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Sing Your Way Out of Snoring, Study Suggests

Update Date: Aug 20, 2013 02:04 PM EDT

People who snore or people who sleep with snorers could suffer greatly from a lack of sleep. Not only does the lack of sleep hinder cognitive functions and fail to rejuvenate the body, it could also ruin relationships. In a new study, researchers carried out a clinical trial to test the effects of singing on snoring. The team discovered that some singing exercises could help reduce snoring in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or people who have a history of snoring.

For this clinical trial, the research team headed by Malcolm Hilton, a consultant otolaryngologist at the University of Exeter Medical School, recruited 60 patients who were considered to be chronic snorers and another 60 patients who suffered from mild to severe sleep apnea. Hilton tested the singing exercises for patients to try to see if these exercises would reduce their snoring. The exercises were created after Hilton was contacted by a singing teacher, Alise Ojay.

"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 program to strengthen the throat muscles. I then set up this trial and the results have been really interesting," Hilton said according to Medical Xpress.

For the trial, half of the participants in each group were taught the singing exercises. They performed these exercises for three months while the other halves of the groups had no form of treatment for their snoring. The researchers discovered that the people who had the exercises in both groups had improvement in their snoring and sleep quality.

"The conclusion that we came to was that the three-month program 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 program doing the exercises most days," Hilton explained. "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."

The researchers stated that even though snoring might not be a life-threatening situation, it could reduce quality of life. If preventing snoring can be as simple as performing singing exercises, more people might find relief during bedtime. The findings were published in the International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery

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