Despite the benefits of mewing, such as improved facial growth or posture, there are also more serious things mewing can help with. One of these is sleep apnea. A potentially dangerous disorder, sleep apnea, is avoided by proper tongue placement and posture.
Mewing cannot help with all types of sleep apnea. But mewing can help fix sleep apnea when the tongue falls back into the throat by facilitating proper tongue posture. Mewing will also help sleep apnea over the course of years or decades by creating more room for the tongue in the mouth. It’s the ultimate sleep apnea preventative.
Although mewing mostly focuses on facial aesthetic fixes, the main focus should really be on what it does for your health. Sleep apnea is one of these things. But before we understand how mewing helps with sleep apnea, you first have to understand how sleep apnea works and why it is a problem.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
There are two types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. In the case of mewing, obstructive sleep apnea is what’s relevant. Central sleep apnea occurs mostly because brain signals cause the problem.
Sleep apnea is a condition where the airway becomes obstructed when asleep. The effect of this is limited or even completely cut off breathing. The person will wake up constantly throughout the night, and the disorder has several adverse side effects.
When a person is afflicted with sleep apnea, their brain will realize that they are not getting enough oxygen. This signal will then cause the person to wake up to breathe. This means that they cannot get into the more restful portions of sleeping, and their sleep quality will reduce significantly.
According to this study by Arnold et al. (2017), approximately 4% of men are affected by sleep apnea. Meanwhile, 2% of middle-aged women have it. As age increases, though, these numbers get as high as 60%.
What Are the Causes of Sleep Apnea?
There are several different causes of sleep apnea. A few of these causes are:
People who are obese tend to have more fat deposits in their neck. Because of that, there is a possibility of an obstructed airway, possibly causing sleep apnea.
For this cause, the most probable fix is to lose weight and work out. Of course, not everyone who is obese will develop sleep apnea. It is only an added risk of sleep apnea while overweight.
Enlarged Tonsils/Swollen Tonsils
If the tonsils take up too much space, they could potentially block the airway. For this, professional medical advice is necessary.
Genetics play a huge part in body functions. In sleep apnea, some people might have naturally narrow airways or problems with the bone structure. Someone with smaller bones might have difficulties dealing with sleep apnea.
Western medicine claims that some people just have larger tongues, which creates less space in the mouth, which leads to sleep apnea, and that this boils down to genetics. This is far from the truth, though. What’s happening is that our modern diets of soft foods, living with allergens, and mouth-breathing cause our jaws to become underdeveloped. Cavemen had no incidence of crooked teeth. All their jaws were spacious and wide, and it is highly unlikely they had sleep apnea, just like other animals.
So when doctors claim your tongue is too large for the mouth, what’s really happening is your jaws never fully developed, but the tongue still reached its full size due to its genetic blueprint.
Since mewing changes the direction of facial growth, it could help facilitate growth in the right direction. But of course, this mostly needs to happen while you’re still a kid.
How Do You Know if You Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is not really something you can diagnose yourself. Most of the time, a lot of tests are necessary before concluding anything.
That said, here are some things you should look out for:
Difficulty Breathing at Night
If you find yourself consistently waking up at intervals throughout the night or not breathing properly, it might be something you need to look into more. It could just be stress or sleeping trouble, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. To err on the safe side, it’s better to get checked out either way.
Another common sign of sleep apnea is snoring loudly at night. There are phone apps that you can use to track your snoring patterns throughout several nights.
Not having the right amount of sleep at night can negatively affect your life during the day. A person with sleep apnea will have a reduced attention span and difficulty concentrating.
Mewing for Sleep Apnea
So, how does mewing help with sleep apnea?
The core idea of mewing is that you need to have proper tongue posture. This does not mean that you just hold it for specific times throughout the day. It means that even when you are asleep, you are still practicing placing your tongue on your mouth’s palate.
When your tongue is in the proper position, it will reduce your tongue’s chances of falling backward and blocking your upper airway. As long as your tongue rests on the palate even while asleep, it can significantly help with sleep apnea.
Apart from that, people with certain facial structures are also at risk for sleep apnea. When a face is elongated (like those who mouth breathe), the risk for sleep apnea increases. In this regard, mewing can help by changing the facial structure over a long period of time.
A significant downside to mewing for sleep apnea is that it can take a long time to fix. You will have to unlearn many bad habits and take the time to learn new ones. It is not a quick fix, and sometimes, you can benefit more from different fixes.
Solutions for Sleep Apnea
One of the first changes you can make is to practice a better lifestyle. This means eating the right food, getting into a good sleeping pattern (which might be difficult at first), and getting the right exercise.
Even though you don’t have sleep apnea, it’s best to get into a better lifestyle anyway. It improves mood and will uplift your way of living.
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is a common form of treatment for sleep apnea. It is a device that aids breathing while you are asleep. The machine involves a mask that has to be fitted over the person’s face while they are sleeping.
The process will not be comfortable at first and will take some getting used to. For the device to work with maximum efficiency, one has to wear it during sleep, whether at home or traveling. It can be quite an adjustment, and listening to a doctor’s advice on how to take care of it is imperative.
But a CPAP is just a bandaid fix and doesn’t treat the root cause of sleep apnea.
For more extreme cases where machines and devices don’t work, surgery is another option. There are different kinds of surgical options available, and it all depends on the patient’s situation. It can range from a tonsillectomy to tracheostomy.
Another option is maxillary mandibular advancement, which involves surgically prompting the upper and lower jaw to move forward. This is also something that mewing can help with over the long term, which makes mewing all the more useful in dealing with sleep apnea.
Mewing IS helpful. But mewing should not be treated as the ultimate catch-all to fix sleep apnea. Though it can certainly help, sleep apnea is a potentially severe disorder that’s resolved through medical intervention.
My advice is to mew for a few months and see if your sleep apnea resolves. If not, then you can’t wait years for your bones to move a millimeter or two; you need more advanced medical intervention.
I recommend maxillary mandibular advancement because it creates more room for your tongue and improves facial aesthetics, killing two birds with one stone. However, it’s a serious surgery with a lot of downtime and possible complications.