Exercises That Stop Snoring

Related Links
Stop Snoring-All the Tips That Work
Foods That Prevent Snoring
Snoring Linked to 67% Risk of Stroke
Can't Sleep-Here's Help
UCLA Center for Sleep Research
Mayo Clinic Snoring Research
Snorers Cost Spouses 2 Years of Lost Sleep
Sleep Apnea-Causes and Cures
May 19, 2009, last updated July 14, 2012
By Susan M. Callahan, Health Editor
and Featured Columnist

People who sleep with snorers often report some puzzling
facts. When they tilt the snorers head, or pull their chins
down, the snoring stops.  Why? What is it about these little
tricks that stop snoring? And, are there any exercises that
can help to stop or decrease snoring?  Many a marriage
hangs in the balance with this answer.

The short answer is "yes". There are exercises which can
help you to stop snoring.  The reason they help is found in
the complicated structure of the mouth. Snoring is caused
when your "soft palate" becomes floppy at night. Think of
your mouth as a door leading to a windy patio. The door is
framed by tall curtains.  When the wind blows, the curtains
flutter.  Now, in your mouth, the curtains are your soft
palate, and the wind is your breathing.  When air passes
over the soft palate, it produces the fluttering sound we
know as snoring.  Snoring can also be produced when your
tongue rolls a little backwards toward your air pipes.
There, it falls back against your windpipes, lodging against
the tissues hanging at the arch of the door and again
causing snoring.

How do you decrease the chances that your curtains will
flutter when your breath--the wind--blows against them?
Well, stiffen them up. Anchor them. Your soft palate and
curtains --technically called your pharyngeal folds --are
really just muscles.  As we age, these muscles get soft and
flabby. The better to flutter in the wind, right?  This is the
reason that we tend to snore more as we get older, and
children snore less often. Our tongue gets flabbier, and
fatter, as we eat high fatty foods throughout our lives. Our
soft palate gets flabbier as we get lazy slurring our speech
and mumbling over the course of our lives.

In fact, we are really a nation of mumblers. You can see
how speech precision has really deteriorated when you
look at old black-and-white movies. It is startling how
much more clearly people in movies spoke 40 or 50 years
ago. Now, you almost need subtitles to understand the
"English" spoken by professional actors.  Same goes for
the "English" taught in schools. Elocution classes which
used to be taught as high school courses are now
non-existent, relegated to the scrap heap of "old fogie"
anachronisms. Too bad.

You can tighten up your inner mouth muscles by doing
certain exercises. They may seem a little silly but, done over
time, they are effective in many cases of snoring.

The inner mouth muscles can be exercises using vocal
sounds, much like singers use in warming up but with a
difference.  These exercises focus on your pharyngeal
muscles, your curtain, and your tongue, to train them the
muscles to stay put during the night.

Here are the best exercises to tone up your inner mouth
and prevent snoring:

1. The Odd Couple.  Remember the Odd Couple? It was a
Broadway play that became a much beloved TV series
starring Jack Klugman as Oscar and Tony Randal as Felix
Unger. Well, saying the name "Felix Unger" is one of the
best ways to reach your pharyngeal muscles. Say "Felix
Unger". Feel how the muscles in the back of your throat
flex when you say "Unger".  Feel how the tongue goes
back and then forward when you say "Felix".  That name
gives your tongue and your pharyngeal folds (your
curtains) quite a workout.  As Drs. Fairbanks and Mickelson
observed in their landmark book, Snoring and Obstructive
Sleep Apnea, "[i]insufficient muscle tone (tightness) of the
palate, tongue and pharynx is the cause of most adult
onset snoring".

So, every other day, at around 7 or 8 at night or two hours
before bedtime, take a deep breath and say "Felix Unger"
10 to 20 times.  On the next day, you must rest. Why?
Because, the tongue and pharyngeal folds are muscles.
They can get strained if you over work them. Give them a
day's rest between the exercises.

2. The Uh-oh Surprise Exercises. Remember the sound that
babies make when they are surprised. "Uh -oh".  Or the
sound you make when you say "Ahh", as in word "all".  
Again, these sounds exercise your pharyngeal muscles.  
Feel how those muscles get a work out, when you say
"Uh-oh".  Here is a vocal  exercise that helps to stop

Say the following phrase slowly "All Oliver ever wanted to
do was sing--loudly. Uh-oh".  Say this phrase 10 to 20
times every other night 2 hours before bedtime. You don't
have to scream. Just speak in a normal conversation voice
but enunciate and speak as clearly as you can. Rest a day in

3. The tip of the tongue. Now fro your tongue. Here is a
phrase to get it in shape.  It is used  as warm up by actors
the world over. Say "The lips, the teeth, the tip of the
tongue". Say it 10 to 20 times, again two hours before you
g to bed.

Now, you are just getting started. Here is more vital
information on snoring:  
Foods That Stop Snoring / Stop
Snoring--All the Tips That Work / Snoring Linked to Stroke
Other Related Links

Stroke Signs --How to Know When You Are Having a Stroke
Foods That Help Prevent Snoring
Can't Sleep-Here's Help

Americans Are Chronically Sleep Deprived- 2008 Study Released
Owning a Cat Cuts Stroke Risk by 40%
My Heart Attack-A Personal Story
"Cardiovascular Disease and Health-Care Utilization in Snorers: a
Population Survey"
Andrea Dunai, MD, Andras P. Keszei, MD, PhD, Maria S. Kopp, MD,PhD,
Colin M. Shapiro, MBBCh, PhD, FRCPC, Istvan Mucsi, MD, PhD, Marta
Novak, MD, PhD
SLEEP Volume 31, Issue 03, Pages 411-416

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