Are you all too familiar with waking up in the morning with a blocked nose, feelings of pressure in your forehead and swelling around your eyes, cheeks and nose? If so, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from sinus pain caused by something you do when you are sleeping.
The strange thing about sinus pain is that it can develop for a variety of different reasons – and sometimes can even be caused by seemingly unrelated lifestyle choices. For instance, the way you breathe while sleeping is a massive determinant of whether you’re likely to get congested sinuses. If you’re getting sinus pressure every day, especially in the morning when you wake up then there’s a good chance that you’ve been breathing incorrectly while sleeping.
If you fix this one bad sleeping habit you won’t have to fear waking up with sinus pain, a congested nose or pain in the forehead again - instead you’ll wake up happier than ever before. The last thing you want to have to deal with is regularly blocked sinuses or sinus congestion when you’re just trying to get ahead in life.
So what is this one sleeping habit that could be the root cause of your sinus-related pain and frustration? Well, most doctors and online medical websites will tell you that sinus congestion or sinus pressure only really develops if you’re constantly getting colds, smoke regularly, have dental infections, inflamed sinus linings or even just nasal allergies. And in many cases they’re right.
But if you’re regularly getting sinus pain and you don’t smoke, have a cold or have any of the former health ailments – then you’re getting sinus pressure because of the way you’re breathing when you sleep. It may sound strange but sleeping with your mouth open and breathing through your mouth while sleeping greatly boosts your chances of getting sinusitis and is detrimental to sleep quality.
Here’s how it works: when you breathe through your nose you ventilate your sinuses which helps keep them clear and healthy. If, however, you breathe through your mouth when sleeping your sinuses and nasal passage aren’t getting ventilated. This is bad because when you don’t breathe through your nose your brain decides to increase mucous production to help protect you from pathogens and deficits in carbon dioxide levels.
The increase in mucous production can lead to acute sinusitis and blocked nasal passages forcing you to breathe through your mouth. Then mouth-breathing leads to more mucous production as the nasal passage is now completely blocked off with all the mucous. This is a prime example of the detrimental effects of mouth breathing and how it creates a cycle that only worsens sinusitis.
When acute sinusitis is left untreated or exacerbated by mouth breathing it can develop further into chronic sinusitis, which, in extreme cases, may require sinus surgery to provide relief. Often sinus surgery can be avoided through the effective combination of medication and nasal breathing.
Sinusitis complications can be quite stressful and costly to treat, which is why it’s vital to safe-guard against sinus infections and sinus pressure and the best way to prevent regular sinus pain is to recognize that the habit of mouth breathing while sleeping is a strong risk factor in creating sinus congestion and its associated complications. Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth can go a long way in mitigating unnecessary sinus pressure and helping you to wake up happier every morning.
Make the switch today to start nasal breathing when sleeping and look forward to getting good sleep quality and sinus relief. Enjoy the calm feeling of going to sleep knowing that you won’t have to wake up the next morning with sinus congestion or run the risk of your day being hindered by blocked sinuses and infections.
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Updated November 30th 2017