Sleep Apnea Exercise – Should You Practice It?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that is medically diagnosed based on both the assessment of clinical symptoms and the outcome of an official sleep study or polysomnogram. Once the sleep study results are available, they may indicate the presence of sleep apnea. An apnea is a 10-second or longer gap that occurs between breaths while sleeping. As these breathing gaps re-occur during the night, the level of oxygen in the blood or blood saturation level can decrease by 4% or more in sleep apnea patients. Various medications, treatments and sleep apnea surgery can be utilized to reduce and even cure sleep apnea but less invasive and more natural sleep apnea treatments are available. One option is to try sleep apnea exercises. These sleep apnea exercises fall into two main groups; general fitness exercises and specific tongue and throat exercises.

How Can Sleep Apnea Exercises Help

Since obesity is considered a major risk factor for sleep apnea, any type of general fitness exercise that helps someone lose weight can also be effective sleep apnea exercises. Research suggests that losing even 10 per cent of your body weight can help reduce the number of sleep apnea episodes that occur. When someone is obese and has a neck diameter of 17″ or greater, the excess fat and tissue in their neck and throat increases their risk of blocked airways and sleep apnea. So, by losing weight and eliminating that excess tissue, sleep apnea symptoms can be relieved. Of course, before you decide to begin any new exercise regimen, always consult with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to begin. Find out more about sleep apnea symptoms in men.

Aside from some mild physical exercises to help lose weight, people with sleep apnea are also encouraged to do tongue and throat exercises. According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, patients with OSA were split into two groups. One was assigned to complete 30 minutes of daily breathing exercises. Patients in the other group were given 30 minutes of oropharyngeal exercises a day to exercise their tongue, soft palate, facial muscles and throats. These throat exercises included swallowing, chewing, and pronouncing vowels. After three months, results of the research showed that the patients in the group that practiced breathing showed no improvement but the group of sleep apnea patients that practiced oropharyngeal exercises snored less and slept better at night. They also reduced their neck circumferences and achieved an overall 39 percent reduction in sleep apnea symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Exercises You Can Try
If you are suffering from mild sleep apnea, here are some simple throat exercises that might help strengthen the muscles of your throat while helping to clear your airway and thus reducing the likelihood of it collapsing during sleep. First, recite the vowels of the alphabet for 3 minutes straight. This will help stretch out the muscles in your throat. Next, place your tongue at the back of your teeth firmly and slide it to the back of your mouth. Do this for another 3 minutes. Third, purse your mouth tightly and hold for 30 seconds. Next, contract the muscles of the back of your throat and make it big and small (like a frog) and do this for 30 seconds. Lastly, position your lower jaw to the left for 30 seconds then switch to the right for another 30 seconds. Doing these sleep apnea exercises daily and regularly can help treat your sleep apnea symptoms.

Sleep apnea is one of many treatable sleep disorders. Depending on the level of severity of your condition, both general fitness exercises and specific tongue and throat exercises have proven effective at reducing and even eliminating sleep apnea symptoms and snoring. Consult with your medical professional and see if sleep apnea exercises are right for you.

Sleep Apnea is not a normal health issue, or sleeping problem. Individuals suffering from it should seek medical attention soonest possible. Do take note that sufferers may not be aware of the condition, so if you see the symptons on your friends, spouse or family members, remember to take action asap. Snoring and Weight gain are common Side Effects of Apnea. Last but not least, wishing everyone have a good night sleep always!

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