Getting Active For Better Rest
Physically active people tend to sleep longer and more solidly throughout the night. Getting the heart muscle and blood pumping is a benefit to every cell of the body. Yet how can exercise work in conjunction with those suffering from sleep apnea? For adults with sleep apnea, a condition that stresses the heart and repeatedly interrupts sleep when breathing briefly slows or stops, a routine exercise program can cut the severity of sleep apnea by up to 25%.
Being overweight is a well-known risk factor for sleep apnea. Both Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)–a mechanical dysfunction of breathing during sleep, and Central sleep apnea (CSA)–a neurological function of breathing during sleep, have long-term negative impacts on overall health. One of the most prevalent signs of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness, which can also lead to fatigue during exercise. Because sleep apnea results in poor nighttime breathing, there is also a chance of poor breathing during daytime exercise.
Exercise as the Perfect Companion
From everything to weight loss and sleep problems, exercise can help patients who yearn to change their habits for the better. With sleep apnea sufferers, in particular, exercise may give you a mood boost. Exercise also helps with anxiety, depression, and eases stress — all problems that can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. Additionally, exercise improves sleep by reducing a day’s worth of stress. Early morning and afternoon heart rate activities also help reset the sleep-wake cycle by manipulating your body temperature, allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later.
As sleep is crucial for the proper functioning of a daily lifestyle, so too is exercise. The best defense is a good offense, and exercise in all its forms might help relieve nagging daytime fatigue.
Sleep Apnea Exercise
These are six effective exercises to try at home. Nearly anyone with OSA can benefit, regardless of physical ability. If you have a mobility issue, you can sit comfortably in a chair to do many of the exercises. The goal of each breathing exercise for sleep apnea is to clear, open, and strengthen your airway muscles.
- Mouth and Throat exercises – These work the throat, tongue, soft palate, and jaw. Many dentists consider them the most effective type of sleep apnea exercise. You’ll want all of your breathing muscles firm and toned yet flexible.
- Neck exercises – Excess tissue in the neck can affect your sleep. The back of the throat, the lower part of the throat, the larynx, the vocal cords, epiglottis, trachea for breathing, and esophagus for eating are all impacted by OSA. Your neck size can contribute to sleep apnea.
- Soft Palate exercises – The soft palate is the upper part of the back of your mouth. The uvula, or the dangling tissue resembling a small punching bag, hangs there. You can perform soft palate exercises to strengthen and improve your sleeping problems.
- Jaw exercise – If your jaw is tight, it places pressure on your breathing passages. Jaw exercises help loosen, relax, and tone your tongue and jaw muscles. If you clench or grind your jaw, this may also result in TMJ issues. Relax your jaw muscles by using exercises to stretch them.
- Singing exercises – This is one of the best ways to exercise and strengthen your throat muscles. This includes your vocal cords, which are the strongest muscles in your throat. The goal is to strengthen the soft palate, tongue, and throat muscles.
- Yoga exercises – Breathing exercises involve sitting in an upright posture and increasing oxygen levels in your blood. This can improve your metabolism, boost energy levels, and help your body release toxins. Deep breathing with yoga can also resolve physical and emotional troubles that contribute to sleep apnea.
Schedule Your Consultation at Precision Dentistry and Implants of Kerrville
Now that you have a home regimen to think about and engage in, there are solutions to treat your sleep disorder and restore your body to achieve a restful night without any interruptions. Dr. Huff and his team encourage you to give these exercises a try, but first schedule a consultation with us so we can help guide your progress and be part of your success. We’re motivated to watch you shine!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does exercise help sleep apnea?
Losing weight can often help relieve several symptoms of sleep apnea. A common cause of sleep apnea is extra weight collecting around your throat, causing a blockage and keeping oxygen from entering your lungs. Over time, exercise helps reduce excess tissue on your chest and neck, lessening your sleep apnea symptoms. Along with treatment, you can feel like your healthiest self with an active routine and restful nights.
Can throat exercises help ease sleep apnea symptoms?
Your sleep dentist, Dr. Huff, can recommend exercises and sleep apnea treatments that help to tone your muscles and build endurance.
He may recommend activities such as:
- Mouth and throat exercises
- Neck stretches and exercises
- Soft palate exercises
- Jaw stretches and exercises
- Breathing exercises
- Singing therapy
- Light yoga
Along with treatment for sleep apnea, performing these light exercises daily can significantly reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. Learn more about our recommendations at your consultation at our Kerrville office.