Grinding or clenching your teeth (known medically as Bruxism) is mostly a subconscious behaviour, which often occurs during sleep, and is exacerbated by stress and anxiety.
Bruxism may also be a breathing or airway issue and is often recognised by dentists, due to the wearing down of teeth caused by grinding.
THE IMPACT OF SLEEP DISRUPTIONS ON BRUXISM
If your sleep is disrupted at night, you will spend more time in the lighter sleep stages which is when you are more likely to brux.
MOUTH BREATHING DISRUPTS YOUR SLEEP
Maintaining a closed mouth during sleep may reduce the incidence of bruxism and lead to a calmer and deeper sleep.
Consult your dentist if your sleep is a grind.
sleepQ+ a reversible lip-bonding gel will help you maintain nasal breathing during sleep.
Cold, dry air causes the upper airways to narrow, which makes it harder to breathe and it can irritate the airways and lungs and increase your risk of catching a cold or a virus.
When you breathe air in through the nose, tiny hairs in the nasal passages help filter out germs as air passes through to the sinuses. Nasal breathing slows down air intake and provides more time to warm and humidify the air before it reaches the lungs.
Warmer air means the bronchial tubes are more open, resulting in better oxygen intake.
When air is breathed in through the mouth it goes directly to the lungs without being filtered, warmed or humidified.
During the day, protect yourself by wearing a mask or scarf and always breathe through your nose while outdoors.
At night, apply sleepQ+ to your lips to ensure you maintain nasal breathing while you sleep.
Our immune system attacks pathogens before they get into the body. When cells in the nose sense potential invaders, such as germs, they release tiny sacs that fight them off and prime other cells to resist an onslaught.
According to Dr Benjamin Bleier, a sinus surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital it is the only example of this that we know of. “The nose is a crucial frontier: every breath we take may contain dangerous bacteria, so the cells lining the nasal cavity secrete mucus that traps tiny particles. Hairs on the surface of these cells, called cilia, beat to move the mucus along. Instead of being swept forwards so it can be rapidly expelled, the mucus is swept back towards the throat. You swallow it and then the gut deals with it from there.”
Bleier’s team and other researchers have recently found that, as well as secreting mucus the cells in the nasal cavity release billions of tiny sacs called exosomes. Once in the mucus, these sacs fuse with other cells, delivering proteins or RNA. Suspecting that exosomes are part of a previously unknown defence system, Bleier and his colleagues studied tissue in the lab and people undergoing nasal surgery and now have strong evidence of this theory.
They found that when cells at the front of the nose are exposed to a potentially dangerous bacterium, the number of exosomes released into the mucus doubles within 5 minutes. Their experiments suggest that exosomes can kill pathogens directly, although they don’t yet know how.
“They are as powerful at killing bacteria as an antibiotic, says Bleier, but not all exosomes kill. Many do not attack bacteria but instead fuse with cells towards the back of the nose and seem to both alert these cells and arm them with antibacterial proteins, which may explain why mucus is swept backwards. Mucociliary clearance is not just a garbage dump, it’s actually a circulatory system”.
Exosomes were discovered in 1983, but it is only in the last decade that interest in them has increased. As well as seeming to arm our noses against invaders, they are involved in all kinds of processes, from normal body functioning to diseases, including cancer and asthma.
During the day we stop breathing through our nose when talking, which means we are limiting our nasal defence, sometimes for hours. If we breathe through the mouth during sleep we reduce even further the time our nose protects us from germs.
But maintaining constant nasal breathing all night can be a challenge, without sleepQ+.
Updated 17th February 2020
In the words of a happy CPAP patient:
“I have been able to progressively lower my CPAP pressure from 15 mm to 12 mm while still maintaining a 30-day average AHI of 3.0.”
What is CPAP?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Pressurized air, generated by a pump, maintains a constant pressure in the mask and the patient’s airway to keep the airway open so oxygen can get to the lungs.
Why is mouth breathing a problem?
