A Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (UK) study says regular singing may help reduce snoring and improve sleep in some obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients.
Given a set of singing exercises, more people of the total group of 127 participants reported decreased snoring and less daytime sleepiness than the people who did not perform the singing exercises.
The exercises were performed by the “singing” group for a total of three months.
Results of the Study: Singers Snored Less, Were More “Awake”
Singing exercise participants reported less snoring and less daytime sleepiness, according to results of the study.
The study did experience a high dropout rate, which may skew the results, according to researchers. (In other words, there’s no way of knowing what percentage more or fewer of the singing group would have obtained positive results from the exercises.)
However, of the participants who stuck with the program until the end of the three-month period, results looked promising for singing, or other mouth/throat/tongue exercises, potentially helping some people with a snoring condition (and specifically, people with OSA).
The exercises were performed for 20 minutes daily by each member in the “singing” group.
According to the researchers heading up the study, a vocal coach had reported that some of his students reported reduced snoring, which prompted the study.
Study participants were age 18 or over, had a history of moderate OSA (severe OSA sufferers were not accepted as participants) and had a physician-observed apnea index (AI) of 10-40. (An AI of greater than 40 eliminated individuals from the study.)
In addition to the exercises, study participants were given general advice on how to reduce snoring, including losing weight and getting more exercise on a daily basis.
What Exercises Can Be Done to Help Reduce Snoring?
The idea is that some snoring may be due to over-relaxation of the muscles of the mouth, throat, palate and/or tongue during sleep (a common phenomenon related to relaxation of bodily muscles overall during sleep). Therefore, strengthening the area could potentially help reduce or even eliminate snoring, the theory states.
Singing may add an element of pleasure to exercises intended to produce better muscle tone to the mouth and throat area.
Snore-reducing exercises can be found all over the internet due to recent interest in the subject, as well as OSA patients looking for non-invasive, non-surgical solutions. Your best bet, however, may be to ask your doctor what she recommends. If you’re curious about the effects exercises might have on your snoring, go to a reputable source for a list of exercises and follow them regularly for two to four months before determining whether they are working for you.
As with any action related to reducing your snoring condition, and ESPECIALLY if you have been diagnosed with OSA, ask your doctor before beginning a mouth/throat exercise program.
DO NOT stop using any physician-recommended appliance, such as a CPAP machine, mouth/dental placer or chin strap, without your doctor’s approval.