your throat and neck.
Soft Palate Stretches
Your soft palate, or roof of your mouth, also plays a role in your sleep apnea symptoms. For this exercise, begin by closing your mouth and breathing in through your nose. Keeping your mouth closed, exhale and push the air through your lips. This will cause your throat to push back and you’ll feel resistance.
Jaw Tension Relief
To relieve jaw tension, touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Keeping your mouth closed, slide your tongue back as far as you can. Relax your tongue and slowly open your mouth while keeping your tongue on the roof. Hold for five seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I perform mouth exercises for sleep apnea?
It’s recommended that you perform mouth and throat exercises for at least 10 minutes per day for three months. This has been shown to make a noticeable difference in patients’ sleep apnea symptoms. Most patients also perform these exercises at least two to three times per day to achieve maximum effectiveness.
As with any other exercise regime, it takes time to build muscles, so noticing immediate results isn’t always common. One of the major benefits of mouth and throat exercises is that they can be done almost anywhere, making it easier to fit into your daily routine.
How can mouth and throat exercises help stop snoring and sleep apnea symptoms?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring occur due to floppy airway muscles, poor tongue positioning, and breathing through the mouth during sleep. By regularly practicing mouth and throat exercises, you can tone the airway and tongue muscles while promoting breathing through the nose. This will help strengthen your throat muscles and ease your sleep apnea symptoms.
Dr. Winkelmann Can Help Relieve Your Sleep Apnea
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, mouth and throat exercises can be beneficial when paired with another treatment, such as oral appliance therapy. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Winkelmann, call our Wake Forest office at (984) 237-1013 or you can fill out our convenient online contact form.