For some people, singing exercises may help with snoring and sleep apnea. However, it seems that the usefulness may be limited to a subset of people, and more study is recommended before people seek out this treatment.
Snore or Sing: Your Voice and Your Choice
According to a couple of studies, singing may provide relief for people who have acquired snoring as a result of advanced age. The studies were conducted by Alise Ojay, a British choir director who used the solution to treat her husband’s snoring.
Snoring is caused by an airway that narrows at night, resulting in a turbulent airflow. This airflow causes vibration in the throat and other tissues that we hear as sound. The airflow narrows for many reasons, including anatomy and fat in the neck area, but narrowing can be mediated by your throat muscles.
As we age, many of us experience increased laxity in these muscles. The choir practice helps exercise these muscles to restore their tone. This can help the airway stay open at night.
A preliminary study published in 2000 showed that on average snoring duration was reduced for people who practiced singing for 20 minutes a day over three months. The study was limited in size and had no good statistical rigor.
A more recent clinical study reported by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK found that people were able to reduce the amount of snoring (but not the volume) and reduce daytime sleepiness using the singing exercises. However, the study was hampered by the number of people dropping out. More than a quarter of the total participants dropped out, and 40% of those in the singing group.
Could You Benefit?
Not everyone could see benefit from this type of treatment. Ojay noted that the best candidates for this type of treatment are those who:
- Started snoring after age 40
- Don’t have nasal snoring
- Are not overweight
People who are interested in the treatment can order it online.
Another Way to Keep Airways Open
Another way to prevent snoring and sleep apnea by helping keep your airways open is oral appliance therapy. This repositions your jaw, which supports the tissues of your airway, to make it easier to breathe.
We can evaluate snorers and sleep apnea sufferers to determine if they will benefit from oral appliances before you decide on treatment.
To learn whether oral appliance therapy can help you, please contact the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha today.