But treating snoring is a little bit harder. There are many home remedies and over-the-counter approaches to treating snoring out there, but people are (justifiably) wary of them. And many people are reluctant to seek professional help–although many who have tried it know the benefits. So it’s no wonder that a doctor saying you can fix snoring at home with just exercise would get a lot of hype online. But the hype doesn’t tell you that science shows limited effectiveness for snoring exercises.
Snoring Exercises: Theory and Practice
This isn’t the first time that people have proposed exercises for snoring treatment. It kind of makes sense in principle: lax muscles in the airway are part of the reason why you develop snoring in the first place. When you sleep, lax muscle tissue relaxes, which allows your airway to collapse. If you exercise those muscles, theoretically they would be more firm and wouldn’t be as likely to collapse.
In the past, people have proposed that many different approaches could be used to give your airway muscles a workout. Singing, playing a wind instrument, or even playing a didgeridoo have all been proposed as approaches to firming airway muscles to improve snoring. These approaches have little scientific support, with the benefit of wind instruments getting debunked in a couple of studies. Other studies showing benefit have not been followed up to confirm their results.
Snoring exercises are different because they have no other purpose. Improving your snoring is your only goal for doing these exercises, so we might expect that they’ll be more effective. The good news is that the exercises only take a few minutes. And although they might look and sound foolish, otherwise you can do them anywhere at any time without any special equipment. But do they really work?
Science and Evidence of Snoring Exercises
But so far, the results of snoring exercises don’t seem to back up their theoretical promise. A recent study on this concept showed that after three months of exercising, people did see some improvement in the sound of snoring, but the study doesn’t show improvement in related areas like daytime sleepiness.
And it has to be noted that the sample size of this study is quite small, less than 40 people randomized between the treatment and control arms of the study, so its conclusions are pretty weak.
Snoring Exercises and Other Home Care
If you are looking for a home care solution for snoring, there are some important factors to consider first. Most importantly, you have to know that most of these will not help with sleep apnea. Certainly, there’s no evidence that snoring exercises will improve your daytime sleepiness or the quality of your sleep.
So it’s important to get tested for sleep apnea before you try home care for snoring. If you just have simple snoring and not sleep apnea, then you can try home care, but you have to match your expectations to the treatment mode. And with most snoring home care that means you have to be prepared for them to fail.