Most of us don’t really pay attention to how we breathe. If we are breathing, then we are alive, right? Or maybe we start to notice our breathing when we are exercising, having a hard time breathing or when we purposely focus on it for meditation or yoga. However, I think it’s safe to say people are more likely to pay attention to their breathing when there’s a lack of it. This is especially true when we can’t breathe due to astma, anxiety attacks or when we’re not able to sleep due to a closed air way. We’re going to cover the the proper ways to breathe during the day and at night. After all, when you breathe better you sleep better, and then you feel better during the day!

Quality Breathing Is The Key to Wellness

What most of us don’t know is that quality breathing is the key to our wellness. Breathing is one of the most basic functions of the human body; it fuels the body with oxygen, helps strengthen the muscles and can also clear a foggy mind. Even though breathing is so important to our wellness, few people actually learn how to breathe properly so the body can function at its best. Studies have shown having an open airway can affect a person’s physical appearance, one’s sleep, and yes, their overall health.

The Proper Way to Breathe

It’s important to remember the nose is for breathing even though many choose to breathe through their mouth. The most important function of the nose is to allow us to breathe but it also does so much more. The nose is able to evoke emotions and memories, alert us to dangers and increase our appreciation for Food! Our noses also provide us with individual air filters as it purifies and humidifies the air before reaching the lungs. When we breathe through our mouth, awake or asleep, we bypass these critical functions of breathing through the nose.

Proper breathing starts in the nose and then moves to the stomach. When your diaphragm contracts and your belly expands, your lungs fill with air. It is the most efficient way to breathe. However, there are times where mouth breathing is necessary such as; during increased exercise and when suffering from sinus congestion. Breathing through the nose can also help in the cold and very dry climates.

If you are breathing properly, your breath will be steady, smooth and controlled.  You should be able to easily get enough air and your breath should be very quiet or even silent. In addition, learning to breathe correctly during the day can also help you breathe better at night. We have no conscious control over the way we breathe while we sleep. However, if we are not breathing properly, it can result in snoring, a restless night’s sleep or it might even be a sign of a sleep disorder. So, it is important to be aware of how we breathe and learn the basics of proper breathing for our overall health. After all, our life might depend on it. 

Nighttime Breathing: The Importance of an Open Airway

If you suspect you’re breathing through your mouth, your nose may be obstructed by congestion from allergies or a structural issue like a deviated septum. The problem could also be that you simply have narrow airways that makes breathing difficult through your nose. Breathing through your nose increases blood oxygenation, as well as increases the amount of oxygen delivered to tissues and organs, making sound, healthy sleep more attainable. It also ensures our breathing during sleep is calm, relaxed, quiet and almost silent. The fact is, improper breathing could be robbing us of quality shut eye.

How Do You Know if You Are Breathing Properly?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you breathe through your nose or mouth? How about when lying down in bed, while sitting or moving around?
  • If you’re breathing through your nose, are you taking deep breaths or are they short breaths from the chest?
  • Do you have any signs that suggest you may need to correct your breathing during the day or night? Such as: fatigue, snoring, regular yawning, sniffing or sighing a lot, waking with a dry mouth or sore throat, drowsiness, or heavy breathing either at rest or while exercising.

How you breathe is the key to the quality of life you’re living, whether awake or asleep. With natural strategies like nasal breathing and good sleep habits, getting sound sleep may not be as difficult to obtain. However, in some cases you may realize you are still not getting a good night’s rest even if you have tried everything. Are you snoring? Do you frequently wake up due to gasping or choking for breath? Are you frequently exhausted in the morning or have headaches? Or are you waking up with a sore dry throat? If so, what do you do now?

If you are suffering from any of these signs of sleep apnea or other sleep breathing disorders, you or your loved one should seek help from a specialized sleep center. Treatments for airway obstructions often include oral appliances, cpap and in some cases special devices or surgery may be needed. 

Sleep Better: Get Help from a Sleep Professional in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Are you or a loved one struggling with health problems such as fatigue, headaches, chronic pain, or with stress? Do you also struggle with sugar & junk food cravings, and/or weight gain? Do you have a child with behavioral issues, chronic infections, allergies or asthma? These issues could be linked to a sleep disorder and you’ll want to get help right away. We not only treat the symptoms but we also focus on the root cause of the problems you are experiencing. Our treatment is a short-term process, typically it is one year, with results that last a lifetime. We’ll help you sleep better so you can start living better. For more information or to set up a free education meeting, call Just Breathe DDS today at (208) 500-3030. Start breathing your way to a great night’s sleep today!  

 

 

 References

https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1164/rccm.201410-1939ED

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/sleep-apnea-in-adults-beyond-the-basics

https://www.lung.org/blog/you-might-be-breathing-wrong

https://elliottphysicaltherapy.com/importance-proper-breathing-overall-health/

https://www.prontosleep.com/breathe-your-way-to-a-better-nights-sleep/