Exercise upper airway muscles to combat snoring when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
People snore when the throat and palate tissues and muscles become too lax when you're sleeping and vibrate. Studies show simply exercising these muscles can restore enough tone to significantly reduce snoring. If you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid you may also snore due to swelling of the thyroid. Increased weight gain from slower metabolism may also contribute, so managing your Hashimoto's low thyroid disorder is also important to reduce snoring. In a 2015 study, scientists created groups of research subjects of men and women who did not have obstructive sleep apnea, which is linked with many chronic diseases, but instead snored due to mild or moderate sleep apnea. All the subjects irrigated their nasal passages three times a day to rule out sinus issues as a snoring cause. Researchers then divided subjects into two groups: one that used nasal strips and deep breathing exercises to combat snoring, and another that performed 8 minutes of tongue and palate exercises three times a day. After three months, the only group that saw a difference in their snoring was the exercise group. In fact, this group saw their overall frequency of snoring drop by 36 percent and the intensity of sound by 59 percent. This is a significant improvement. The benefits of these exercises also explain why singing, playing horn instruments, and even playing the didgeridoo results in less snoring. If you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid, you also need to use functional medicine to manage your low thyroid condition in order to reduce snoring and sleep apnea.
Throat and palate exercises to snore less
While it's important to manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid, you can also enjoy the same reduced snoring benefits as the study subjects by exercising your throat and palate muscles daily. For it to really work, perform the exercises several times every day. You’ll also need to keep up with them on an ongoing basis to enjoy the benefits. You may find you wake up feeling more rested and have more energy during the day.
- Push the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and slide it backward 20 times.
- Suck your tongue upward against the roof of your mouth 20 times.
- Push the back of your tongue down while keeping the tip touching the inside of your front teeth 20 times.
- Lift your soft palate and uvula 20 times.
- Using your index finger, press the inside of your cheek muscle away from your teeth 10 times on each side.
- When you’re eating, bite down, then lift your tongue to the roof of your mouth as you swallow, without tightening your cheek muscles.
Midlife hormones, inflammation, and snoring
Although nasal congestion, obesity, and Hashimoto's low thyroid can lead to snoring, the declining hormones and inflammation many experience in midlife may also play a role. Research shows declining reproductive hormones — estrogen in women and testosterone in men — can cause snoring. This is because these hormones help activate the part of the brain that keeps throat and palate muscle toned during sleep. Many people with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism also struggle with hormone imbalances and deficiencies due to an overall imbalance in the metabolic system. Balancing the hormones not only helps reduce snoring but also it helps you better manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid. Low thyroid can also cause overall inflammation, which has been shown to increase snoring. An anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce swelling in those tissues and reduce snoring. Dampening inflammation is also important to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid. If your autoimmune thyroid condition blazes on unchecked, it leads to inflammation throughout the body. Ask my office about balancing hormone levels, dampening inflammation, and managing your autoimmune Hashimoto’s low thyroid through nutritional and lifestyle means.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact
About Dr. Josh Redd — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center
with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto's disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto's, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here