The air in a CPAP appliance does not circulate like water through a hose; it should remain at a constant pressure like air in a balloon, which only happens as long as the patient keeps their mouth closed. When a patient’s mouth opens, the air escapes out of the mouth causing the air pressure supporting the airway to be less than is required to keep the airway open. This reduces the efficiency of the CPAP therapy and can result in the patient waking up with a dry mouth and dry throat, caused by the circulating air, and a sinus headache. Keeping your mouth closed during sleep can be impossible without help.
What to do about it? Here are some solutions:
Heated Humidification. The latest CPAP machines often have heated humidification to add moisture to the air so the airway, throat and mouth don't get dried out from the pressurized air escaping through the mouth, but mouth breathing will still lead to an increase in nasal mucosal blood flux, which causes nasal and sinus congestion.
Full Face Masks. CPAP mask designers have attempted to address the mouth breathing problem by developing a full face mask. A full face mask is designed to cover both the nose and the mouth but they are bulky, tend to leak, because more mask surface is against the face, and do not control mouth breathing. People in general prefer a nasal mask that covers only the nose, but a nasal mask leaves the mouth free to open during sleep.
Chin Straps. Chinstraps, made of stretchable material with Velcro attachments, are designed to keep the mouth closed using force to prevent the jaw from dropping open. They go under the chin and attach at the top of the head but they can be uncomfortable and some of them may cut across the ear, rubbing or intruding on sensitive skin. Because chin straps are made of stretchable material, they need to be tightened, sometimes significantly, to keep the mouth closed during sleep. The more force that needs to be used to close the mouth the more the jaw is pulled toward the throat, increasing the risk of the airway becoming restricted as a result of the receding chin.
Adhesive Strips and Mouth Taping. U-shaped adhesive strips are available, but use force to pull the jaw up and the mouth closed, although mouth breathing is still possible. The strips can be uncomfortable and may cause skin damage when pulled off the face in the morning. Taping your mouth shut by placing medical paper tape over your lips is risky and may cause choking if the tape is sucked back into the throat during sleep.
A simple and effective solution for mouth breathing that has no nasty side effects is sleepQ+
Updated February 17 2020
Unlike humans, a horse breathes only through its nose when exercising. This means that the oxygen vital for working muscles is only available from the air passing through the nose.
A horse's respiratory system starts at the nostrils and ends at the lungs. It includes the upper airway and the lower airway. When a horse inhales, air passes through the tube-like upper airway beginning at the nostrils, through the nasal passages, past the throat, down the trachea, and then enters the lower airway: the lungs.
Once in the lungs, oxygen contained in the air passes out of the alveoli (tiny air sacs) into small blood vessels carrying red blood cells through the lungs. The oxygen binds to the red blood cells, which transport the oxygen to the heart and skeletal muscles to be used for producing energy for exercise.
The narrowest part of the upper airway is the nasal passages. During exercise over 90% of the resistance to breathing air into the lungs occurs in the upper airway, and over 50% of the upper airway resistance occurs at the nasal passages. That's why the nasal passages are critical for easy breathing.
During exercise a horse starts to breathe deeper and faster to bring more air into the lungs and to breathe carbon dioxide out. When galloping, about two five-gallon buckets (40 litres) of air move in and out of the horse's lungs every second.
Flow of air is critical because at a gallop a horse's breathing and stride are linked. That means a horse takes a single breath with each stride. As a horse moves faster, its legs don't move faster, but rather the horse extends the length of its stride.
High-intensity activities, combined with a narrow nasal passageway put extra pressure on the horse and often result in a haemorrhage in the lungs, as it can generate a negative pressure in its lungs.
HUMANS ARE DIFFERENT- WE HAVE AN ADVANTAGE.
Unlike horses, we have two air passageways to our lungs: the nose and the mouth. Breathing through the mouth is only necessary when you have nasal congestion due to allergies or a cold and when you are exercising strenuously to help get oxygen to your muscles faster, as in highly intensive athletic performance.
The nose acts as a filter and retains small particles in the air, including pollen and breathing through the nose produces a gas called Nitric Oxide, which improves the lungs’ ability to absorb Oxygen and transport it throughout the body, including inside the heart. Breathing through the nose relaxes vascular smooth muscle and allows blood vessels to dilate. Nitric Oxide, is antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic and antibacterial. It helps the immune system to fight infections.
