Smartphone-based delivery of oropharyngeal exercises for treatment of snoring: a randomized controlled trial

Umesh Goswami, Adam Black, Brian Krohn, Wendy Meyers, Conrad Iber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Upper airway exercises for snoring treatment can be effective but difficult to administer and monitor. We hypothesized that a brief, relatively simple daily upper airway exercise regimen, administered by a smartphone application, would reduce snoring and encourage compliance. Methods: Targeted vowel sounds causing tongue base movements were incorporated into a voice-controlled smartphone game application. Participants with habitual snoring, apnea hypopnea index (AHI) ≤ 14 events/h, and BMI ≤ 32 kg/m 2 were randomly assigned to perform 15 min of daily gameplay (intervention group) or 5 s of daily voice recording (control group) and to audio record their snoring for 2 nights/week for up to 12 weeks. Sounds above 60 dB were extracted from recordings for snore classification with machine learning support vector machine classifiers. Results: Sixteen patients (eight in each group) completed the protocol. Groups were similar at baseline in gender distribution (five males, three females), mean BMI (27.5 ± 3.8 vs 27.4 ± 3.8 kg/m 2 ), neck circumference (15.1 ± 1.6 vs 14.7 ± 1.7 in.), Epworth Sleepiness Score (8 ± 3.5 vs 7 ± 4.0), and AHI (9.2 ± 4.0 vs 8.2 ± 3.2 events/h). At 8 weeks, the absolute change in snoring rate (> 60 dB/h) was greater for the intervention group than the control group (− 49.3 ± 55.3 vs − 6.23 ± 23.2; p = 0.037), a 22 and 5.6% reduction, respectively. All bed partners of participants in the intervention group reported reduced snoring volume and frequency, whereas no change was reported for the control group. Conclusions: Smartphone application-administered upper airway training reduces objective and subjective snoring measures and improves sleep quality. Trial registration:; no.: NCT03264963; URL:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 14 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This study was funded by NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (MN-REACH) Grant no. 5U01HL127479-03.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.


  • Oropharyngeal exercise
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Smartphone application
  • Snoring


Dive into the research topics of 'Smartphone-based delivery of oropharyngeal exercises for treatment of snoring: a randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this