SLEEP BETTER: Breathe through your nose
September 15, 2020 • 1 min read
-- Mouth breathing might be ruining your sleep
Breathing through your mouth at night puts you at higher risk for sleep disorders, including snoring, sleep apnoea and hypopnea, the partial blockage of air, scientists have found.
But for those of us with allergies, a deviated septum, or nasal congestion, mouth breathing is sometimes unavoidable. Lying down to sleep makes things worse, because getting horizontal fills vessels with blood inside the nose.
Desperate for easier breaths, we open our mouths, causing a backward slump of the tongue, which further obstructs the airway.
Practice nose breathing to make it feel more natural. Try keeping your lips closed unless you’re talking, eating, or doing strenuous exercise. You’ll work harder, because nose breathing adds at least 50 percent more resistance to airflow – but it will benefit your lungs, heart, and even the biochemistry of your brain.
Athletes take note: when you breathe in through your nose, air is warmed, conditioned, and mixed with nitric oxide, which ensures oxygen is absorbed into the blood more efficiently. Nitrates in beetroot juice also enhance gas exchange, promising to boost athletic performance.