Breathing through the nose adds moisture to the air you breathe and prevents dryness in the lungs and bronchial tubes. The nose also humidifies and warms cold air to body temperature before it gets to your lungs and adds resistance to the air stream to increase oxygen uptake by maintaining elasticity of the lungs.
Mouth breathing does not produce nitric oxide or filter, warm and humidify your air intake. Every minute you spend breathing through your mouth you are not looking after your health.
ARE YOU A MOUTH BREATHER?
You may not be aware that you are breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, especially while you sleep. People who breathe through their mouth at night may have the following symptoms:
Snoring, Sinus pain, Nasal Congestion, Sleep Apnea, Dry mouth, Hoarseness, Chronic Fatigue, Waking up Tired and Irritable, Brain Fog, Dark Circles under the eyes, and an unhappy bed partner.
Chronic mouth breathing can also cause bad breath, (xerostomia), gum disease, and worsen symptoms of other illnesses. In children, mouth breathing can cause crooked teeth, facial deformities or poor facial growth.
An extensive sleep study of 1000 American adults revealed that mouth breathing disrupts sleep more than anything except stress: Mouth Breathing impacts the quality of sleep (64 percent) nearly as much as stress (69 percent) – the most common sleep disrupter. The most common signs of Mouth Breathing reported were being woken by night time Nasal Congestion (75 percent) waking up with a Dry Mouth (61 percent) and Snoring (37 percent).
Every time your mouth opens while you are trying to sleep you increase your chances of waking up and spending less time in deep sleep, restorative sleep.
Updated 17 February 2020
If you go to bed with clear sinuses and wake up with blocked sinuses something is happening during your sleep that causes the change. Why sinus pressure builds up during sleep is not widely known or understood and it’s simple to fix.
Morning sinus congestion, also known as 'morning nose', is not necessarily a sign of a bacterial infection in your sinuses needing medication, otherwise you would feel the pain and pressure during the day and before going to bed.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT SINUSES DO?
WHAT CAUSES SINUS PRESSURE?
When the linings of the channels that connect 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 sinus cavities 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.
WHAT CAUSES SINUS HEADACHES?
All the above-mentioned factors can combine to create the pain of a sinus headache. Sinus headaches are associated with a deep constant pain, pressure and fullness in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose. The pain typically intensifies with sudden head movement, straining, or first getting up out of bed. The part of the face in the area of the affected sinus can be tender to the touch.
MOUTH BREATHING DURING SLEEP.
Unless you breathe constantly through your nose, especially at night, your sinuses will stagnate and may eventually become infected. You may go to sleep breathing through your nose but when your mouth opens you will naturally switch your breathing from your nose to your mouth. This will cause the nasal and sinus passages to be starved of fresh air so your brain increases mucous production to help protect you from pathogens and deficits in carbon dioxide levels. This increase in mucous blocks the nasal passages causing ‘morning nose’ and sinus pressure, forces you to continue breathing through your mouth, creating a cycle of mouth breathing leading to chronic sinusitis and sinus pain.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE SINUS PAIN?
If you are inclined to breathe through your mouth excessively or during sleep you may want to deal with this habit. If your sinus pain persists or occurs regularly you should consult your medical professional to find the reason.
SINUS SURGERY AND AFTER CARE.
Your ENT surgeon will tell you if sinus surgery is required. Sinus surgery involves the precise removal of diseased sinus tissue to improve the natural drainage channels by the creation of a pathway for infected material to drain from the sinus cavities.
An essential part of recovery should include the return to nasal breathing as soon as possible after surgery to keep your sinuses ventilated and healthy to avoid re-infection. Keeping your mouth closed during sleep will help reduce suffering from morning sinus pressure.
Updated 17 February 2020
Aircraft cabin air is well known for giving passengers problems. Some studies estimate that up to 20 percent of passengers on commercial airplanes will develop respiratory infections within a week of flying.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH AIRCRAFT CABIN AIR?
