What's on this page?
Below you can read why this page was created in 2014, followed by a summary of the first 12 years of feedback. Next is a collection of recent customer testimonials. To go straight to the testimonials click here: Recent Testimonials
Why a page of testimonials now?
A note from Alise, August 2014:
For over ten years, since the launch of Singing for Snorers in 2002, I only quoted one customer on this website because I wanted to be able to offer you the reassurance of evidence from clinical trials rather than customer testimonials which might, in the absence of such independent evidence, give cause for scepticism. Given the jubilant feedback I have received over these years, this took some restraint! Testimonials clearly give a much more personal insight into the experience and action of the exercises, compared to the statistical results of a trial, so now that an independent clinical trial has been published, I feel the balance is, at last, in favour of including some testimonials.
So, recently, I have started asking people, who write to me with their feedback, if they would be happy for me to publish their feedback or a personal testimonial on my website.
Summary of first 12 years' feedback:
For the first 12 years since the launch of Singing for Snorers customers very kindly sent me invaluable feedback. This was received in confidence. Over this period I didn't request permission to publish their comments, so it will remain in confidence, as will all future feedback, unless customers explicitly give me their permission to publish it. What follows is a general summary of what I learnt from customers over the first 12 years. I'd like to thank everyone who has written to me over this period. Your feedback has kept me going!
People reported being delighted with the quality of the product and the obvious thought and care that had gone into creating it. They said the exercises were fun and lifted their spirits. They loved (or at least those who wrote did!) that the exercises were "eccentric" and "wacky". "Yes" they agreed, you do indeed need a sense of humour and somewhere to sing without reserve. They also loved that the exercises were varied, got more challenging as you progressed, and that they could feel the action of them working their throat muscles.
Many customers told me that their snoring had greatly reduced both in volume and frequency, as reported by their partner or others in the household. Many customers self-reported no longer waking themselves at night, feeling less tired in the morning and no longer waking with a sore throat. Many customers also reported that their partners were no longer witnessing apnoeas/ apneas (US spelling). Customers reported being delighted that they could now wake in the morning to find their partner was still there and had not had to relocate in the night; and many partners were delighted to report that they were sleeping much better at night. In some cases couples who had been forced to sleep in separate rooms reported being able to sleep together again.
Incidental effects: Most commonly I have been told that the exercises raise the spirits (a "brilliant anti-depressant"), bringing increased energy and confidence. I frequently heard of improved breathing and enjoyment of improved singing voices, which led some customers to join choirs, if they were not already regular singers. Some of the effects were less expected - one person even reported being able to eat cheese again! (I'm guessing that perhaps this was because the increased mucus production from eating cheese was no longer sufficient to cause them to snore.) Another noted with delight the positive effect on their jawline. I have had a few reports of my exercises being used to supplement the action of mandibular advancement devices, and, more commonly, people combining my exercises with weight reduction, both of these to good effect.
I am also pleased to note that the Singing for Snorers exercises have been reported effective in the long-term. I have heard from a number of customers who have successfully maintained the benefit they achieved, either for their snoring or their sleep apnoea, for over 10 years by singing the exercises at a maintenance level.
All in all, I feel personally assured, from the positive feedback I have received, that, where people are dedicated to the exercises and are snoring at least significantly because their throat muscles are lax, my exercises can indeed effectively reduce snoring, for some eliminate it, and be fun in the process. And that similarly positive results can be achieved for mild to moderate sleep apnoea, again where lax throat muscles are a significant factor.
My customers are both men and women and of all ages (up to 90+) though most are aged between 40 and 75. They have often tracked down Singing for Snorers for themselves or had it recommended to them by a friend. They have read and understood what the exercises do and have considered whether their own snoring is likely to be reduced by toning their throat muscles. Some are daunted at the idea of daily singing, not considering themselves 'singers'; others know they love singing and are excited by the prospect, hoping to improve their singing voices at the same time. All are sufficiently attracted to the idea to actually buy the CDs. In addition - as I remind all my customers - these exercises are not magic and unsurprisingly all the people who have given glowing feedback have also proved themselves dedicated in their practise.
My customers are clearly self-selecting and those who send in feedback are a further smaller sub-group. That this feedback is not misleading has now been independently corroborated by the Royal Devon & Exeter clinical trial of my exercises where the trial participants were "a cross section of patients presenting to secondary care in the UK".
So here are some of the testimonials I have recently received, with permission to publish, including one, written ten years after the customer used Singing for Snorers to eliminate his sleep apnoea back in 2004.
"I'm happy to be quoted by name for such an effective regimen. My husband is even happier than I am. There was a very noticeable change after a fortnight and after three months a vast decrease in the frequency and volume of my snoring. It's not quite totally eliminated, but pretty close. It's been a huge relief to both of us. I am a professor of linguistics (semi-retired), and the whole regime seemed so logical, so scientific. I have drawn those diagrams of the vocal tract so many times while teaching. I really like to sing and was impressed that a professional musician designed this. Also, that there were no potential negative side effects. Really appreciated reading the research. But the well designed exercises, with accompaniment, made all the difference. This program deserves much wider recognition & use. Physicians should prescribe it.”
Mary Erbaugh, Portland, Oregon, USA
"As far as I know, I have snored throughout my adult life. Recently, as I approached the age of 60, my snoring had become noisier and I had started to suffer from sleep apnoea, which woke me with a start, and worried my wife, as I would stop breathing for a few seconds before waking.
When I read about SfS on the BBC website, I thought I’d give it a try. Almost immediately, my sleep apnoea stopped and, coming now to the end of the course, my snoring has reduced in volume. I intend to continue the exercises, which will hopefully reduce the noise even more. Thanks Alise!"
Eric Hunter, Tunbridge Wells, UK
I am a 60 year old woman who started snoring about 10 years ago. It was becoming more and more of an issue for my husband and I was worried about progressing to sleep apnea and it's treatment. I heard an interview with you last winter and liked the natural approach to management, so ordered your discs. My snoring was essentially gone after about 6 weeks! Now, I continue to sing, as if I miss too many days in a row of singing practice, snoring will return nominally. I find now that I know the tunes, I can do other computer work at the same time as singing, so it is no burden at all. Thanks so much for figuring this system out! Why isn't this a more widely known system?
Melanie Wood, Winnipeg, Canada
Love, Love, Love this natural alternative to a troublesome and potentially deadly health problem!! Singing for Snorers makes perfect sense. It’s an entertaining way to tone up your soft palate, tongue and throat and neck muscles to reduce the flapping and vibrating in your throat that causes snoring.
I have a very low palate -- several doctors have told me, after looking down my throat-- that I must snore, as they can hardly see down my throat due to its structure and the positioning of my soft palate. So I was afraid it might not work. But then I thought, it's the same throat I was born with and I didn't snore as a child, as far as I know. My roommates in college never complained and my first husband never poked me to tell me to roll over because I was snoring..the main difference was age and weight gain. In my 40's I started gaining weight and though I am athletic and active and have stabilized, I am not the skinny kid I once was. But I knew that weight training had made me look and feel better so I decided it was possible that these singing exercises could make a difference. At the very least, I would improve my vocal quality! I am so glad it worked so quickly, (without weight loss!) which gave me the motivation to continue!
When I started the program I had completed a home based sleep study, after a friend commented that I was snoring loudly and had stopped breathing for a scary amount of time, while sleeping on my back, when we were rooming together at a retreat. I was diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea on my side and severe on my back. A sleep doc prescribed a CPAP machine, which I attempted to use nightly for about 6 weeks. Unfortunately found I could not fall asleep or stay asleep with it on. Twice I had a glass of wine to help me relax and I did fall asleep more easily but wine is something that makes apnea worse, and so I thought that was probably a dumb thing to do! Besides, as is often the case with alcohol, I did not stay asleep.
