What are Sinuses?
Sinuses are air-filled spaces located in your forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of your nose which drain through narrow channels into the nose. When the linings of the channels that connects the sinuses to the nose become inflamed, they impair the ability of the sinuses to drain normally. Pressure may begin to build up within the blocked sinus.
The swelling and inflammation then back up into the sinuses with increased mucus and fluid secretion. Pressure can also develop at contact points between two structures in the nose and sinuses that swell against each other. All of these factors can combine to create the pain of a sinus headache.
What do they do?
Your sinuses are designed to prepare air for delivery to your lungs. They act as a humidifier, warming and moistening the air. They also remove debris and act as a first-line of defense against unfriendly microbes. Most importantly they must be ventilated by a constant flow of air up your nose.
For this to happen you must breathe through your nose, not your mouth. Unless you breathe constantly through your nose, especially at night, your sinuses will stagnate and eventually become infected.
What else does nasal breathing do?
One of the most important ways that nasal breathing helps oxygen flow is via a gas called nitric oxide. The role of nitric oxide in the body and respiration was only recently identified.
Nitric oxide is produced in the nasal sinuses by specific enzymes. It’s instrumental in delivering oxygen around the body efficiently because it regulates blood flow. When it mixes with air delivered to the lung, it increases arterial oxygen tension and reduces blood pressure.
Nitric oxide also has a vital role deep within your body’s cells and is produced elsewhere in the body but the biggest contributor is the minute amounts inhaled through the nose into the lungs.
What about mouth breathing?
Mouth breathing delivers no nitric oxide. It also provides none of the air warming and humidifying properties of nasal breathing. In humans, it’s really just a survival mechanism, to be used when the nasal breathing is impossible.
Mouth breathing during sleep will not only give you blocked and painful sinuses, it is the root cause of snoring, which can progress to sleep apnea, a condition linked to heart failure, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease.
How can I tell if I’m mouth breathing while I’m asleep?
There are some sure signs of mouth breathing when sleeping.
Dryness. If you wake up during the night or in the morning with a dry mouth, dry tongue, dry throat or dry lips you are most likely spending excessive time mouth breathing.
Snoring. Mouth breathing is the root cause of snoring. It’s difficult to snore with your mouth closed. Once your mouth opens your tongue drops down from the roof of your mouth and falls back towards your throat reducing airflow and causing vibration of the throat tissues.
Nasal congestion. When you lay down you experience increased blood flow to nasal passageways, which make the vessels inside your nose and nasal passageways inflamed. Unless you maintain nasal breathing the inflammation may worsen to the point where you are woken up.
Sleep disturbance. Sleep studies have shown that mouth breathing disturbs sleep more than anything except stress. Maintaining nasal breathing delivers calm restful sleep without the disruptions caused by mouth breathing.
OK, it looks like I’m mouth breathing when I’m asleep. What can I do about it?
Keeping your mouth closed is obvious, but not easy if you are asleep, until now.
sleepQ+ is a helping many people control involuntary mouth breathing while sleeping to avoid sinus pain, sleep disruptions, dry mouth, nasal congestion and snoring.
Visit www.sleepqplus.com to learn more and sleep better.
Click this link https://player.vimeo.com/video
Updated August 12th 2018
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