May 21, 2022
Mouth breathing, especially during the first 20 minutes of light sleep, can delay the onset of deeper sleep that is vital to restoring the body and mind. You are more likely to open your mouth and start mouth breathing during these stages of light sleep when your face and jaw muscles are relaxed, increasing the time it takes to get to sleep.
Nasal breathing helps to calm the mind ready for going to sleep and will not disrupt your sleep during the night. Avoiding anything that interrupts your sleep will ensure you spend more time sleeping and less time trying to get back to sleep.
When you sleep with your mouth open you are more likely to snore, snort or gasp, which will disrupt your sleep, disturb your bed partner and slow your transition into deep restorative sleep. Breathing through your nose when trying to get to sleep is calming and relaxing and focuses the mind away from the cares and worries of your day.
Losing sleep over insomnia can make you very tired.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia commonly leads to daytime sleepiness, lethargy and a general feeling of being unwell, both mentally and physically. Anything that disturbs sleep will make insomnia harder to manage as getting back to sleep again can be more difficult than getting to sleep in the first place. Breathing through the mouth when sleeping is a major cause of disturbed sleep.
A sleep study of 1,000 adults found that more than sixty percent habitually breathe through their mouth while sleeping and mouth breathing disrupted their sleep more than anything except stress. "It's surprising to find how mouth breathing is a leading barrier to a better night's sleep and just how big of an impact it can have on sleep quality – for both the sufferer and their sleep partner," said Mandy Hennebry, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.(2015)
What causes insomnia?
Unhealthy sleep habits, psychiatric and medical conditions, specific substances and certain biological factors can cause insomnia. Medical causes of insomnia include nasal and sinus allergies, gastric reflux, arthritis, asthma, Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, lower back pain, medications and chemical interactions in the brain. Insomnia may be a symptom of underlying sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome, which is an uncomfortable sensation of needing to move the legs. People with restless legs syndrome may have difficulty falling asleep as well as staying asleep.
Insomnia may also be caused by psychiatric conditions such as depression. The risk of severe insomnia is much higher in people with major depressive disorders. Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder linked to insomnia, is when the airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing and a drop in oxygen levels. (Sleep Foundation, Apr.2022)
What are the consequences of insomnia?
Insomnia has been reported to be associated with greater mortality via a large number of negative health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
When lack of sleep becomes drastic the brain actively begins to switch off sections that aren’t necessary for survival. This means that brain function is impaired massively, therefore affecting every single process in our bodies. Drowsiness affects reaction time in the same way that alcohol does, which leads to lack of coordination and accidents. Lack of sleep also impairs our ability to consolidate what we have learnt the previous day. This is a process that occurs during deep sleep.
After prolonged sleep deprivation, the body’s hormone production goes awry. The body over produces the stress hormone cortisol, which can then break down cortisol in the skin. This means that over time, living on little sleep can effectively put years on your face by adding under-eye bags and fine wrinkles. Unbalanced hormones can also lead to a low libido and an inability to recognize facial expressions and body language.
Appetite is also affected to the extent of eventual obesity in some cases. The hormones involved in stimulating appetite, ghrelin, are increased, and leptin, which is responsible for suppressing appetite, is reduced. It can also lead to heart and general health problems.
Not all insomnias are the same. (Sleep Foundation, 2022)
What are the different types of insomnia? Onset insomnia: difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night.
A few interesting facts about insomnia.
In addition to seeking treatment, there are steps you can take on your own to manage and improve insomnia. Monitoring and improving your sleep hygiene is something that everyone can do.
How do I control mouth breathing during sleep?
After several years of research and development an ingenious solution has been created to gently and safely help you maintain constant nasal breathing all night.
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