The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. There is a laundry list of illnesses related to a bad night’s sleep, including heart disease and cognitive disorders. About one third of Americans report falling asleep during the day and 1 in 20 people has nodded off while driving. The biggest culprit of bad sleep is snoring. Not only does it affect the snorer, it can make sleeping impossible for a person in the same bed. Without needing to go under the knife, there are some simple solutions to reduce snoring:
Snoring is caused by a blockage in the throat that vibrates as air enters and exits the lungs. Snoring can cause a potentially dangerous condition called sleep apnea, which is a momentary pause in breathing during the night. New studies have found that singing exercises help to reduce the obstruction that causes snoring and apnea. In one study, 127 adults with moderate snoring were given a 3 CD box set of singing exercises to be performed 20 minutes per day. The people that did the singing exercises for three months reduced the severity, frequency and loudness of snoring.
Excess weight has been linked to snoring, so any form of aerobic exercise will help reduce sleep disturbances. Taking a dip seems to be one of the best methods. Not only does a daily swim help oxygenate the blood while burning some extra calories, the mechanics of breathing while swimming help to strengthen the respiratory muscles of the throat. Much like muscle tone in other parts of your body, swimming exercises the muscles associated with breathing and helps hold everything in place when asleep. This might be the perfect occasion to put a lap pool and get healthy!
Sleeping on your back is one possible cause of snoring. Many people sleep of their backs because of back pain and discomfort. A daily stretching routine will help, enabling healthy side sleeping. Pilates and yoga are two of the best exercises for increasing flexibility and reducing back and joint pain. Exercises that stretch the muscles around the hip joints will allow you to sleep on your side without soreness. A pillow between the legs also helps.
Stick Out Your Tongue
Since your tongue is one of the main muscles of the throat and snoring is caused by the weakening of this muscular structure, exercising the tongue will help reduce snoring and the symptoms of apnea. Stick out your tongue, forcing it to a point for a count of three. Relax and let it fall naturally outside of your mouth. Repeat this process several times before bed. This will strengthen the sides of the tongue. To build the tip of the tongue, make a “tsk” sound, several times in rapid succession. These are some simple tips to help stop snoring. Snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem so consult your doctor to be safe.