18. Ongoing pilot study: Sleep Apnoea, Snoring and IQoro Training. Discussion and World’s First Assessment Results

Relevance to conditions

Study type

Pilot study, Prospective, Cohort pre- and post- study.


Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) have debilitating primary effects on sufferers, and secondary complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. The conditions are caused by muscular weakness in parts of the oropharyngeal regions and there are no current treatments targeted at improving this. IQoro Neuromuscular Training (IQNT) has been shown in earlier studies to improve this muscle function, and individuals report success with self-treatment, there is a need to study the effect in a more controlled environment.


The aim was to investigate whether IQNT can improve OSA symptoms in a cohort of long-term sufferers.


10 patients F = 5, M =5 mean age = 64 years (range 55–73) with diagnosed OSA who have used Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices for more than 12 months. Body Mass Index (BMI) had a mean value of 28.1 (range = 22–30), only one patient being in the ideal BMI range.


Patients at 8 different geographically diverse sleep speciality clinics were assessed for sleep apnoea before treatment and at end of treatment. Treatment consisted of IQoro neuromuscular training 30 seconds, three times per day for 3 months.

Outcome measurements

Sleep registration equipment to determine AHI values.

  • an apnoea is defined as a drop in the peak thermal sensor excursion of ≥ 90% of the baseline lasting at least 10 seconds,
  • a hypopnea is defined as a 30 % reduction in airflow compared with baseline, in combination with an oxygen desaturation of ≥ 3 %.
  • OSA is defined as a mean of five or more obstructive apnoeas and hypopneas per hour of sleep.

AHI defines different degrees of OSA as follows:

NormalAHI 0 to ≤5
Mild sleep apnoeaAHI >5 to ≤15
Moderate sleep apnoeaAHI >15 to ≤30
Severe sleep apnoeaAHI >30

Duration of sleep is usually an estimate from the recordings.


  • The mean score for the whole group improved from ‘Severe’ (36.6), to ‘Moderate’ (17.7) after three months’ IQNT.
  • All except one patient improved and moved to lower severity bands: either ‘Mild’ category (5 patients), or ‘Moderate’ category (4 patients). This most severely-affected patient improved dramatically (from 59.3 to 35.4), but without changing his severity category.
  • It is interesting that the mean BMI value (28.1 reduced to 27.8) for the group, was not significantly changed from baseline to end of IQNT, hence reduced bodyweight was not a factor in the improvements.


This is a pilot study of the effects of day time IQoro neuromuscular training on OSA sufferers and showed promising results for a condition which is widely prevalent, costly to the individual and the healthcare services. Most patients are prescribed CPAP as a night-time breathing aid and there are no recommended treatments apart from surgery in extreme cases.

Read the pilot study in full text here (pdf).