Snoring exercises are exercises intended to improve the strength and firmness of the muscles that are associated with snoring. Snoring occurs when various structures of the throat, jaw, and nasal passage cause an obstruction in the breathing pathways. Air moving through these obstructed pathways causes structures of the throat or jaw to vibrate, resulting in sound that may be loud and annoying. Snoring exercises involving the mouth, tongue and jaw can help keep the muscles of the throat and jaw firm so breathing can eventually become relatively unobstructed and noisy vibrations can be avoided. Generally speaking, an individual who snores must keep using these exercises throughout his life, or the muscles will weaken and he will begin snoring again.
There are several different exercises that are commonly used to strengthen the muscles of the jaw, throat, and mouth in order to prevent snoring. Fully opening and closing the mouth repeatedly, for example, works muscles in all three areas. Various tongue exercises, such as repeatedly extending the tongue toward the chin or nose, can strengthen the tongue, preventing it from hanging loosely in the airways. Some vocal exercises may also be used, such as repeating the sound "ka" or "la" several times loudly and accurately.
Snoring occurs when an individual's breathing passages are blocked, so snoring exercises are aimed at opening the blocked breathing passages. Fat buildup and weak, loose muscles are the most common causes of this blockage; the loose tissue blocks airflow and vibrates loudly as air passes through. Just as normal exercise is aimed at improving overall muscular or cardiovascular fitness, improving muscle tone and reducing fat, snoring exercises strengthen and tense the muscles and reduce fat buildup. Fit, tense muscles are much less likely to obstruct breathing passages and will not, therefore, vibrate nearly as much. Over time, these exercises can lead to a reduction in snoring volume or even result in a total end to one's snoring problem.
Exercises are not the only means to prevent snoring. Other methods such as various dental appliances or continuous positive airway pressure devises, or CPAPs, may also be used, though they are generally uncomfortable and less convenient than snoring exercises. Surgery and medication may also be used to treat severe snoring, but the expense and inconvenience are, again, much greater than that involved in snoring exercises. Snoring exercises, however, do not work for many people, so other treatment methods are still widely used.