I’m a doctor – here’s my 5 best tongue ‘exercises’ to stop you snoring
- NHS surgeon Dr Karan Raj is a social media star with five million TikTok followers
- Dr Raj reveals the very simple tongue exercises to help you put snoring to bed
- Read more: How to have the best sleep of your life, writes DR KARAN RAJ
It’s the annoying habit which affects millions of us every night.
But now a doctor has shared five exercises which may be the life-changing solution for the 30million Brits and 90million Americans estimated to snore.
The simple ‘work-outs’ range from just sticking your tongue out, to wiggling it from side to side and pushing it against the roof of your mouth.
Dr Karan Raj, an NHS surgeon who has accumulated more than 5million followers on TikTok, shared his top tips to put your snoring to bed.
Dr Karan Raj, an NHS surgeon, has recommended exercises which could be the life-changing solution for more than 30 million snoring Britons- it involves getting your tongue moving
While people typically do not want to be a snorer it is actually considered the norm for British people over forty
Stick out your tongue for five seconds
Dr Raj recommended snorers to repeat this relatively simple exercise three or four times to help alleviate your symptoms.
In a TikTok video, which has been viewed more than 400,000 times, he said: ‘If you want a bit more resistance you can push your tongue against a spoon.’
He then went on to demonstrate this by holding a spoon across his mouth and using his tongue to push against it.
Push your tongue out as far as you can without it feeling strained. The aim is to flex the muscle to improve strength.
Count to five seconds in your head then relax your tongue back inside your mouth for another five seconds.
Dr Raj explained that this exercise, and the others he recommends, ‘are basically resistance training for your tongue and throat muscles, to tone them up so they don’t flap around or collapse when you sleep’.
‘Ultimately, having stronger throat and tongue muscles will help you wake up feeling fresher and ‘stop your partner giving you a sleep divorce’ Dr Raj added.
Move your tongue left and right
The social media star advised those living with the problem to also try moving their tongue from side to side inside their mouth.
Like how going to the gym regularly can tone up your legs — this exercise helps tone the muscles around the airway so snoring is not as frequent or noisy.
In theory, the more regularly you do these exercises the less likely you are going to snore, he claims.
These mouth exercises are also called ‘myofunctional therapy’ or ‘oropharyngeal exercise’.
The arguably annoying habit is caused by your tongue, mouth, throat or airways in your nose vibrating as you breathe
Place your fingers on your cheeks and push with your tongue
In the 57-second clip, the NHS surgeon advise putting your fingers on the outside of the cheeks while pushing the tongue against them through your cheek.
He recommended doing this exercise three to four times on each side.
Gesturing towards his neck, Dr Raj said: ‘You should be able to feel a gentle strain in the side opposite the cheek you’re pushing against.’
Push your tongue against your front teeth and try to swallow
Dr Raj showed off his pearly white smile and gritted his teeth to demonstrate and went on to give his fourth piece of advice.
He said: ‘If you want even more stretch in your throat muscles look up while you do it.’
The lecturer for Sunderland University recommended doing this exercise three to four times.
Drop your tongue downwards and hold for five seconds
Dr Raj recommended sticking the tongue downwards and holding it there for five seconds.
He explained that those doing the exercise in front of a mirror should see their uvula go up — or as he explains ‘the dangly thing in the back of your throat’.
Dr Raj said: ‘This movement will strengthen the muscles in the back of your throat.
Other medical professionals have also used the social media platform to offer their advice to help snorers.
Dr Pedi Mirdamadi, a registered holistic nutritionist and doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, explained that snoring can be helped if you place your tongue against the roof of your mouth and suck back.
In a video viewed more than 400,000 times, he said: ‘Aim to do this 20 to 30 times each day. The exercise strengthens the tongue muscle and can help with snoring.’
Causes of snoring and NHS treatments
You’re more likely to snore if you:
- are overweight
- drink too much alcohol
- sleep on your back
Sometimes it’s caused by a condition like sleep apnoea, which is when your airways become temporarily blocked as you sleep.
A device you wear in your mouth to bring your tongue forward (mandibular advancement device).
A chin strap to hold your mouth closed, or a device you wear in your mouth to make you breathe through your nose while you sleep (vestibular shield).
Special devices (nasal dilators) or strips that hold your nose open while you sleep, or sprays to reduce swelling inside your nose.
Surgery is sometimes used to treat snoring if other treatments do not help. But it’s not widely available on the NHS, it does not always work and snoring can come back afterwards.
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