Oct. 15 - Persistent snorers and sufferers of sleep apnea could get relief from their debilitating symptoms with a program of daily singing exercises. A British clinical trial of 120 volunteer snorers has demonstrated that adherence to the exercise routine can significantly reduce snoring and improve the quality of life for sufferers, and their families. Jim Drury has more.
UPSOT: SNORING Snoring - the cause of much marital disharmony and, in some cases, a serious health hazard. UPSOT: SNORING But British chorister Alise Ojay has a simple solution - singing exercises. UPSOT: ALISE SINGING SOUNDBITE (English) ALISE OJAY, INVENTOR OF SINGING FOR SNORERS, SAYING: "The exercises are not only toning the soft palate by working it up and down and in and out as well, but also working the tongue and up into the nasopharynx as well, and the arch that's called the palatopharyngeal arch at the back of your throat." It may look and sound like a gimmick, but Alise's 'Singing for Snorers' CD program has support from the medical community, following a clinical trial at the University of Exeter Medical School. Consultant specialist Malcolm Hilton ran the trial of 60 chronic snorers and 60 mild to moderate sleep apnoea sufferers. Half of each group performed Alise's exercises for three months. The control group didn't. SOUNDBITE (English) MALCOLM HILTON, CONSULTANT OTOLARYNGOLOGIST, SAYING: "There was no difference in the control population in terms of all the different things that we measured. When we switched over to the group that had been doing the exercises for the three months we found significant improvements in a number of those measures in terms of primarily probably the thing we were looking at was the measure of their sleepiness, their Epworth sleepiness score, and there was a significant reduction, a significant improvement in those people's score on their sleep quality scale." UPSOT: FRANK SIGNING One of the beneficiaries of the exercise programme is Alise's husband Frank, a chronic snorer for many years. SOUNDBITE (English) FRANK OJAY, EX-SNORER, SAYING: "Within two weeks I'd noticed that the tone in my throat had increased and then Alise started reporting to me that I was no longer snoring and according to her it took the full three months for me to stop snoring, to my astonishment really." UPSOT: FRANK SINGING After treatment, ex-snorers are advised to follow a twice weekly maintenance program. Frank does his exercises while washing up. UPSOT: FRANK SINGING Obstructive sleep apnoea can have serious health consequences for sufferers. If lifestyle changes don't help, many patients resort to invasive, medical solutions. Alise says her technique is a natural alternative. SOUNDBITE (English) ALISE OJAY, INVENTOR OF SINGING FOR SNORERS, SAYING: "It doesn't involve surgery and it's safe and even enjoyable and even good for your singing voice. Many people in fact who have done my exercises have gone on to join choirs thereafter and get a lot of pleasure from singing, as well as hopefully sleeping better." Further clinical tests are planned on a sub-group of obstructive sleep apnoea sufferers. And as for Frank..having performed his exercises, he's ready to hit the sack, confident that both he - and Alise - are in for a peaceful night. UPSOT: LIGHTS OUT