Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

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derek70
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Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by derek70 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:22 am

Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea
Study: 30 Minutes Per Day of Tongue and
Facial Exercises May Curb Moderate
Obstructive Sleep Apnea


By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sl ... leep-apnea

May 7, 2009 -- Doing certain tongue and facial exercises for 30 minutes daily may ease the severity of obstructive sleep apnea, a Brazilian study shows.


The study included 31 adults with moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Speech pathologists taught 16 of the patients to do tongue and facial exercises for half an hour daily. Those exercises included brushing the tongue with a toothbrush, putting the tip of the tongue on the soft palate and sliding the tongue backward, pronouncing vowels quickly or continuously, and keeping the tongue in a certain position when eating.

For comparison, the other 15 patients didn't learn any tongue or facial exercises. They were simply supervised as they sat for half an hour per day, practicing deep breathing through the nose.

Three months later, the patients in the tongue/facial exercise group had reduced their obstructive sleep apnea severity by 39%. Those patients also reported that they were snoring less, sleeping better, and were less sleepy during the daytime than they had been before learning the exercises. And, although their BMI (body mass index) hadn't changed, their neck circumference was thinner than it had been at the study's start.

In contrast, the comparison group showed no such improvements.

Larger studies are needed to confirm the results and to learn which exercises were most important, but the basic idea is to strengthen the muscles around the airway so it's less likely to collapse during sleep, say the researchers, who included Katia Guimaraes of the sleep laboratory at Brazil's University of Sao Paolo Medical School.

The study appears in the May 15 edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Some of the exercises that the patients performed may have been more helpful than others, according to an editorial published with the study.

Still, "there seems to be reasonable logic to targeting tongue strength as a potential mechanism for remodeling the upper airway," writes editorialist Catriona Steele, PhD, of Canada's Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and University of Toronto.





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2 B Sleeping Soundly
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by 2 B Sleeping Soundly » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:30 am

Derek70,

Very interesting! I went to the site but no mention is made of how to do the exercises. Hopefully more information about the specific exercises will be published so inquiring minds could give them a try.

John
One time a cop pulled me over for running a stop sign. He said, "Didn't you see the stop sign?" I said, "Yeah, but I don't believe everything I read." -- Steven Wright

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chunkyfrog
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by chunkyfrog » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:34 pm

I hate when they do that.
If anyone finds a link, please post.
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jamiswolf
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by jamiswolf » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:07 pm

Hi Derek,
Thanks for posting that. I see a clear relationship between this study and the study that shows snoring and apnea improvement from playing the Didgeridoo. Didge playing uses the tongue and mouth and cheeks (as well as the lungs and throat) and results in an improvement in snoring and apnea. I would suggest that this study helps to explain why the Didge does what it does...only playing the Didge has to be more fun then just sitting there making faces for 30 minutes.
Cheers,
Jamis

SleepyToo2
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by SleepyToo2 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:11 pm

I found a link very easily, by doing a search on PubMed using the author's name and year. However, to make your life easier, go to http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/content/179/10.toc. Look for the article by Steele, which critiques the article by Guimaraes, and says that it is plausible that the exercise _could_ work, but you probably need supervision to make sure you get them right. Then scroll down the page and you will find the article that describes the exercises - good luck with following all the names of muscles! However, the real gem in this link is the video supplement, which demonstrates (briefly) most of what you need to do, although it doesn't show if anything is occurring while the mouth is closed. So, chunkyfrog, take back all those thoughts you were having about evil researchers/publishers, etc.!

Looks like these exercises could be done in the privacy of your own home (maybe in the shower) or in the car on the way to work. Not so sure about the subway!
Not a medical professional - just a patient who has done a lot of reading

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2 B Sleeping Soundly
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by 2 B Sleeping Soundly » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:25 pm

SleepyToo2,

Thanks, Nice find! The article was way beyond my understanding (I need a dumbed down laymans version), but the video was very interesting. I will try the exercises sometime when I can make sure my family is not around to see (no need to solidify in their minds the delicacy of my sanity)

John
One time a cop pulled me over for running a stop sign. He said, "Didn't you see the stop sign?" I said, "Yeah, but I don't believe everything I read." -- Steven Wright

Cindy Lou Who
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by Cindy Lou Who » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:06 pm

Derek70, Thanks for posting this. I'm gonna try it and hope these exercises will stop the nasty drooling and therapy air leaking out of my mouth. I love my Opus 360 nasal pillows and don't want to give them up. Sometimes my hubby will wake me... the leaks are so loud he cannot get back to sleep. He tells friends he sleeps with Darth Vader.
Thanks again,
Cindy

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archangle
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by archangle » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:50 pm

I had found this.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5178372_do-exer ... tment.html

There also appears to be some scam artists out there who posts a lot of links that give you a runaround about apnea exercises, leads you around for a while and then tries to get you to buy his book or video.

Googling "sleep apnea exercise" will get you a lot of links. Some good, some bad.

I suspect success rates are poor, but it may be worth a try, if it's free and harmless. Just don't try it instead of CPAP.
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moresleep
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by moresleep » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:23 am

"Upper airway remodeling" without surgery sounds great. But, probably works best where obesity is linked to the OSA--article mentioned a decrease in neck circumference. Hopefully, there will be more studies.

Mary Z
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by Mary Z » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:41 pm

Do you know what throat exercises to do?
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archangle
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by archangle » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:59 pm

Mary Z wrote:Do you know what throat exercises to do?
Depending on who you ask, they may tighten up muscle tone, stretch out tissues, etc.

I'm skeptical, but if they're free and harmless, why not try them? Just DON'T put off CPAP hoping for a cure from exercises.
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n0hardmask
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Re: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

Post by n0hardmask » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:38 am

jamiswolf wrote:Hi Derek,
Thanks for posting that. I see a clear relationship between this study and the study that shows snoring and apnea improvement from playing the Didgeridoo. Didge playing uses the tongue and mouth and cheeks (as well as the lungs and throat) and results in an improvement in snoring and apnea. I would suggest that this study helps to explain why the Didge does what it does...only playing the Didge has to be more fun then just sitting there making faces for 30 minutes.
Cheers,
Jamis
This is almost OT, but I've gotta insert this. The movie "Diamonds", in which Kirk Douglas portrays an ex-boxing champ and stroke victim.. after himself suffering a stroke that ruined his muscle control over speech. There are some hysterical scenes where Douglas is practicing the exercises, resulting in tongue-extending and ROFL expressions. A funny movie with an ulterior motive of talking about recovering from a stroke.
..back to the topic at hand.
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