Are you a mouth breather at night?
Hey, Sleep Warriors,
If you find yourself frantically reaching for a glass of water first thing in the morning, or perhaps even during the night, then you are likely opening your mouth during sleep. Sorry. If so, you aren't alone. half of all beds in the US are supporting a mouth breather.
Now, mouth breathing during sleep generally happens when people can't breathe well through their noses. And mouth breathing can lead to a number of different problems, such as dry mouth, drooling, bad breath, dental cavities, snoring, even high blood pressure and daytime fatigue.
It's no wonder lots of attention is being paid to the problems associated with mouth breathing over the past couple of years. And this may be in part due to James Nestor's book Breath, where he participated in a research study at Stanford University, where he plugged his nose and started noticing problems after just ten days.
So what do you do if you're one of that 50% of people who mouth breathe during sleep?
Here are my top three tips for decreasing nighttime mouth breathing.
- Number one troubleshoot why you aren't breathing well through your nose. Do you have allergies, a deviated septum or sinus problems? Try a nasal saline rinse before bed and see if that helps. Or talk to your doctor about an antihistamine for allergies.
- Number two try sleeping at a slight incline. For some people, they breathe fine through their nose during the day, but they plug up at night. If this is you, gravity may be working against you and you can raise the head of your bed a little bit, and that may help.
- Number three if you do breathe well through your nose but just have a habit of mouth breathing, consider using a physical product to help keep your mouth shut at night or block the airflow, such as a chin strap, mouth tape, or a newer, better option, the Somnoseal, which is available on my website.
Mouth breathing can negatively impact daily life in many ways. If you're interested in learning more, I recommend you check out James Nesser's book Breath, where he shares about what happened to him when he plugged his nose for several weeks.
Thanks for being here. I'll see you next week. Bye.