Research trial into snoring brings new hope for sufferers

August 20, 2013
Research trial into snoring brings new hope for sufferers
Singing can help aid silent sleep. Credit: Shutterstock

The solution to the age old problem of snoring has been right under our noses all along: if you want a decent night's sleep then sing for it.

The results of a clinical trial carried out by researchers in Devon show that certain singing exercises help reduce in people with a history of simple snoring or obstructive (OSA).

The research has been published in the International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, an open-access journal.

The singing exercises help to strengthen the . Weak muscles in the and upper throat can be a cause of snoring and OSA – and serious singers use singing exercises to strengthen these muscles.

Malcolm Hilton, consultant at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Sub Dean of the University of Exeter Medical School, began the trial after being contacted by a singing teacher, Alise Ojay, with a quirky idea.

He said: "Alise told me that one of her pupils had said that, since starting to sing, his snoring had become greatly reduced. So, she devised a singing exercise programme to strengthen the throat muscles. I then set up this trial and the results have been really interesting."

Mr Hilton's trial involved 60 patients who were chronic snorers, and 60 patients with mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Half of each group sang the exercises for three months and half had no intervention. At the end of the trial the group which did the exercises improved significantly on ratings of snoring and sleep quality, while the comparison group did not change.

Mr Hilton said: "I was open-minded about it. I had no expectations but it was an interesting concept. There is not already a quick-fix treatment for snoring. It is a condition where, if you could find a non-, that would be very beneficial.

"The conclusion that we came to was that the three-month programme of daily singing exercises reduced the frequency and severity of snoring, and improved overall quality of sleep. The exercises were easy to perform and two thirds of people were able to complete the three month programme doing the exercises most days.

"It opens up a whole new avenue of potential treatment which avoids surgery, so it is definitely good news for snorers. However, it must be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes. Being overweight, for example, is the biggest, single independent predictor of snoring."

He added: "Millions of people are affected by snoring and OSA.

"Snoring might not be life threatening, but it can be enormously disruptive to people's lives and snorers often seek medical help.

"OSA can be much more serious, causing people to stop breathing temporarily during deep sleep, which can have a devastating effect on sleep quality. It is also believed that OSA may contribute to road accidents and hypertension."

Explore further: 'Elbow test' may predict sleep apnea

Related Stories

'Elbow test' may predict sleep apnea

October 22, 2012
Have you ever been "elbowed" by your bed partner because you were snoring? If yes, new research says you could have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Don't ignore the snore: Snoring may be early sign of future health risks

January 24, 2013
Here's a wake-up call for snorers: Snoring may put you at a greater risk than those who are overweight, smoke or have high cholesterol to have thickening or abnormalities in the carotid artery, according to researchers at ...

Don't ignore kids' snores

February 13, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Your ears aren’t playing tricks on you – that is the sound of snoring you hear from the bedroom of your preschooler. Snoring is common in children, but in some cases it can be a symptom of a ...

Recommended for you

Anti-nausea drug could help treat sleep apnea

June 6, 2017
An old pharmaceutical product may be a new treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, according to new research presented today by University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University scientists at the SLEEP 2017 annual ...

New disposable, wearable patch found to effectively detect sleep apnea

June 4, 2017
Results of a definitive clinical trial show that a new, disposable diagnostic patch effectively detects obstructive sleep apnea across all severity levels.

Childhood sleep apnoea is common but hard to diagnose

April 28, 2017
The cessation of breathing during sleep caused by enlarged tonsils is common in preschool-age children and can cause serious complications, but the methods normally used to diagnose the condition are subjective and unreliable. ...

Curbing sleep apnea might mean fewer night trips to bathroom

March 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—Millions of Americans battle bothersome nighttime conditions, such as sleep apnea or the need to get up frequently to urinate.

Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood

March 17, 2017
A study comparing children between 7 and 11 years of age who have moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally, found significant reductions of gray matter - brain cells involved ...

Dietary supplement derived from tree bark shows promise for treating obstructive sleep apnea

February 24, 2017
Obstructive sleep apnea, which causes people to briefly stop breathing while asleep, affects an estimated 5 percent of the population, not including the many more who don't even realize they suffer from the disorder.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.