Not a habit you may choose to have, but one you can choose to stop
The act of snoring is a very disturbing and a very common sleep complaint in almost every home. Snoring is normal but could be a bit embarrassing and disturbing for your bed mate or room mate.
Snoring is an epidemic with real public health effects. When this is left untreated it can develop into sleep apnoea, which causes blood oxygen levels to plummet. This strangely is associated with impotence, diabetes, hypertension, loss of concentration, poor memory, and most disturbing of all, heart attacks in the middle of the night.
Around 40 percent of men over 30 snore, of which two percent have sleep apnoea. Almost two thirds of men over 65 snore, with ten percent suffering sleep apnoea. This doesn’t imply that it is exclusively a male problem, because some women snore too.
Can it be stopped?
Oh yes, it can be stopped entirely special thanks to Doctor Dilkes who came up with a revolutionary solution: a tongue and throat workout designed to tone up the structures in the neck that cause snoring.
Unfortunately this is not a cure for those snorers who have physiological conditions such as nasal injuries or enlarged tonsils.
According to the doctor, the workout is split into three sets of three exercises, each designed to work a specific part of the mouth and neck – the tongue, the soft palate and the lower throat.
These sets according to him are:
These involve curling your tongue backwards in the mouth towards the soft palate then bringing it forward to touch the back of the upper teeth.
Open wide and say ahhhh…
Mouth stretches tighten the soft palate as you stretch your mouth open as wide as you can, while ‘ahhh’-ing for 20 seconds.
Exercising the lower throat, or oropharynx, involves poking out your tongue as far as it goes, taking a deep breath and making a high-pitched noise (similar to gargling with air) for 30 seconds.
Dilkes is a genial, laid-back surgeon who has lasered hundreds of soft palates and spent years developing the workout and studied the structures of the throats of cadavers to finely tune his knowledge. The exercise programme is now included in his short book, which could well become the snorer’s bible. He runs the Healthhub medical centre in London’s Herne Hill.
Traditionally, there are three options to treat snoring, depending on the causes. Surgery can help by unblocking noses, reducing the size of tonsils or tightening the soft palate.
Equipment such as a mandibular advancement device or positive airway pressure mask can be fitted; the former pulls the lower jaw forward, the latter pushes air down the throat to keep it open.