Tuesday, 20 August 2013


I've had my share of sleep problems in my time.  Frankly getting up in the morning after an undisturbed night feeling refreshed is a bonus.  Self administered cognitive behavioural therapy made me realise though that life can go on anyway.

But I'm always open to suggestions about how the situation can be improved.  So, it was with open ears that I listened to a piece on Radio 4's Today programme yesterday.  There, a choir director with the ever such cool name of Alise Ojay described the research that she'd done in conjunction with the University of Exeter to see if singing exercises reduced snoring.  And guess what?  They do.

This sounds an eminently sensible approach, one that I'm kicking myself that I hadn't thought about it before.  Snoring often occurs as the pharyngeal muscles in the throat lose tone and become floppy.  Singing firms up those muscles and voila, after following the programme many people found that they became less vocal and annoying at night.   Today's title was the phrase that Ms Ojay sung in the Radio 4 studio.  I tried it myself and you can really feel those tonsils getting a workout.  Of course,  singing nonsense untunefully can also be irritating in its own right, perhaps more so than those nocturnal rumblings.  You'd have to weigh this up.

The programme on CD is available from the Singing for Snorers website and costs £42.  However, if like me you're not particularly flush at the moment here's another resource  giving ideas for other exercises following the same principles.  Some of these have the added benefit of being silent!

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