I tried 3 different masks but all of them leaked air which made squeaky noises and were difficult to adjust too. Wearing the apparatus was uncomfortable and I felt somewhat claustrophobic and isolated. I didn't expect the CPAP to be uncomfortable. My sister has used one for over 15 years and loved how it improved her sleep. But I was determined to find another way. My other sister sent me an old interview from a National Public Radio interview done in 2005, about Singing For Snorers. I did some research and even contacted the 87 year old man who had successfully gotten rid of his CPAP at age 80. His story really inspired me. I felt certain that if he could do it, so could I.
After just a couple of weeks of practicing Singing for Snorers exercises on CD 1. my husband said I was not snoring loudly like I used to. We normally sleep in separate bedrooms side by side, and he could often hear me through my closed door as he walked to bed.
After completing CD 2, about 6 weeks later, we spent 12 days one a Viking River cruise time, sharing a small cabin room and there was no issue with snoring. My husband never mentioned it, though I noticed he was snoring!
It took a bit longer but after a couple of months of doing the program daily --I found I was sleeping longer, 6-7 hours straight instead of 5 hours of interrupted sleep. Recently I realized not only was I sleeping longer, but I wasn't getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of that sleep sometimes...unless I drank something right before I went to bed. The doctor had told me my kidneys were affected by the sleep apnea and that was why I might make 2, even 3 trips to the bathroom in one night. So this is great news!
I liked everything about the way you set the program up. Your voice is charming, your pacing is excellent. Your instruction is clear and the little booklet that comes with the 3 CD’s is helpful to check the exact consonants that are being stressed.
I had been singing with an a cappella chorus for 2 ½ years before trying the Singing for Snorers protocol. We sing 3 hours on a Monday night and I practice some during the week.. But all that singing did not help my snoring.
I’m a person who loves to learn but gets bored easily with repetition. When I found my mind wandering during the practices I realized I was not doing the exercises properly, so I try to stay focused and combine practice with other activities, like cleaning or sewing. It's better to give my full attention to move the muscles correctly, and to go back and review the instructions once in a while.
I am so happy with the program and the misery it has saved me and the health benefit of being able to sleep more soundly and longer. An added bonus? I am remembering my dreams more often too! The sleep apnea was preventing me from going into REM sleep mode apparently, and so my dream recall had all but disapeared. Since I am about to embark on a new project involving editing a magazine about dream work, Singing For Snorers came along just in time!
Maggie Spilner , Easton, Pennsylvania USA, was a fitness and health columnist for 30 years, and author of Prevention's (magazines’s) Complete Book of Walking For Health and Fitness and Walk Your Way Through Menopause.
"1999 my stopping breathing at night was noticed by my wife. A sleep study at Papworth Hospital confirmed sleep apnoea and I was issued with a CPAP machine.
I anticipated the use of the machine for the foreseeable future. Initially effective if tedious to accommodate, I accepted my lot. It became a real nuisance though as I travelled around the country and then abroad for my work. 3-4Ibs in weight in a bag the size of a large shoe box meant a lot of inconvenience, not to mention security alerts on a trip to the USA!
Over time it became less effective and there were more cases of the air being blown into the stomach overnight causing awful discomfort for hours afterwards. Also the mask would leave the bridge of the nose sore even after trying numerous different makes of mask.
2002 or thereabouts my sister heard a radio programme about Singing for Snorers and having been advised by one health professional that CPAP was not a good thing to have to spend the rest of your life using, coupled with the problems associated with it, I was keen to try an alternative. Alise Ojay explained the reasoning behind her theory which seemed to make sense and I liked the idea of being proactive in dealing with the issue. I began the singing exercises with gusto and although having no singing ability, quite enjoyed it. I continued using the CPAP and having my annual sleep overs at Papworth to assess my condition. On the following trip I told them about Alise’s research and that I was doing the exercises, I think they were rather bemused. Having completed the course at this stage I had occasionally left off the CPAP and had still slept well. I was also continuing the singing exercises on a regular basis. I decided to ask them for my sleep study to be done without the CPAP. Surprisingly they agreed. The next morning to my delight I had slept satisfactorily. However, when the consultant did his rounds he said unless I had been off the machine for a week previous to the study it was not proof of success. “If you are still singing next year, leave off the machine for the preceding week and we will see how you fair.”
2004 I cycled up to Papworth Hospital from the train station with trepidation. Good to their word, they tested me without the CPAP machine and I had a satisfactory night! As a consequence I was deemed not be experiencing the apnoea events and was signed off the CPAP.
I continue to sing the ‘Singing for Snorers exercises’ when driving alone to maintain the muscle tone.
I must thank Alise for transforming my life and freeing me from a most tedious contraption."
John Harding, South Moulton, UK
I greatly appreciated how the exercises were structured and sequenced both from CD to CD but also within each CD. It's obvious that you put a lot of thought and intention into the whole process, and used humor and creativity in developing the accompanying sounds and instruments.-p>
Joy Holloway, Helena, Montana, USA
"Singing for Snorers - the awakening"
I am a cynic. Not just a common or garden cynic; I am a dyed-in-the-wool, old-school scorn merchant, in almost all aspects of life, and especially when it comes to matters of health. The traditional, mainstream approach has always been my credo. Homeopathic medicine? You might as well eat Smarties. Meditation, chanting, soothing whale-call relaxation music in flotation tanks? Put me in a kaftan, shove a joss-stick in my hand and call me Rainbow.
So when my wife suggested Singing For Snorers as a possible remedy for a snoring problem which had started two years previously as an endearing low-frequency buzzing ambience but had developed into an almost nightly rasping, throat-popping symphony of minor earth tremor proportions, I had my rationalisations all ready. It was just the way I was lying, and I could free my airways by adjusting my sleeping position ten degrees to the left, or by propping myself up on multiple pillows; it was because I was producing too much mucus which dripped down my throat, and I could solve that by taking some pills which would restrict this excess production; it was my sinuses that were the problem and maybe I would, at some stage, need an operation. One thing I was sure of; Singing for Snorers would not help, because it was non-medical, non-traditional, and worst of all, it was ALTERNATIVE.
However, when my wife made clear that the actual alternative was to banish me to the spare room or smother me with my own pillow in a fit of insomnia-driven rage during the night, I graciously decided to accede to her request. After all, I reassured myself, I would inevitably be proved right, and my belief system would surely emerge unscathed from this ridiculous challenge.
But here's the thing; it worked for me.
My GP, when I told him about the programme a week or so after I'd completed the course, he gave me a look I can only describe as supercilious, and said "Oh yes; singing exercises…" I didn't bother to enlighten him as to the difference between Singing for Snorers and singing for general practitioners who have joined a choir and sing a couple of times a month. I used to be a singer, and also spent three years at drama school, and the vocal warmups for those two professions, while broadly belonging to the same family, are less focussed on the problem in hand, or rather, in throat. The exercises in Singing for Snorers - and here's the science bit - specifically target those bits inside your mouth and down your throat that make you snore, those parts that become loose and floppy with age and underuse (insert your own joke here), and strengthen them, so that the risk of snoring is reduced. That's as technical as it gets. The 3 CDs guide you in a friendly and encouraging way - you even get an applause track to spur you on during one of the trickier exercises…
Over three months, exercising for 15 minutes each day, I've reduced my snoring to practically nothing. My throat snoring has disappeared and any snoring that does occur is very light, sporadic, and usually due to my nose having a tendency to block up if the temperature in the bedroom is more than about 8 degrees, but I digress. The throat symphony no longer plays. To keep the newly tightened throat in trim, I am continuing a maintenance programme of about half the frequency - every other day - but I have gone as many as four days on the spin without exercising, and not suffered a relapse.
Everyone is different, and each person who undertakes the programme will, I'm sure, have varying degrees of response. The only piece of advice I would dare to offer is that you have to commit fully and completely to the three months to see whether this course will work for you. You will have to stave off boredom at the repetitious nature of the exercises by remembering that, like weight-training, repetition is the key to increased strength; you will have to learn, shall we say, interesting and varied tunes and phrases, and you will have to get used to singing stupid things in a very loud voice; but at the end of the course, it might well be worth it. It was for me - I've been saved from the spare room - or worse…"
Tony W, London, UK
It was so embarrassing. I would wake up in the morning to find myself alone (again). I had been snoring and my husband had retreated to the spare room. It is more usual to hear of wives complaining that their husbands snored. I had already tried the GP route, and had been told to lose weight, and was given a test in case I had a thyroid problem. I had noticed that my throat felt 'loose', couldn't really describe it any better than that, and I always woke up with my throat feeling like the bottom of a bird cage. Well the thyroid results came back clear and I tried to lose weight. I am overweight but not obese!! (I looked at the chart.)
