The methods of increasing strength and tone are simple and effective. It is essentially yoga for the mouth as it involves stretching and positional training.
With all of these exercises the emphasis is on fast repetition, rather than slow high effort as this will cause bulk rather than tone which is undesirable when trying to keep the airways open.
In particular we are aiming to target the base of the tongue and muscles that constitute the upper airway. These soft tissues are relaxed and floppy when asleep due to reduced muscle tone, so it is essential to tighten them and reduce the amount of relaxation. Tightening will also decrease the amount of vibration since the soft tissue is unable to flap as readily during sleep.
The first results you will see, or rather hear, when getting this workout right is a reduction in the volume of snoring. A detailed analysis into tongue and mouth exercises showed that patients can reduce their snoring volume by nearly 60%¹⁷, and reduce the frequency of snoring by 39%¹⁸.
Treatments of this kind are in their infancy but are revolutionizing the way specialists treat their patients. Out with gadgets, sprays and clips and in with exercise.
“This…demonstrates a promising, non-invasive treatment for large populations suffering from snoring, the snorers and their bed partners, that are largely omitted from research and treatment…Frankly
Tightening the Tongue
The tongue is the key area for upper airway obstruction in snorers. More specifically, the area in and around the back of the tongue, also referred to as the trilingual space. Any tone and strength increase at this point helps to bring the tongue forward and widen this space, reducing frequency and volume in snoring.
Keep your tongue straight as far as it goes. Touch the tip of your tongue to the end of your nose, then depress it to touch your chin, then move it to touch your left then right cheek.
Repeat quickly 10 times.
Tightening the Soft Palate
The soft palate is one of the main parts of the throat involved in snoring. It is a soft, mobile structure, sitting in the back of the mouth and can flap about which is what snoring noise is caused by. Its main function is to prevent food and drink entering the nose when eating or drinking.
This is a key area as shown by the many operations devised to shorten and stiffen the soft palate in snorers. Far better to use regular muscular training as described, rather than embark on a series of painful and expensive surgeries.
With your mouth closed, try and breathe in sharply through the nose. The sensation you will feel is a raising of the roof of the mouth. You may snort a bit. Do this rapidly in 4 sets of 5 repetitions each, with a 5-second break between each set.
Extended half intervals
With your tongue protruding out of your mouth as far as it will go, take long deep breaths in and out of your nose.
Repeat 20 times.
Tightening the Lower Throat
The throat, or oropharynx, is a muscular tube running from the back of the mouth to the voice box. It is easily collapsed by factors such as external pressure (fat neck) and increased respiratory effort (breathing in). Increasing tone and strength here helps hold the airway open during sleep.
Swallow 10 times consecutively with your mouth closed. Make it as forceful as you can (this is a lot harder than you might think, please take your time and persevere).
Complete a standard swallow motion, but make it last 5 seconds. Hold as much pressure as possible in the throat throughout and repeat 5 times. The key to getting this exercise right is a slow, controlled swallow.
With practice you will become quicker and better at doing these exercises.
The All in One Shortcut
As commitment is essential to getting the results that you want, those people who struggle with the full routine at least need somewhere to start. We have therefore devised a short, effective but fun introductory exercise to get people going. Although using this exercise alone will have a number of snoring benefits, for maximum results we must recommend that you ultimately adopt the nine daily exercises outlined above.
Cop-Out Easy Adopter:
Start by opening your mouth as wide as it can go and protruding your tongue as far as it goes. Whilst holding these two positions begin moving the extended tongue in an up, down, side to side movement.
After two revolutions of these movements begin humming your national anthem in as deep a pitch as you can and continue until the end of the song or for at least two minutes, whichever comes first!