Snoring isn’t just an inconvenience for your romantic life – there is also evidence that snoring is a warning sign for other health risks.
In 1987, a study published in the BMJ Journal of Clinical Research showed that if a man was a snorer, he would be at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Snoring also has an impact on day-to-day life. It causes poor quality sleep, which results in feeling sleepy during the day, according to surgeon Mike Dilkes’ website.
It also causes sleep apnoea, which is a condition resulting in the body not getting enough oxygen at night. This causes high blood pressure, insulin resistance, loss of concentration and even fatal heart attacks.
According to The Telegraph, Dilkes suggests that a particular exercise regime can help reduce the level of noise snorers make and sometimes even stop it altogether. For those who snore and especially those with partners who snore, any reduction in noise volume will be a welcome relief.
Dilkes splits his workout into three exercises, which all focus on a different part of the mouth, neck or tongue:
- The first is the tongue curl, which, as its name suggests, involves curling your tongue backwards towards the soft palate – the soft bit on the roof of your mouth. Then you bring it forward to touch the back of your upper teeth.
- The second is mouth stretches, which involves opening your mouth as wide as you can and saying “ahh” for 20 seconds.
- The third is an exercise for the lower throat, where you have to stick out your tongue as far as possible, take a deep breath and make a high-pitched noise for 30 seconds.
This should all take you only about five minutes. It’s not a quiet exercise, so you may want to find somewhere private to try it.
The reason the exercise works is that snoring is often thought to be a result of a loss of muscle tone in the mouth and neck. In these cases, the workout helps by strengthening the muscles.
Other causes of snoring are obesity, excessive drinking and smoking. According to the NHS, twice as many men as women snore, and 40% of these men are over 30.
The exercises may not help people who snore resulting from conditions such as nasal injuries or enlarged tonsils. Instead, surgery may be a better option. However, it’s well worth giving a go as it may reduce the level of snoring even if it doesn’t totally fix it.
As Dilkes told The Telegraph:
“Hopefully exercising your throat will become something people do every night after brushing their teeth. Plus, if your wife sees that you are making a real effort, she is more likely to cut you some slack.”