So ..... New year, I decided to do something about this. I searched the internet and came across Alise Ojay’s Singing for Snorers. I read as much as I could find, Alise’s own description, feedback from other 'singers'. It all made sense to me. My throat felt 'loose', and Alise talked about singing to tone throat muscles. If we fail to use muscles anywhere else they go flabby or maybe loose? What had I got to lose? I ordered the CD's there and then. They arrived the next day and I started singing?? to CD1. I had waited until I was home alone, but really stressed the poor cats out! The 'songs' are more 'exercises' and I certainly didn't sound as tuneful as Alise! You sing along with Alise rather than copy her so it was all very friendly. After just the first half hour session I realised that my breathing had to change. My breathing was too shallow and I was not taking on enough breath to complete even a short phrase. I consciously made the effort to do this from the very beginning and by the time I had progressed on to CD2 I was able to reach the end of an exercise without running out of breath or sound!
You have to sing each set of exercises on the CD every day and I was finding it difficult to find a time when I was in the house alone (except for the cats) to sing. I have to drive to work so it seemed sensible to play the CDs in my car on the journey there and back each day! Well it was fine during the winter months, it was dark and it was reasonable to assume that nobody could see me, but ........ As spring approached and by now I had progressed onto CD3 and it was light both morning and evening it became slightly more embarrassing. I will explain..... Alise suggests you sing with a smile. How can you not? The exercises are fun! And some of the exercises not only exercise throat muscles, but also the facial and tongue muscles ... so you have to pull some funny faces. But, I stuck at it, 'sang' daily for 3 months and completed the 3 CDs and have got a badge to prove it.
18 months on, I still sing and grin in the car once a week, am still over-weight-but-not-obese but I can honestly say that my throat no longer feels 'loose', the morning bird cage sensation has gone, and since about CD2 I have woken every morning next to my husband. I do apparently still snore sometimes but it is more like 'heavy breathing’ !! And less 'deafening and persistent.'
Janet from Bromsgrove, UK
(Quotes taken, with permission, from Rik Thurnheer’s feedback form)
27. Has your snoring changed since doing the singing exercises for at least 3 months?
X - yes
28. Are there any other factors that may, in your opinion, be more significant than the singing exercises to explain this change or lack of change in your snoring? (e.g. have you lost or put on a lot of weight)
X - no
29. Are you snoring less or more frequently?
X - far less
30. Is your snoring quieter or louder?
X - far quieter
31. If you think your snoring has reduced as a result of doing the singing exercises approximately how long into the programme before you started noticing an effect?
X - after two months
32. Do you wake yourself with your snoring less or more often?
X - I used to before doing the singing exercises but now I don't seem to at all
33. Do you wake up with a sore throat less or more often?
X - I used to before doing the singing exercises but now I don't seem to at all
34. Do you wake up feeling less or more tired?
X - less tired
37. Have there been any positive effects on your lifestyle since doing the exercises? e.g. relationship with a partner or members of the household or how you feel about staying over-night away from home.
X - yes:
37b. If yes please give details:
- I am a runner, tennis player and I do CrossFit and yoga. After following the Singing for Snorers program I noticed that I had more energy and that my breathing had improved. This was totally unexpected. Also, after following the three month program I did not follow-up with any vocal exercises for six months. My sleep, energy and breathing began to worsen. I then began the Singing for Snorers program with only CD 3 and after two weeks of faithfully doing all the exercises on it, I have already noticed a marked improvement in my sleep, energy and breathing.
40. Has your singing voice changed?
X - yes
40b. If yes please give details: (e.g. stronger, more agile, easier to sing in tune)
- It's easier for me to follow a tune and hit notes a little more smoothly than before. Although I have never been a particularly good singer, I feel like my voice is returning to a better form, like when I was younger. Funny thing; I was in a cinema watching Monty Python's Live (mostly) broadcast yesterday and when the audience began singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, I sang along unembarrassed and quite loudly. It's been a while since that happened.
45. Any other comments?
- Thank you. Your program has improved aspects of my life beyond snoring, like my breathing and just general happiness. I have never been truly unhappy but I now feel a little more joy in my life because I am doing something creative. A form of artistic creativity was something missing from my life and it's no longer missing.
Rik Thurnheer, Fredericton, Canada
Further to our correspondence in May, I am pleased to report that I have now completed the whole programme. I must say I am very pleased with the outcome as my snoring is now much reduced. I also do not keep waking myself with a big snort just as I am dozing off, which was very disconcerting. I intend to continue using the CDs intermittently to maintain this improvement. I can only say a big thank you to you for this, and if I hear of anybody else suffering from this problem I shall have no hesitation in recommending the CD programme to them.
Thank you so much for all your work in helping me get a good night’s sleep!
Jenny Niemc, Peterborough, UK
Not waking up each morning with a dry, sore throat - and the satisfaction of having done something about the snoring problem makes me feel good, which is an added bonus!
C. Wilson, Denia, Spain
Subject: Growing group of enthusiasts in Vermont, USA
Let me say how deeply appreciative we are about the work you have done in bringing Singing for Snorers to us. I personally think you are a brilliant innovator... Further, I think there are applications of your vocal aerobics program that have made a difference to me as a voice work practitioner working with people who have emotional vocal trauma, language issues and history of whiplash injuries.
Thanks again for sharing your gifts and expertise with the world,
Augusta Rose Diamond
Augusta Rose Diamond, Voice Work Practitioner, Burlington, Vermont, USA. augustarosediamond.com
The exercises definitely target the throat muscles that tend to sag as we age and contribute to snoring. Once you have the basics, it's simple and fun and can be very helpful.
Dr Ian D. Bier, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA. humannaturenaturalhealth.com
Snoring has long been a theme for me. However, last year my wife noticed that it was worsening and, more to the point, I would often stop breathing whilst asleep. She suggested that I seek medical help, but not having much faith in such 'expertise' and having read that the options for apnoea seemed to be either surgical or CPAP mask, I put it off. By chance, I heard the report about SfS on BBC Radio 4's Today programme (Aug 2013) and decided to give it a go.
It was definitely the right decision: even during the 3-month programme, my wife reported that the snoring was much less noticeable and my breathing had improved a lot (so much so that she put my life insurance policy back in the drawer). From my side, I feel much more rested now and appreciate all the benefits which that brings. I find that after the initial 3 months, I can get by with doing the exercises twice a week to maintain a good level. Three times would probably be better…….
I accept that my comments here are purely subjective, as I had never been officially diagnosed with apnoea. I can only say that I heard of SfS by chance, I took a chance on it, and the small investment of cost and effort has very much paid off for me. I recommend taking that chance, and I hope you have the same results as I have had.
Like many other respondents here my snoring was leaving me feeling more exhausted each morning than when I had gone to bed. Although never advancing into apnea, my condition was bad enough to seriously motivate me to find a solution. I tried out one of the many mouth guard type of devices that are supposed to suppress snoring, but it was extremely annoying and painful to use, making the cure far worse than the disease. With that attempt ending in failure I was starting to seriously consider some sort of surgery, but all that changed when I heard of this odd new singing therapy in, of all places, as the answer to a question on the NPR quiz show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me". The concept was so intriguing that I just had to check it out, and soon found an interview with Alise on the BBC. What really sold me on the program was hearing Alise describe the clinical trials she had undertaken, which, for me, rescued this concept from the black hole of New Age nincompoopery and placed it squarely in the realm of empirically verifiable fact.
