Exercises to Help with Snoring

Exercises to Help with Snoring

If you struggle with getting restful sleep, you likely know the toll it can take on physical, emotional, and mental health. Poor sleep can produce fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating and completing tasks, etc. A common way sleep is impacted is by snoring. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) estimates that 25% of adults snore regularly.  Snoring is a harsh and often noisy sound made by the nose and/or mouth. It occurs as a result of the muscles and tissue in the back of the mouth and throat collapsing, restricting airflow. Snoring disrupts sleep which not only impacts you but also your loved one!

What Causes Snoring?

Several factors can cause snoring. This includes the following: 

  • Sleep Disorders: According to the NSF, half of all cases of snoring occur with a simultaneous sleep disorder. 50% of people who snore regularly also have sleep apnea. This specific sleep disorder is characterized by paused breathing during sleep. 
  • Position During Sleep: different sleep positions can also contribute to snoring. This includes laying on your back during sleep – gravity’s effect supports the mouth being opened which can collapse the muscles in the throat. 
  • Mouth Anatomy: airways can also be obstructed by the anatomy of one’s mouth. Having extra tissue in the back of the throat, a lower soft palate can make the airways more narrow. 
  • Deviated Septum: when the wall separating the nostrils, the septum, is deviated (or crooked), this can produce a range of symptoms that impacts airflow. It can increase congestion and make it more challenging to breathe. 
  • Alcohol: the consumption of alcohol close to sleeping can also trigger snoring. Alcohol is a sedative that relaxes throat muscles, also impacting airflow. 


Snoring can be experienced intermittently or chronically, affecting the quality of sleep. Luckily, there are useful interventions that can help alleviate snoring. This includes performing specific exercises that target and strengthen different areas involved in breathing and snoring. 


Exercises to Help Alleviate Snoring

Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night which helps sustain the body. Sleeping  But it is estimated that 35% of adults receive less than this amount. Additionally, according to the NSF, 50 to 70 million adults have a sleep disorder (the two main types being insomnia and sleep apnea). This makes snoring more likely which in turn reduces sleep quality. Research shows that performing certain exercises can help alleviate snoring. 


These exercises target muscle groups that are involved in the process of snoring. These exercises are designed to tone and strengthen these muscles, preventing them from overly relaxing during sleep. These types of exercises are referred to as myofunctional therapy or oropharyngeal exercises which specifically target mouth and throat areas: tonsils, tongue, soft palate, etc. There is a range of these exercises, examples include: 

  • Face: to strengthen mouth muscles, purse your lips together to close your mouth and then open your mouth and relax your face. Another facial exercise is extending your cheeks out by pulling on them and then sucking them in using your cheek muscles. 
  • Tongue: designed to strengthen the tongue, this includes pressing the tip of the tongue against the back of your top row teeth. Follow this with sliding the tongue against the roof of the mouth and then sticking it out of the mouth as far as possible. Another tongue exercise is simply pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth. 
  • Repeating Vowel Sounds: making vowel sounds – a, e, I, o, u – repeatedly can also tone muscles. 
  • Breathing: breathing exercises are incredibly beneficial for your health. They can alleviate snoring by cultivating and supporting healthy airflow. Countless breathing techniques are simple including inhaling through the nose and doing a 5 count followed by exhaling through the mouth and doing another 5 counts. 


Studies have shown that practicing these exercises daily for a few months can improve snoring. Try integrating these exercises a few times a day, throughout the day, and monitor how it impacts your snoring. 


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At Otolaryngology Associates, we offer a range of services that comprehensively identify and treat your health needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can treat your health concerns and transform your sleep quality.