How Breathing Affects Sleep

Everyone sleeps differently, but there can be key differences between a healthy sleeping pattern and an unhealthy one. It can be hard to recognize them on your own and you may need to rely on a partner to tell you how you sleep. We usually don’t think about how our patterns during sleep might be affecting us. So let’s see how breathing affects sleep.

How Breathing Affects Sleep

Similarly, we also don’t think much about the way we breathe. Whether we are awake or asleep, our body processes oxygen on its own. But when you visit a specialized asthma doctor in New York City, you will start to learn more about how breathing affects sleep in different ways. Take a look at the info below to see if you might be a good candidate for a consultation with Dr. Shukla.

Nose Vs. Mouth Breathing: Which is Better?

Some people sleep through their noses during the night, while others might be classified as mouth breathers. While some people naturally breathe one way or the other, there could be different health and developmental effects that come from breathing one particular way.

Let’s take a deep dive into the particular effects that come from nose or mouth breathing:

Oxygen Processing

Nose breathers have an easier time processing oxygen and letting more oxygen reach the brain. Those who breathe out of their mouths may end up holding in more carbon dioxide and letting less oxygen reach the brain; this can be a nuisance during waking hours but is devastating at night. Folks who breathe from their mouths are much more likely to show symptoms of sleep apnea.

Facial Development

Breathing out of your nose or mouth can even affect certain facial developments. Kids who breathe out of their mouths are more likely to grow up with flatter, less developed facial features that may prevent healthy breathing as they get older.

Speech and Dental Health

Some kids grow up with their mouths always open. When this is the case, it can become difficult for them to pronounce certain sounds, such as the “s” sound, since mouth breathing has led to some developmental setbacks. If your child is struggling with speech, it could be because of their breathing patterns. It may also be more difficult for your child to get braces and see long-term results from straightening.

How to Start Nose Breathing

If you are worried that you are a mouth breather and you are going to have several sleep health issues, you’re not out of luck. There are several training exercises that you can do to encourage your body to start breathing out of your nose.

Here are a few exercises to get you started:

  • Clear your nose on a regular basis by breathing through your nose for several minutes. Then pinch your nose and hold your breath until you must release it, then slowly release small breaths through your nose.
  • Spend 8-10 minutes a day focusing on nasal breathing, inhaling and exhaling slowly to help your body form a better breathing habit.
  • Sleep on your side or wear a nasal strip over your nose while sleeping, and try elevating your head a little bit when you go to bed.

It can be difficult to change an automatic habit that you have never really thought about before. Give yourself lots of time and grace as this is a major bodily change for you.

Learn More About Healthy Breathing Today

Whether you or your child are struggling with mouth breathing and it is causing a huge dip in the quality of your sleep, it’s time to visit a sleep specialist right away. Dr. Mayank Shukla offers adult and pediatric sleep care in NYC to help those who are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Don’t wait until your condition gets worse; schedule a personal consultation with us today!

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