Airline cabin air is recycled, however older aircraft tend to filter air and mix in part fresh air before recirculating it in the cabin and as a result are much less likely to have good quality air filters on board. Newer aeroplanes tend to use almost all recirculated air by using high-quality HEPA filters. These filters can reportedly clean-up to 99.99% of bacteria out of the air. During long- haul trips you're even more exposed as the air on a plane circulates in sections.
Airline cabin air is extremely low in humidity and can dry the mucous membranes of your nose, mouth, throat and bronchial tree (or breathing tubes), which are then less able to keep out viruses and bacteria. Your eyes may become dry and uncomfortable as well. Airline cabin air is low in oxygen relative to fresh air on the ground. Healthy individuals shouldn’t notice any difference but those with chronic lung conditions might.
High altitude flights draw in air that contains high levels of ozone although most big airliners that fly longer routes are equipped with ozone converters that decompose this air, but this may not be the case with planes designed for shorter flights.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
When a person has a viral infection, they generate a cloud of virus in the air around them through coughs or sneezes or simply by exhaling. When they land on your mucus membranes in your nose and throat you are likely to contract an infection.
Open-mouth breathing on planes will increase your risk of breathing in airborne germs and catching nasty viruses while nasal breathing filters, warms and humidifies the air passing through your nasal passages, which is better for your lungs.
If you intend sleeping during your flight you may need assistance to make sure you don’t start breathing through your mouth, which will increase your chances of snoring and cause you to wake up with a dry mouth, dry lips and dry throat. And perhaps a fellow passenger’s bugs.
Don’t have your holidays ruined. sleepQ+ is a great travelling companion, especially when you sleep near others. Take it with you every time you travel and arrive happier.
#SleepQplus #sleepqplus #MouthBreathing #NasalBreathing #Travel #AirTravel #Wellbeing
#Snoring #DryMouth #DryLips #Sleep
Updated February 15th 2020
A pearl diver must go down deeper and deeper through the water until they reach the sea bed where the pearls are, there’s no shortcut. Deep restorative sleep is like a pearl on the sea bed, you can’t get it unless you go through three lighter stages of sleep first, there’s no shortcut.
THE SLEEP CYCLE:
When we fall asleep we must first pass through the lighter stages of sleep, stages 1, 2 and 3, before reaching stage 4 - REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement). Stages 1, 2 and 3 are lighter sleep than REM sleep and do not restore the body, or leave you refreshed, as much as deep REM sleep. The complete cycle of four stages takes an average 90 to 110 minutes, with each stage lasting between 5 to 15 minutes. The cycle resumes again starting with periods of stage 1, 2 & 3 before returning to REM for longer periods of time as sleep continues.
SLEEP STAGES EXPLAINED:
Stage 1 -is the lightest stage of NREM sleep (Non-Rapid Eye Movement), when you are drifting off to sleep, also known as alpha sleep. Slow eye movements might appear and this drowsy sleep stage can be easily disrupted causing awakenings or arousals. Muscle tone throughout the body relaxes and brain wave activity begins to slow.
Stage 2 - the next deeper stage of sleep. Eye movements and brain waves begin to slow down. Lasting for longer periods than stage 1, comprising approximately 40-60% of total sleep time.
Stage 3- next in the progression is when brain waves slow to what are known as delta waves and it becomes harder to wake up. In stage 3, you may sleep through noises, but if you are wakened you’ll feel groggy. This stage does not last as long as stage 2, lasting between 5-15% of total time asleep for most adults.
Stage 4- known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is the deepest level of sleep. In the REM period, breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly and limb muscles are temporarily paralysed. Brain waves during this stage increase to levels experienced when a person is awake. Also, heart rate increases, blood pressure rises and the body loses some of the ability to regulate its temperature.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REACHING REM:
Reaching REM is crucial for the body’s cells to restore and for the brain to eliminate all the toxins accumulated during time awake. During deep sleep, human growth hormone is released and restores your body and muscles from the stresses of the day. Your immune system also restores itself. If woken prematurely from completing the REM period a person can experience a period of sleep inertia whereby a heightened sensation of sleepiness can occur for several minutes or even several hours. Accumulating time in several periods of deep REM sleep is critical to getting a good, restorative sleep every night so the secret is to avoid being disturbed, which will bring you back to stage 1. A person should typically experience three to five REM periods throughout sleep time, with the longest REM period before awakening for the day.
