From heading to bed with a tennis ball tucked into your back pocket to nasal strips, smart pillows and sleep tracking wearables, effective solutions to the age old snoring problem have proved hard to come by. Whether your snoring leads to minor sleeping trouble and a little next day teasing or full-blown Apnea and serious relationship rifts, the results of a recent study at the Sao Paulo Medical School look set to radically change the way we combat the dreaded snore.
Snoring occurs when the airflow in and out of your lungs is obstructed as you sleep. This can be caused by the muscles that normally keep the airways open becoming too relaxed, or is instead the result of too much tissue building up in neck area. When this happens the soft palate in the roof of your mouth starts to vibrate as air struggles through, producing the familiar drone that we all know so well.
Before you consider purchasing the aforementioned pillow, one of several sleep assisting wearables on the market or even invasive surgery, researchers in Brazil may just have found the simplest of solutions. Starting with the realisation that snoring is largely the result of soft, flabby muscles in the neck and mouth not pulling their weight during your downtime; the team at Sao Paulo’s Medical School have developed several exercises to strengthen these underperforming muscle groups. In controlled studies they found that participants who performed the exercises every day for three months drastically decreased their ‘snore score’ compared with those using nasal strips.
With just a few months of simple exercises enough to muffle that dreaded, droning cacophony, it may not be much longer before we completely rid humanity of a problem that has followed us through the ages. Hooray!