Cowan Books


Sleep Apnea Exercises

Save yourself time, money, and future frustration. Stop spending hours trying to find an easy, proven treatment for your obstructive sleep apnea.

Here’s how it happens while you’re asleep:

  • Apnea can also occur if a person has a tongue that is too thick or a soft palate (the back part of the top of your throat) that is flabby.
  • Muscles in the throat will be working against the collapse, trying to maintain an open airway.
  • When the tissues at the rear of the throat collapse and become temporarily blocked off, apnea will happen and the person’s breathing is halted (“apnea” is a Greek word that means “cessation of breath”).
  • Normally the rear of a person’s throat is soft and naturally falls inward when the person breathes.
  • Traveling to the lungs, the air will make its journey via the nose, mouth, and throat (all known as the ‘upper airway’)


As I said, the main reason people do exercises for obstructive sleep apnea is to build and strengthen the muscles located around their airway.

Here are the main categories of exercises, for each body area:

  • Jaw exercises: a tense jaw can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. If the jaw is tight it can place pressure directly on the breathing passages. Jaw exercises will help to loosen and relax the jaw muscles.
  • Tongue exercises: many people don’t realize that the tongue is a muscle. If the tongue becomes weak it can drop into the throat, causing an airway blockage. Tongue exercises assist in building the tongue’s tone and strength.
  • Soft palate exercises: the soft palate muscles located around the base of the tongue relax during sleep. A weak soft palate can flap around and its tip can fall down onto the tongue. The soft palate exercises lift the soft palate up. The exercises also tone and strengthen the soft palate.
  • Throat exercises: weakened throat muscles can collapse during sleep, causing the airway to become blocked. Throat exercises help to build, tone and strengthen the throat muscles. The exercises also open the throat up more to prevent it closing upon sleep.

The manual includes these sections:

  • The relationship between sleep apnea and snoring
  • Daily tasks to keep your sleep apnea at a low level
  • Scientific studies backing up sleep apnea exercises
  • Causes of sleep apnea;
  • How to test your sleep apnea at home
  • Names and contact details for obstructive sleep apnea support groups
  • Names and website addresses of speech-language pathologists in the U.S. and U.K. who specialize in sleep apnea, and have agreed to list their contact details in my manual.