When the program arrived, being a long time resident of "Nerdistan", I first read through the entire manual, and was pleased at how thorough the instructions were, and how well organized the program appeared to be. Those observations, and my years of musical training on flute led me to believe that these exercises would be a snap. Oh how wrong I was! Perhaps because I had never really enjoyed singing, or perhaps because I'm an over-confident twit, I found even the simplest exercises to be very daunting, with my tongue constantly (and consonantly) tripping over itself, and my rhythm as unsteady as a drunken sailor with Parkinson's.
Not a great start, but I was determined to do better. This is where I discovered the true value of a CD player with A/B repeat, which I used over and over 'til I could make sense of the tunes. Practicing silently also helped a great deal, and after four days I had mastered Exercise one! That effort really paid off, because it made learning the subsequent tunes much, much easier; I was not only up to speed, but also really enjoying the variety of tunes, some reminiscent of drinking songs, some of native chants, some of Christmas tunes, and even some that sounded as if they had been excerpted from that Impressionist classic, "Prelude to an Afternoon of Goat Castration"!
With all that early effort the program started to pay off quickly. In just over a month I was noticing a definite increase in energy on waking, and found that I could stay up later, often as much as an hour longer, with no ill effects. Despite the exercises getting more difficult, I was finding them easier to do, and enjoying them more, often singing along so lustily that I was slipping into an English accent, and even challenging myself to sing with greater strength and range.
And there are other benefits too. To explain I will simply offer studies referred to by research psychologist, Roy Baumeister, in his book Willpower, where he describes how participants working on various behavioral improvements (drinking less, better diet, better work habits etc.) not only improved in those areas, but also improved their willpower overall. He says, ". . . these findings point toward the remarkable benefits of exercising willpower. Without realizing it, people gained a wide array of benefits in areas of their lives that had nothing to do with the specific exercises they were performing"(p. 136-7). In other words, exercising willpower for any type of activity will increase your willpower generally, which you can then use in any way you like. I have no doubt that this conclusion is solid, because I have experienced this very phenomenon as a result of my regular calligraphy practice. So don't let the prospect of an exercise program deter you. It can pay off in ways you would never expect!
I am currently experimenting with a maintenance routine that consists of doing the odd/even exercises on alternate days, and a complete run through on Sundays, which seems to be working very well. I have recommended this program numerous times and will continue to do so, because it has done more than just provide effective relief from snoring: it has also re-energized an interest in singing, helping me discover all the joys doing that can bring. What's not to like?
James C. Paras, Peace River, Alberta, Canada
Dear Ms. Ojay:
I have just finished the third CD of Singing for Snorers. I have had immense enjoyment doing the exercises and was disappointed when each session ended.
A neighbour on one side of me is quite hearing impaired, and on the other is a truck driver who is away all day, sometimes for several days, so I had no worries about disturbing anyone with my practising as I belted out the exercises.
I started the Singing for Snorers program as a preventative as I didn’t know whether I snored or not given I am always asleep! So for me what I can report has vastly improved (and it was good before) is my singing in the church choir. I guess the muscles for voice and articulation are much more toned. I plan to continue doing the exercises sporadically to keep in tune (pardon the pun).
I sing tenor so I had no trouble going up a semitone each repetition. I may have had the edge on some of your clients as I was a speech and language therapist. During our course of phonetics study we had to describe each speech sound minutely and how it is produced. My initial studies were for three years at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London's Swiss Cottage area. Later, I went to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo for my Master's degree with a spell working in Bermuda. I'm originally from Scotland.
Thank you for an excellent and very enjoyable course.
Lawrence Fotheringham, Chatham, Ontario, Canada
As a 69 year old male who has snored for much of my adult life, I thought my snoring would never improve. Well, I was wrong. I was highly motivated to improve my health through a non-invasive means, and "Singing For Snorers" has provided that avenue. Because of my motivation, I performed the exercises exactly as prescribed, and with a large amount of enthusiasm and the effort has paid off. My wife states that my snoring has considerably improved, and I no longer worry about waking her at night. I plan on continuing the exercises even though I could move on to a more maintenance level, but I am hoping for even more improvement, and I actually enjoy doing the program. My only concern with doing the exercises was trying to be thoughtful of others in the house when singing, and that is mainly because I did the exercises with much energy and volume. I somewhat solved that problem by singing in my vehicle when many people were in the house.
Chuck Putzer, Picket, Wisconsin USA
I found the Singing for Snorers program online and it sounded intriguing and appealing. I thought I’d try it - why not? But didn’t really expect it to work. But voila! After 2 weeks, my husband remarked with surprise that I was no longer snoring!
I have had sleep apnea for some years, diagnosed through a sleep study in 2007. I tried a C-Pap, which I hated, then a mouthguard, which also felt like an annoying foreign body. So I have been side-sleeping, which helped a lot, for a few years now. Unfortunately I then developed shoulder pain (tendonitis and calcified tendons) and side-sleeping was painful. When I finished the singing program, I had another sleep study in 2014 and discovered that yes indeed, the apnea was greatly reduced (to zero for side-sleeping and much less on my back.) I now can sleep on my back with much more comfort and rest, and, due to shoulder treatment, also on my side. And I feel more rested.
Alise’s exercises were fun and, as others said, helped lift the mood as well as helping the throat muscles. Also I find I can now sing more strongly and with better enunciation at my weekly choir sessions.
Thank you, Alise, for your good work.
Nancy Kilgore, Vermont, USA
Up to a year ago my sleep had been getting worse and the snoring and gagging, waking up not being able to breathe had reached my limit of tolerance. I tried to exercise but could not breathe properly. I was sent to a cardiologist, who after various tests declared my heart healthy. Next up was a test for sleep apnea….bingo! What followed was over two months of frustration and torment as I tried to adapt to a CPAP machine. I joined online forums, I tried masks and different machine settings, but in the end I fell into that group of apnea patients who simply cannot adjust to the machine. Luckily for me I had noticed a post on one of the online forums that mentioned 'Singing for Snorers'. The poster had not tried it, but had some of the information from the website. I was intrigued, as the frustration with the CPAP machine had just about reached the limit for me, I stopped using it shortly after. I sent away for the cd's and waited. On my birthday they arrived! Tentatively I read the booklet and tried the first exercises. I did the first exercises a couple of times a day for the first week, during the second week my wife remarked that my snoring seemed to be less than she remembered. Over the coming weeks and now months as the exercises worked on the vocal muscles my snoring/gagging and restlessness all decreased. I am very pleased with the Singing for Snorers program and enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who has snoring issues and even as in my case sleep apnea.
Stephen Read, Vancouver, Canada
Here, at last, my feedback for the ‘Singing for Snorers’ CD programme. It gets my 5 Star rating!
I reckon my medical history of having functional endoscopic nasal surgery and bronchiectasis probably contributed to my long term snoring condition. How wonderful after starting your singing programme to hear my husband actually say for the first time in our marriage of 34 years “you were incredibly quiet last night!”
I would thoroughly recommend your programme to other snorers as I have also found significant health benefits. The uvula feels much firmer and my throat muscles toned and stronger as a consequence. I also feel my whole breathing apparatus is benefiting from this daily workout session. The singing tone of my voice has also improved.
I asked my husband to sum up in one word his impression of the impact the singing programme has made on my snoring and he simply replied “Brilliant!”
I am most grateful to you for your programme.
Margaret, Belfast, N. Ireland
Excerpts from two emails received from the same customer (printed with permission):
Early on in the programme:
“All I can say dear Alise is an enormous thank you ... lee lo lay lah lu lilly lilly WONDERFUL ☺ ... and the referee blowing his whistle in exercise 8 whilst we kwah ung gur, lah go gur ... what enormous fun ☺ ... colourful orchestral accompaniments and your lovely positive, encouraging comments throughout as well as the beautiful singing provided to guide us through WOW ... THANK YOU”
When starting CD2:
“Wow what a notching up of gear change! Definitely challenging and definitely a very exciting pharyngeal aerobic session. Terrific.”
