There is extensive scientific research that supports the link between mouth breathing and sleep disorders.
WHY THE WAY YOU BREATHE REALLY MATTERS
Breathing is essential to survival, it’s something most of us do naturally. But although both the nose and mouth can be used for breathing, the nose is nature’s design to deal with air intake. (1)
Mouth breathing is linked to reduced exercise capacity (2), snoring, sleep apnea, (3) sleep disorders and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) (4) sinus congestion, facial abnormalities (5), allergies, asthma, dental crowding and crooked teeth. (6)
We all breathe through the mouth occasionally, but when we have a blocked nose from a cold, nasal allergy or structural problem like a deviated septum, mouth breathing may often become habitual and should be corrected as soon as possible.
Switching from nose breathing to mouth breathing during sleep is common, but if it continues through the night it will affect your sleep quality and how you feel when you wake up.
OPTIMIZED AIRFLOW FOR BETTER HEALTH
Because the nose is a smaller entry and exit point than the mouth,
nasal breathing not only increases air flow resistance, it also increases tidal volume in the lungs (the amount of air that moves in or out of the lungs with each respiratory cycle). (7)
Slowing down air intake allows more time for the air to become warm before reaching the lungs and airways. Warmer air means the bronchial tubes are more open, resulting in better oxygen intake.
When breathing through the mouth, our respiratory airways narrow. This makes breathing sufficient airflow volume difficult. When we are unable to breathe efficiently we begin to hyperventilate and exhale too much carbon dioxide. (8)
IT’S NOT LOW OXYGEN THAT SIGNALS YOU TO BREATHE, IT’S CARBON DIOXIDE.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not low oxygen that signals you to breathe, it’s carbon dioxide. High sensitivity to carbon dioxide means we begin to breathe out of the mouth to exhaust CO2 early, which limits our ability to maintain aerobic efficiency.
There are very few sensors in human physiology that indicate low oxygen, but there are many sensors for CO2 due to the very finite tolerance of pH of the human body. Too acidic leads to coma, then death. Too alkaline leads to coma, then death. The body has many ways to regulate pH, but the most energy-efficient way is through the breath. (9)
IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH, BOOST NITRIC OXIDE AND YOUR AEROBIC PERFORMANCE
Nasal breathing helps balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood to increase the flow of oxygen to your muscles and lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which is important for your cardiovascular health.
Nasal breathing can boost nasal nitric oxide, an antibacterial, antiviral and anticoagulant gas. Nitric oxide lowers your blood pressure and enhances your oxygen uptake by dilating your blood vessels. (10)
Mouth breathing does not produce nitric oxide and leads to fatigue, stress and poorer athletic performance.
STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM
As air passes through the nasal passages to the sinuses it is filtered, warmed and humidified. It then goes into the lungs acting as the body’s first line of defence. (11)
BETTER ORAL HEALTH
Mouth breathing dries out the mouth and leads to a saliva deficit, causing dental cavities, gum infections, bad breath and tooth decay. (12)
WHY IS MOUTH BREATHING A MAJOR CAUSE OF SLEEP DISRUPTIONS?
When your mouth is closed during sleep your tongue rests forward, on the roof of your mouth, clear of your airway. When you open your mouth
and start mouth breathing, your tongue drops down and moves back towards your throat, obstructing your airway.
A minor obstruction will cause snoring. A complete obstruction will cause obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). (13) People suffering from snoring or sleep apnea may experience very shallow breathing or their breathing may stop, sometimes hundreds of times a night. (14)
An extensive sleep study found that breathing through your mouth will disrupt your sleep more than anything except stress. (15)
Patients who use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) often suffer from mouth leaks or mouth venting, caused when their mouth opens during sleep. The escaping air causes the mouth, throat and sinuses to dry out, reduces therapy compliance and compromises the effectiveness of the treatment. The rate of CPAP compliance for nose breathers is 71%, while the rate of compliance for mouth breathers is 30%. (16)
SLEEP BETTER, WAKE UP HAPPIER
Sleep disruptions reduce the time you spend in deep sleep, where the body restores itself. Controlling involuntary mouth breathing during sleep isn’t easy. Some people use adhesive tape to tape their mouth closed, which can be risky and may cause damage or irritation to sensitive facial and lip skin. However, there is now a safe and gentle way to enjoy deep, restful sleep.
sleepQ+ a clinically tested lip-bonding gel will keep your mouth closed so you can maintain nasal breathing all night.
(14) Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Jan;122(1):71-4. doi: 10.1016/S0194-5998(00)70147-1. PMID: 10629486
(15) GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (Mar 04, 2015, 08:00 ET)
SleepQ+ is an adhesive gel that is applied to the lips to gently keep your mouth closed so you maintain nasal breathing when sleeping. SleepQ+ sets in a few minutes, releases instantly with the touch of your tongue and re-engages when you close your mouth again.Buy Now