Learn to Sing and Curb Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

A study in the United Kingdom shows that singing can help curb your snoring problem — and even your sleep apnea!

The clinical trial by Exeter University and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust showed that singing exercises, which strengthen certain throat muscles, also alleviate symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Both snoring and sleep apnea are associated with weak or flabby muscles in the palate and upper throat. The singing exercises help strengthen those muscles and lessen snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.

The study involved 60 chronic snorers and 60 persons with identifiable obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), half of whom were given CDs to practice singing daily, the others nothing — no intervention.

The study was conducted by choir director Alise Ojay in tandem with otolaryngologist Malcolm Hilton of Exeter.

At the end of the trial, the results showed that the daily singing exercises reduced the severity, frequency and loudness of snoring and improved sleep quality. There were no such changes in the participants who were not asked to do the exercises, as would be expected.

“Alise told me that a number of people had benefitted from the singing exercise programme she had devised to strengthen the throat muscles. I then set up this trial and the results have been really interesting,” Dr. Hilton said.

The results of the study were published in July 2013.

Whether you decide to take up singing to help strengthen your throat muscles is your decision, but if you’re a chronic snorer or suspect you have sleep apnea, you should seek professional help. Don’t shortchange your daily vitality because your sleep is interrupted by snoring and/or OSA.

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