My snoring has been almost eliminated and I no longer awaken with a headache from the slight sleep apnea which had been identified in a sleep study, and which I'm convinced has gone away. I'm so pleased with the result that I've gifted my sister with a set of the CDs. As a bonus, I've noticed an improvement in my public speaking voice and confidence as a speaker.
David H, New York, USA
I suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea for perhaps eight years, and it was getting worse. It took a lot of denial on my part before I realized that this was likely my problem. Note that I do not have the typical characteristics of a sleep apnea sufferer: I am neither obese, or do I have a thick neck. In fact, I am slight. I suspect that because I’m soft-spoken and work in a field that doesn’t require me to talk much—and in soft tones when I do—my throat grew weak, and that this caused my problem. In fact, like the other men in my family, my voice lost power and became hoarse as I entered middle age. More to the point, in the early morning hours I would wake up and not be able to regain sleep because I would choke and strangle, waking me up over and over again. My reluctance to have any of the existing medical interventions, such as surgery or CPAP, sent me to the web in search of alternatives, which is how I found your website. (The videos from the BBC and from Brazil sold me.)
By following your program, my sleep began to improve within the first month. Now, after following your program for the past four months, I am sleeping through the night. When I wake up in the early morning hours, I am now able to get back to sleep. I feel energetic and rested not just in the morning but throughout the day. I hadn’t had dreams in close to a decade, and now I dream every night.
I will follow your recommendations for the maintenace program to a "T". I should note that I very much enjoy doing the exercises--each one is quite fun--even if sometimes doing the whole bunch of them at the end of a long day is sometimes hard. They ARE work, after all, and quite a challenge, but I love the playfulness involved.
On a personal note, Ms. Ojay, I want to thank you for doing this work. I was without energy and felt as if the rest of my life would be lived as an exhausted, aging man. By way of thanks I have advocated for your program to several people I know, both those with sleep apnea, and those who might pass this knowledge on to others who do suffer the affliction. Word of mouth is slow, so likely none of these people have yet made a purchase, but I will enthusiastically testify for your program whenever given the chance.
Jim T, Portland, Oregon, USA
[Excerpts from two emails received from the same customer at different stages in the programme - printed with permission]:
I'd like to pass on my, and my partner's thanks for the effective way SfS has significantly reduced the volume and frequency of my snoring.
I have worked my way through the first CD and am now starting the second, already the effect is noticeable.
I'll keep you posted with my progress.
[And then on completion of the programme]
Please find my feedback below. I can't thank you enough, nor the serendipitous interview on the Today programme, for this course.
I am not musical, but the exercises have meant that I now either don't snore, or when I do the volume isn't disturbing the other half of the bed! It used to be a steam train, now its more like an electric motor.
I think it was the best non-invasive treatment, in my case, and I'd recommend it to anyone. The best £45 I spent last year.
All the best for the future of the programme.
SG, Herefordshire, UK
Just a quick email to say how much I'm enjoying your Singing for Snorers exercises! I started CD2 this morning and have high hopes of continuing success. My wife says that my snoring has already become quieter and less reverberant and that I now only really disturb her if I roll onto my back (and don't respond to a gentle prod...!)
Many thanks for your most empowering programme.
All the best,
Sarah Harley-Donaldson, UK
When my husband told me I sounded like Jurassic Park I knew I had a sleep apnea issue. I had the sleep test and was told I stopped breathing 30 times in one hour. That scared me. So, on a CPAP machine I became tethered. For months no matter what I tried I just could not get use to that thing. Then one day I heard about this kookie idea of singing for snorers. The more I thought about it I just had to try. I eventually finished all three of Alise Ojay's cd's (I know them off by heart!). I often ask my husband if I am snoring and he now tells me little or none - especially not like I used to! - and that I am no longer stopping breathing any more. I no longer even try to use the CPAP machine. I believe the singing exercises helped me and I have encouraged many other folk to try them.
Theresa I. Eckenrode Albers, Kingman, Arizona, USA
My interesting experience with SINGING FOR SNORERS
During many years, my husband used to tell me that he worried because he was hearing me every night sleeping with many long apneas. And snoring too. So we both decided to consult the department of clinical neurology of Hospital Clínico in Madrid where we live. I slept there one night in february 2014 for a polysomnography and one month later I received rather dramatic results:
Severe sleep apnea. Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI): 46
The doctor strongly advised me to sleep with a CPAP. They sent one cpap to me and despite an initial reaction against, I tried to sleep with this mask on my face. It was really impossible for me to accept the situation. So I decided to look for an alternative method. I searched in internet and discovered SFS that I ordered immediately.
I received useful tips from Alise Ojay and began to practice every day the exercises of the 1st cd, then the 2nd, and finally the 3rd. My husband told me soon that I was snoring less and had less apneas. So I decided to visit again my doctor in the hospital and ask him a 2nd review, whose result showed that my hypopneas had reduced by 50%, the apneas reduced a little too, and that I had apneas only when I was sleeping on the back.
It's true that I still have apneas if I sleep on my back but quite none if I sleep on my side and I snore much less. My husband says that my snoring is insignificant.
My AHI had reduced from 46 to 25.7. I was therefore told that having no added risk factors, I could sleep without the cpap, that I had to care not to gain weight and to sleep always on my side. So I decided to continue practicing the exercices twice per week as Alise advised me.
I want to thank her here for her kindness, her seriousness, the wonderful work she offers to many people suffering from this disease which is a big problem for the partner and has so important risks for the patient. I would like also to wish good luck to all of those who don't want to sleep with a cpap during all the rest of their life and take, as I did, the decision to sing these funny exercices that give also the desire of singing other musics. THANKS, ALISE.
Françoise Chuffart, Madrid, Spain
[Françoise is a native French-speaker and also fluent in Spanish. She has kindly sent this testimonial in French and Spanish as well. Please see below]
Pratique de la méthode Singing for Snorers et résultats de mon expérience
Pendant de longues années, mon mari me répéta qu'il s' inquiétait d'entendre chaque nuit mes longues apnées. J'étais moi-même préoccupée par la mauvaise qualité de mon sommeil et ma fatigue croissante. Nous prîmes donc en 2014 la décision de consulter le service de Neurologie clinique de l'Hôpital Clinico de Madrid. J'y passai une nuit en février 2014 et subis une polysomnographie dont les résultats me parvinrent un mois plus tard :
Syndrome d'apnée du sommeil. Index Apnée-Hipopnée (IAH): 46
Le médecin me conseilla alors vivement de dormir avec une CPAP qui me fut envoyée à mon domicile. Malgré une première réaction à l'encontre, je fis l'effort de continuer mais cela s'avéra rapidement impossible pour moi. Je me mis alors à chercher une méthode alternative. Lors de mes recherches sur Internet, je découvris SFS que je commandai immédiatement. Dès ma commande, je reçus d'utiles conseils d'Alise Ojay et me mis à effectuer tous les jours les exercices du 1er cd, puis du 2ème et finalement du 3ème.
Mon mari me dit assez vite que je ronflais moins et que j'avais moins d'apnées. Je décidai donc au bout de 6 mois de retourner voir mon médecin à l'hôpital et de lui demander un 2ème examen dont les résultats ont démontré que mes apnées avaient légèrement diminué et que les hypopnées avaient baissé de 50% et se produisaient toutes lorsque je dormais sur le dos.
Il est certain que j'ai encore des apnées si je dors sur le dos mais presque aucune lorsque je dors de côté et que d'autre part, mes ronflements semblent insignifiants.
Mon AHÍ est passé de 46 à 25,7. Il m'a alors été dit que n'ayant pas de facteurs de risque supplémentaire, je pouvais me passer de la cpap, devais être attentive à ne pas prendre de poids et m'habituer à dormir toujours sur le côté. J'ai donc décidé de continuer ô pratiquer la méthode 2 fois par semaine comme Alise me l'a conseillé.
