Do tongue exercises help to treat sleep apnea?
If you think that exercises for sleep apnea are just a tale, then you might change your mind: there is scientific evidence proposing that tongue exercises can even cure sleep apnea.
One of the studies published in 2009, was the one performed in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The scientists selected a group of people with obstructive sleep apnea and divided them into two groups:
The first group was instructed to do breathing and nasal practices daily.
The second group did thirty minutes of tongue exercises for sleep apnea and other oropharyngeal exercises, daily.
The results of the study provided clinical evidence that tongue exercises for sleep apnea can be successful. After three months of research, the patients who did tongue and throat exercises showed decreases in the neck area, snored less, slept better and reduced their sleep disease by 39%.
However, the first group showed almost no improvement in their sleep quality and snoring.
Now, let’s get started with our unique exercises:
Doing tongue exercises will help to stimulate the muscles of the mandible, but the results will show in time (after 3 to 9 weeks).
Do each exercise for 5 minutes, twice a day, unless otherwise specified:
Put your tongue on the upper alveolar ridge just behind your teeth. To find that spot, say door, and it is the spot where your tongue touches the soft palate to pronounce the letter “d.”
Leave your tongue there for 5 minutes, and if you need to swallow, do so.
Place the tip of the tongue in that same spot, and make that clicking noise when you say “tsk, tsk” at someone.
Smoothly anchor your tongue between your teeth. Don’t bite it. Swallow five times and repeat this exercise 5 times every day.
Start by sitting up straight, tuck your chin and look straight. Your lips should be closed. Now place the end of your tongue behind your teeth. Slowly raise your chin towards the roof. While turning your chin towards the ceiling, put constant pressure of your tongue against the palate, slowly move your tongue from the front of your teeth to the end of your mouth.
Then, lift the tongue and move it forward to the front. Repeat this action ten times.
You must feel the front of your neck getting all tight. Hold this position for ten seconds. Then bring your chin back so it can be parallel to the floor once again.
Repeat this exercise ten times every day.
The goal of this neck and tongue exercise for obstructive sleep apnea is to improve the muscle tone in the frontal area of the neck and the tongue muscles.
Clinch a pen or a pencil between your teeth for ten minutes or until your jaw is sore, just before bedtime.
This exercise will strengthen the muscles of the jaw.