WHAT DISRUPTS DEEP SLEEP:
People suffering from sleep-disordered breathing issues such as snoring or sleep apnea may experience very shallow breathing or their breathing will stop, sometimes hundreds of times a night and they may never reach stage 4 REM, the deepest stage of sleep. There are many things that will keep you from getting sufficient deep sleep to stay healthy and alert during the day, barking dogs, snoring, doors banging, windows rattling etc. but what many people don’t know is that mouth breathing disrupts sleep more than anything except stress.
Sleep studies have found that breathing through your mouth instead of your nose will impact your sleep and cause other unpleasant conditions such as snoring, dry mouth, sleep- apnea, sinus and nasal congestion.
Just like the pearl diver who must return again and again to the sea bed to find pearls, we must return several times each night to REM sleep to find deep, restful sleep.
Updated 15 February 2020
For an athlete the ability to consume more oxygen into their muscles while keeping carbon dioxide levels low is essential to maximise performance, particularly at times of maximum stress such as reaching the finishing line in a marathon. However, it is not easy to maintain nasal breathing as, at times, the athlete needs all the air they can breathe into their lungs regardless of quality, and mouth breathing delivers more air. Opening the mouth to gulp in more air may help win a race but mouth breathing long term is bad for the lungs and athletic performance because mouth breathing delivers poor quality air.
If an athlete can maintain nasal breathing when not competing, especially at night, their lung function and performance will be enhanced more than a competitor who constantly breathes through the mouth.
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF MOUTH BREATHING FOR AN ATHLETE.
Many healthcare professionals are unaware of the negative effects of Mouth Breathing Syndrome (MBS) which is characterized by inhaling and exhaling primarily through the mouth and is considered to be an abnormal respiratory function.
With MBS, the location of tongue is down and backwards. MBS leads to changes in tongue and head position as the location of tongue is down and backwards instead of up and forward in the palate. Prolonged mouth breathing can lead to muscular and postural alterations, which may alter the balance of facial muscles and cause facial skeletal changes. A significant problem with MBS is the reduction of oxygen absorption leading to a downward spiralling effect on sleep patterns, which can contribute to a decrease in immune defence cells, stamina and energy levels, all vital to the athlete.
Breathing through the mouth also causes dryness of the oral tissues and may lead to inflamed tonsils, dry cough, swollen tongue, halitosis and gingivitis. Mouth breathing is also associated with increased water loss, decreased energy, and changes in salivary profile resulting in a greater risk of heat stress and disrupted muscle function, negatively affecting athletic performance due to dehydration. Healthy subjects experience a 42% decrease in net water loss when they switch their breathing mode from nasal to oral breathing. Importantly, mouth breathing does not produce nitric oxide (NO)
THE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF NASAL BREATHING FOR ATHLETES
The nose regulates air from cold to warm and humidifies the air during the nasal cycle. Nasal breathing cleans the air as it enters the body, produces nitric oxide, and performs the same amount of work with less energy expended. Nitric oxide, through nasal breathing, regulates heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and digestion along with mood, sleep cycle, fluid balance, and reproduction. The increase of blood flow derived from nitric oxide improves recovery processes as well.
Michael Flanell. The Athlete’s Secret Ingredient: The Power of Nasal Breathing. 2019
Nasal breathing, due in part to increased flow rates of air throughout the lungs, reduces exercise-induced asthma and bronchoconstriction. Nasal breathing provides significant advantages over mouth breathing, particularly for athletes who want to improve performance, recover more efficiently and win but controlling involuntary mouth breathing during sleep can be a challenge, even for an athlete.
That's why sleepQ+ was invented.
#sleepQplus #MouthBreathing #MouthBreathinSyndrome #NasalBreathing #AthleticPerformance #Sports #NitricOxide #Oxygen
Updated 9 February 2020