Je tiens à la remercier ici pour sa gentillesse, son sérieux, le magnifique travail qu'elle offre à tant de personnes souffrant de cette maladie aussi ennuyeuse pour l'entourage que dangereuse pour la santé du patient. Un grand merci donc et bon courage à toutes celles et ceux qui ne souhaitant pas dormir toute leur vie avec une CPAP prennent comme je l'ai fait la décision de chanter ces chants rigolos qui donnent d'ailleurs envie de chanter tout court. MERCI, ALISE.
Françoise Chuffart, Madrid, Spain
Mi práctica y resultados del método Singing for Snorers
Durante varios años, mi marido me repitió que se preocupaba de escucharme apneas por la noche. Sabía por otra parte que tenía fuertes ronquidos y me planteaba problemas cuando tenía que dormir fuera de mi domicilio habitual. Estaba también preocupada por la mala calidad de mi sueño: descansaba mal y me sentía cada día más cansada. Tomamos entonces la decisión de acudir a la consulta de Neurología clínica del Hospital Clínico de Madrid. Dormí allí una noche en febrero de 2014 y me hicieron una polisomnografía. Un mes más tarde recibí los resultados siguientes:
Sindrome de apneas-hipoapneas del sueño (SAHS) Indice Apnea-hipoapnea (IAH): 46
El médico me explicó entonces que era importante que durmiese con una CPAP y la recibí algunos días más tarde en mi domicilio. A pesar de una reacción en contra desde el principio, intenté esforzarme pero no logré dormir mejor con la máscara.
Decidí entonces buscar alguna solución alternativa en Internet y encontré el método de Alise Ojay Singing for Snorers y lo encargué. Recibí útiles consejos de Alise que contestaba siempre amablemente a mis preguntas, y empecé a hacer diariamente los ejercicios del método con los tres cds.
Mi marido me dijo a los dos meses de práctica del método que roncaba menos y tenía menos apneas. Me sentía también más descansada por la mañana. Al cabo de 6 meses, decidí volver al hospital y pedir que me hicieran una nueva polisomnografía. Mi médico aceptó porque le dije que había perdido algo de peso, lo cual era cierto y que parecía tener menos apneas. Los resultados de esta 2a prueba indican una disminucion del 50% de las hipoapneas, y menos apneas. Y sobre todo que todas las apneas sólo se producen cuando duermo boca arriba.
Es cierto que sigo teniendo apneas si duermo boca arriba pero casí ninguna si duermo de lado. Y además, parece que mis ronquidos son casí insificantes.
Mi AHI pasó de 46 à 25,7. El neurólogo me dijo entonces que teniendo en cuenta que no tenía ningún otro factor de riesgo, podía dormir sin la cpap, cuidando mucho de no coger peso y de dormir siempre de lado.
Decidí entonces seguir practicando el método unas dos veces por semana como me lo aconsejó Alise. Me resulta evidente que puesto que el método descansa en una mejor musculación del aparato fonal, es importante mantener los músculos en forma.
Quiero agradecer aquí a Alise Ojay por su amabilidad, sus cuidados, el serio con el que se toma su papel y el magnífico trabajo que regala a tantas personas que sufren de la apnea del sueño, una enfermedad molesta y peligrosa para la vida de quien la padece. Quisiera también animar a todas las personas que roncan y tienen apneas y se lanzan en esta aventura de practicar ejercicios de voz tan sorprendentes y eficaces. Los resultados dependerán de la regularidad de la práctica, del placer que tomemos cantando estos extraños sonidos y de la conciencia de que no se trata de un método milagro sino de tonificar el aparato vocal.
Al tratarse de un serio problema de salud, la apnea del sueño requiere o bien de dormir con una cpap si uno la acepta y de lograr asi una buena calidad de sueño, o en caso contrario de entrenarse con el método de Alise Ojay y de disfrutar cantando estos divertidos ejercicios. MUCHAS GRACIAS, ALISE, Y MUCHO ÁNIMO A TODOS Y TODAS.
Françoise Chuffart, Madrid, Spain
After snoring for more years than I care to imagine, I was finally persuaded to visit a doctor to try and sort out the problem. He gave me two potential cures, either have an operation on my soft palette or spend the rest of my life sleeping with a face mask on connected to a machine. Neither of those were particularly appealing and while I was contemplating what to do I luckily heard a piece about "Singing for Snorers" on the car radio and sent off for the CD's.
Without a shadow of a doubt it was the best money I have ever spent.
Not only did it reduce my loud snoring to virtually nothing, it vastly improved the quality of my sleep. This is a point that I don't believe most people realise, I certainly didn't. Snoring appears to not only keep other people awake, it interferes with your own sleep. I certainly wake much more refreshed than I used to, as well as sleeping through the night. And given my advancing years, this is a very welcome added bonus.
In fact I was so pleased with the results that I appeared on Channel 4 talking about the programme of exercises.
I have been using this programme for quite a few years now and I'm particularly pleased that the reduction in snoring and associated benefits have continued.
Barry from Harrogate, UK
Snoring reduction, deeper sleep, more smiley days and playfulness!
Eric Lichtman, Paris, France
I found out I was snoring by my husband waking me and I would go to another room to sleep. I had a professional diagnosis that said I had sleep apnea and needed a CPAP machine. I had blocked nasal passages and was overweight. I did a one month trial on the machine and it was a terrible experience. I tried two different masks, sweating, choking on air, unable to sleep, tangled hair in the straps, and the machine hum that was annoying. I had the worst nights that month. I was so upset with the CPAP machine I thought there must be a better way. I was singing one day and wondered if singing could help my throat. A quick internet search brought me to Singing for Snorers. It was singing exercises specifically designed for snoring! It was developed by a singing instructor with the help of a university research department.
I ordered the cd's and after just a couple of weeks of singing I was back in my own bed. My husband was not wakened by my snoring. I used a snore monitoring app on my phone and watched the intensity of my snoring come down over the weeks!
I find I am sleeping better and breathing more consistently throughout the night. I also feel I have better lung capacity throughout the day and find my personal singing is stronger.
I would rather sing for 18 minutes a day than use that horrible CPAP machine. After using Singing for Snorers for three months I developed laryngitis from a bad cold. I stopped singing for over a month and started to snore again. When fully healed I started the program again starting slowly with CD 1, then on to CD 2 and now back to CD 3 that I do Monday to Friday and take the weekend off. My snoring is considerably quieter, less frequent and sometimes not at all anymore. I am a true believer!
Cheryl Rabin, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
Dear Alise - I thought I'd drop you a line to let you know how things are going...by and large super fantastic!!! The complaint I hear most often now is that I am too quiet and my husband has to check I am still breathing!!! There remain odd nights where, for no apparent reason, I still snore, but if I do it is far quieter. Mainly we are very impressed with the results.
It is a great way to start the morning - I tend to sing on the way to work, as it doesn't matter what others think! I am well into month 3, and will continue daily as it is fun.
I was referred to an ENT specialist a few years ago, and I had mentioned your research to him. I was very disappointed that he was incredibly disparaging of the notion...he muttered on about empirical research, and failed to listen when I pointed out that this is backed by such...he prescribed either nasal surgery - I have a deviated septum - and/or a retainer. I declined the surgery!
I have had recommendations for surgery for my deviated septum, as well as more recently to harden the soft palate...I can honestly say that the exercises have demonstrated I needed neither!!! I would urge that the NHS should promote this therapy as it is clearly cheaper and safer than surgery!!! The Nim, Name, Nime exercises I can feel in my nose. They have definitely made a difference. I also have hay fever and a tendency to sinusitis - and this is a time of year I often get the latter but not this year...are they connected? Probably, in my view.
Thank you so much for developing this - I cannot tell you what a difference it has made, plus it makes me feel empowered as I have taken positive control of a horrid situation...after years of feeling guilty, tired and emotional, I have taken a positive action to improve the situation, not just a retainer which may or may not work...and that is actually priceless. My friend has also started doing the Singing for Snorers exercises and her husband has already reported significant improvement. We discussed how empowering this feels at lunch yesterday and agreed that the unspoken benefit of doing something proactive is huge!!!
I will complete the online feedback form, but wanted to take the opportunity to thank you personally.
Enjoy the sunshine, smile and feel very, very proud of what you are offering.
J. B. Leeds, UK
I was a professional choral conductor and singer and developed sleep apnea soon after I retired, At my sleep doctor's suggestion, I tried SfS and followed the program exactly as outlined. Before undertaking the SfS program, I was not able to sleep on my back. Singing the exercises every other day, I can now sleep on my back comfortably and soundly with a CPAP or dental appliance.
Thank you, Alise!
Dr. Timothy Mount, Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook University, USA.
The SfS method has changed my life. I will be 70 in a couple of days and for 69 years I did not sing because I always heard, since child and till last year, that I don’t know how to sing. Well, now after a couple of months of SfS exercising, I sing everyday the songs I love the most just after I exercise the SfS. Most of all, I am a happy person when I sing.
This is a huge transformation in my life as the benefit of the SfS exercise is not only the one mentioned above but also that I literally stop snoring when I sleep aside and it helped me to reduce my sleeping apnea.
Hansjörg Rüdisühli, Switzerland
Just wanted to let you know that your singing program has made a significant difference for me! I started with your CDs just over a year ago (although occasionally I fall out of the routine for various reasons) and several months in my husband noted that my snoring was down to “a gentle buzz” - a noticeable drop from the irregular snorts and high volumes of the past ;-) The best part is that I still have CD #3 in reserve, having worked with CD #1 for 3 months and plateauing on CD #2 since then. Clearly palate and throat tightening was what I needed, and I am extremely happy to achieve them without surgery! The daily singing is a small investment to avoid more drastic interventions.
Thank you for your dedication to helping people in my situation,
Cathy M., Edmonton, Canada
Of course I am more than willing to write in support of the fabulous series of exercises you have created to help those of us with snoring or sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea about six years ago. My doctor tried using a CPAP machine during a sleep study. I reacted very badly. I could hardly breathe and and found myself hyperventilating and very uncomfortable. A friend and a Feldenkrais trainer recommended I try Singing for Snorers. I did and found almost immediate relief. I continued using the method and enjoyed an improvement in my sleep and also in hearing. Always been "tone deaf" since a young age, I began to improve my sense of pitch and rhythm through the use of the exercises. Although I did not believe that my sleep apnea completely disappeared, it improved radically. And no longer was a major concern. My snoring, never terrible, disappeared. Eventually, I started to practice Singing for Snorers only once a week or occasionally on a long trip in my car. That seemed nearly sufficient to keep the musculature in my mouth toned and in good shape, especially my pharynx and my tongue. I was in an accident and lost my car and stopped the exercises for several months. My sleeping began to suffer. Finally, I checked my pharynx. It was slack. I am now back on the program to stay. For the rest of my life. The longer I use Singing for Snorers the more aware I am of how very sophisticated and exceedingly well thought out the three series of exercises are. They are carefully designed to strengthen the musculature of the mouth, especially the pharynx and the tongue. And so very clever. I keep noticing the tiniest details and improving my use of these extraordinary exercises after years of use. Many thanks to Alise for her brilliant work in developing these marvelous lessons.
Dan Eades, Virginia, USA
[Alise says: Dan also very kindly gave me his permission to print earlier comments he sent me when he was first doing the exercises, which was, indeed, six years ago. There are so many interesting ones and encouraging ones for people doing the programme .. and some I must admit to including simply because they make me feel good! Here's a selection:]
“I have been doing your program for a little over a month now. I had peeked at CD2 (the written version) several times and thought the transition would be fairly easy, given the "extraordinary" progress I had made on CD1. The tune changes and the increased pace proved how overconfident I had become. So much for braggadocio. So I am now doing both CDs, CD1 to improve my sense of pitch and perfect lee lo lay loo lily lily and sharpen my technique, and the introduction to CD2 to make the transition. After 4 or 5 sessions, I am beginning to believe I will make it.”
“My sense of pitch, I think, continues to improve (to my astonishment), and even my sense of rhythm (though that seems, also astonishing, slower). My reading aloud--poems, Donne, Hopkins, Thomas, and Shakespeare Richard II & III--continues to improve. Best of all, my sleeping seems to be improving.”
“The more I learn, the more I'm able to notice how impressively well thought out your work is. My thanks once again.”
“I do have several advantages. As a Feldenkrais practitioner, I have a high level of body awareness. I live alone so there is no fear of embarrassment and I can be very loud. My "girl friend," a strange term for people our age, is a singer and has on occasion helped me. I study acting, so I can notice difference in my vocal apparatus and delivery. And I am retired, so I have more time than most people. Finally, and perhaps most important, I am a persistent "bugger." And I sometimes do the sequence more than once a day.”
“I am doing serious work everyday to reorganize my spine, with an emphasis on the upper back and neck, using Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons. This work is also going very well. Singing for Snorers seems to complement and augment the Feldenkrais work and vice versa.”
“The very best thing that I have to report is that I can tell that my tongue has somehow miraculously become smaller. It now feels tiny in my huge mouth. Perhaps not a coincidence, lee lo lay has become more manageable.”
“This time my proudest moment came when my Girlfriend appeared suddenly at the door and overheard my finishing an exercise on CD3 a few days ago. She had only heard my fumbling attempts at CD1 long ago and was clearly astonished--and I do mean astonished--at my progress. Her startled astonishment was a compliment far beyond any mere words and I shall cherish it.”
“I do believe I am sleeping better the last few days. More deeply and a little longer. And I seem able to return to sleep after awaking more quickly. The only hard evidence is that my blood pressure has gone down. I used to have a blood pressure reading of the high 130s over the high 70s when I got up in the morning. Now it is in the 120s over the low 70s in the morning and in the middle of the night when I awaken. Actually, last night, I had a reading of 102 over 64. Because apnea tends to increase blood pressure, I am tending to see the lowering of my blood pressure as a sign that I am having fewer apneas.”
“I now see why the greatest improvement comes on CD3. It is by far the strongest vocal workout. I could feel the fatigue--and still can--from each practice.”
“I can also see how well CD1 & CD2 prepares the student for CD3. You have done an amazing job figuring out the sequence. Good work indeed!”
I'm not surprised to see that lots of people have expressed their enthusiasm about the cd set Singing for Snorers. I am a fan, too ! At the start of the program, some three years ago, I did count on achieving some results. However, the results came so soon ! And they did not just amount to a reduction in snoring, but to a deeper and more restful sleep as well. An unexpected bonus. Since then I sleep on average one half hour less per night than in the past, and normally feel completely rested and relaxed -which was not the case nearly as often way back. I tend to sleep lying on my back and that seems to be the worst position for snorers. Formerly I could not prevent my tongue from falling back, blocking my throat entrance -and maybe some more muscles let go as well. Snoring and even some occasional apnea followed. Sleeping on my side may have helped a little, but certainly did not amount to a solution. Obviously, this was not so good for my self-confidence. (This will probably sound familiar) Working through the 3 cd's has helped me regain it on this point, and I'm grateful to the lady who worked out the program. I hope that at some future moment there will be some more material for practicing, just for variation because I intend to keep doing the exercices weekly. It's not at all an unpleasant activity.
Dina, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I have been doing Singing for Snorers regularly for a few years now, and my breathing has improved immensely! My roommate says my snoring is much softer. I no longer wake myself up at night with loud snoring, so I sleep more deeply and feel more rested. Singing in the morning on the way to work energizes me, and the exercises also help me avoid “highway hypnosis” on long drives. My voice has grown stronger and more melodic, so now I feel confident about singing in front of other people. The exercises have also toned up my facial muscles enough to give me more distinct cheekbones. Keeping my mouth open when singing has taught me to relax my jaw muscles so I no longer clench or grind my teeth. I really feel that the Singing for Snorers program has improved my life in many ways, and I regularly recommend it to friends who have sleep problems.
I’d happily recommend the program to my nose and throat specialist but I haven’t needed to see him since I took up SfS.
Jennifer Roth, San Diego, California
I was given the exercises by my partner around 3 years ago and decided to use them as a 'training programme’, as it were. I did 6 months of pretty solid once a day practice, to strengthen the tone of the muscles of my airway. The effect was not instant but revealed itself gradually. I have a number of simple interventions to help me sleep and in the interest of impartiality did not change any of them, besides the singing exercises. Essentially the disturbing waking in the night feeling breathless disappeared and I was less tired in the morning, the latter effect was the most noticeable. The singing exercises have transformed my quality of life without recourse to surgery or medication. I now do them weekly, just to keep my pharyngeal fitness!
J Morris, Birmingham, UK
I was diagnosed with hypopnea several years ago (over ten) and I tried using a sleep machine for over a year unsuccessfully. I heard about your program on NPR radio. I live in California. I ordered your CD’s and began the program. It has been wildly successful. I couldn’t even lay on my back awake without feeling my throat close somewhat. My husband heard me making noises while I was sleeping. Now, I can fall asleep on my back at night for a few hours and then turn over (side sleeping is my preference afterwards). My husband who works out of our bedroom and arises earlier can hear me sleeping and does not hear anything unless I’ve had a cold or something. I’ve talked about your CD’s to my doctors and given them your information. I should have written you sooner but I didn’t. I’m a 72 year old woman. Thank you so much for your efforts that have truly improved my life.
Linda Stanley, Palo Alto, California, USA
I’ve been using Singing for Snorers for over 3 years, and I can happily confirm it works for me. Not only do I snore significantly less, but I also sound better at karaoke!
Alex Kojevnikov, Auckland, New Zealand
I started practising Singing for Snorers in the hope that it might help with a swallowing problem that I had developed. I had noted how Alise used singing exercises to strengthen and coordinate the various parts of the mouth and throat to reduce snoring, and wondered if my problem with swallowing might benefit in a similar way. Inspired by the singing exercises, I realised that the action of swallowing food was quite complex, starting with placement of the food towards the back of the tongue, and then squeezing action by the tongue moving the food into the throat area, closing off the windpipe, and with a further coordinated squeezing action delivering the food into the stomach.
I was delighted to find that my swallowing problem reduced noticeably even after a short time practising the singing exercises. I enjoy doing the exercises, and will continue to do them even though I know I will never be more than a bathroom baritone!
N.B. I did check with my doctor initially, to be quite sure that no major medical condition was present.
My daughter is a doctor. It was she who alerted me to my snoring problem. I was mortified at the thought of travelling with her, as we had planned to do, and keeping her awake, so I took up your programme. She was surprised that when the time came to share a room, I did not disturb her. She was amazed to learn how I had managed to improve, but she quickly understood the logic of the method. I can’t thank you enough.
Jackie S., London, UK
I love the program! It is superbly designed and has helped me personally. I recommend it to my students. Thank you!
I was looking for an easy-to-use program to exercise my soft palate, and was thrilled to stumble on yours. It is beautifully designed, with progressive exercises so that I could always practice in the "zone of proximate development”, as a psychologist once termed the place where learning took place. I am now more confident in my singing, and my range, and in releasing sound forward. It is now part of my daily warmup routine. All-in-all, a most lovely useful resource. Thank you again.
Amy L., Registered Rodenburg Teacher, USA
I have used your CDs for the past year and a bit and am delighted by the results. I have used an app to keep track of progress and my daughter also says I don't snore as often, as long or as loudly as I used to! I recall small, but not insignificant, results 2-3 months after having practised as recommended by you. But, the biggest results came after about a year, again at a frequency as recommended by you (can't remember exactly but for me this is every 2 or 3 days). Your advice regarding technique has also been really useful on many levels!
There came a point when I thought "I got it now", so I sang it for singing purposes, as if I was trying to make it sound better if that makes any sense. I think this might have been when my results seemed to have plateaued about 3 months in (an improvement of a reasonable degree but I did still snore, and sometimes loudly). Then I recalled something you said in the practice part of the CD, I realised it wasn't about how "good" one sounds (after all, they aren't singing lessons in the classic sense - something you mentioned too I think). At that, I renewed my focus on parts of my "anatomy" that the tracks might have been designed to improve. Often, this required me to think why you intended one to do these exercises, i.e. "what parts of the anatomy was this designed to benefit?". One thing that helped was not feeling constrained and free to make silly faces. Another thing that helped was understanding the purpose of the "ung" that sat between the movements and variations (sorry not sure what to call them). You mentioned this as well but it took me awhile to understand their significance as things that gave repetition, and that how one moved back and forth between the "ungs" and the other variations was just as important as everything else.
I'm really amazed now because I used to snore fairly loudly (now 47 years old though having been a quiet sleeper in my teens and 20s) but now I don't really snore (I have recently started using the snoring App that records sounds at night because I wanted to catch a good recording of the dawn chorus). So I'm really thankful for your work. I've done a lot of research and tried a fair few things. You're the only one who seems to be doing what you do and I was so happy to have discovered the BBC article when I did.
E.B., Hampshire, UK
I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) four years ago and am fortunate enough to be seen at an NHS M.E. specialist clinic. However, over the last year, my sleep, which is already very light and never refreshing - a sad and common symptom of M.E - started to become highly unpleasant: I was being thrown from sleep, with a racing heart and a sensation of breathlessness. I was eventually seen by a sleep specialist and had a polysomnograph. The results of that eliminated apnoea, but showed that I was spinning up through the deeper parts of the sleep cycle to the lighter parts twice as many times in an hour than a regular person does. This was accompanied by tachycardia (the racing heart). Although this has eased these past six months, I was still finding myself waking up fairly regularly, with an awareness of a gurgling or snuffling sensation in my throat. Now, this wasn't a horrendous being-thrown-from-sleep feeling like I couldn't breathe anymore, but it was still startling and disruptive to my already fragmented sleep. So when I saw my sleep consultant next, he looked again at the polysomnograph results and although it was clear that I don't have apnoea, I did snore for a total of seven minutes throughout the course of the night when the test was done. I had no idea that I snored at all, so this was a surprise to me. My sleep consultant said that it was very minor, but due to my having such light sleep, he thought it a good idea to eliminate so far as possible these sleep disruptions and made an appointment for me to be fitted with a mandibular adjustment device.
And this is where the 'Singing for Snorers' CDs came in. When I first saw the sleep consultant - when the sleep disruptions were very bad - he had recommended I see a sleep therapist, to help me with the insomnia that had crept in (as a result of my starting to dread sleep). So after I was referred for the mandibular adjustment device, I told my sleep therapist all about the snoring and the referral for the device. She suggested that I consider singing exercises as a way to tone my pharyngeal muscles, as her concern was that seeing as I'm such a light sleeper, a mandibular adjustment device might be disruptive in and of itself.
I came home from seeing my sleep therapist and searched for singing exercises for snoring online. I found the Singing for Snorers programme and was delighted to see that it had been clinically trialled, with favourable outcomes, on the NHS. I immediately ordered the CDs. I followed the instructions carefully, making sure I did the exercises every day. By the time I went to have my mandibular adjustment device fitted, I realised that I hadn't woken up with a start once in six weeks. When I came to collect the device, I felt pretty sure I didn't need it, so it's sitting at home in my cupboard and I've not needed to wear it once!
I am extremely grateful for this programme: it has improved my sleep enormously. And although I still never feel refreshed from sleep, due to having M.E., it is wonderful not to face the disruptions that had compromised my quality of sleep even more. On an additional note, my occupational therapist at the M.E. clinic said that singing would strengthen my diaphragm and that would probably mean that even if I cycled up through the sleep cycles too quickly, I would be less likely to get breathless, as my diaphragm would be stronger and better equipped to deal with it. So that's another bonus!
I am now in the maintenance part of my programme, so instead of doing the exercises seven times a week, I do them five times a week. I may go down to four times a week after a month, though to be honest, as the exercises are fun and they lift my spirits, I may continue doing them five times a week: they've become a familiar and integrated part of my morning routine.
If your sleep is being disrupted by snoring, please - give this programme a go. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Josie, London, UK