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IMPROVE SLEEP, ENERGY LEVELS
CONCENTRATION AND MOOD

Many studies have highlighted the relationship between nasal obstruction, mouth breathing, snoring and sleep apnoea , and for decades the Buteyko Method has been successfully implemented to reduce and eliminate these symptoms. Simply by unblocking the nose, switching to nasal breathing and reducing breathing volume, insomnia, snoring and sleep apnoea can be greatly reduced.

A low Control Pause corresponds to a large breathing volume and will result in many of the sleep-disordered breathing symptoms below. How many do you experience?

  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Night time asthma symptoms (3-5am)
  • Needing to use the bathroom at around 6am
  • Bedwetting in children
  • Fatigue first thing in the morning
  • Dry mouth
  • Symptoms upon waking, such as wheezing, coughing, breathlessness or a blocked nose

Insomnia, snoring and sleep apnoea can be extremely disruptive to sleep for both sleeper and their sleeping partners. Insomnia is defined as a difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking early and interrupted or non-restorative sleep (1). Snoring occurs due to a large volume of air passing through a narrow space, causing turbulence in the soft palate, nose or back of the throat. There are two factors in play here: the first is that the individual is breathing too noisily and heavily during sleep; the second is that their nose may be congested, causing narrowing of the upper airways. Sleep apnoea is a severe form of sleep-disordered breathing which involves the sleeper involuntary holding their breath during sleep. After a period of time spent holding the breath, the sleeper partially awakens to resume breathing with large gasps.

If you want to sleep better and wake up feeling energised and refreshed, practise this programme to breathe through your nose, increase your Control Pause and breathe lighter on a permanent basis. Light and calm breathing reduces both snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea as well as activating the body’s relaxation mode, leading to deeper and better quality sleep.

Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting between 25-30% of the general population, with 10% of people presenting chronic complaints and seeking medical help (2). The cause of insomnia is often connected to psychological roots such as anxiety, depression, periods of prolonged stress, a reaction to a traumatic event, or an overactive mind. Anyone who has had trouble sleeping will relate to the frustration of not been able to fall asleep due to persistent thoughts which refuse to switch off.

If you suffer from insomnia, practising buteyko breathing exercises will help to quieten your mind and bring your body into relaxation. This technique works in two ways: by paying attention to your breathing you take attention away from the mind, thereby reducing thought activity; and by reducing breathing volume your body is able to deal with the physiological aspects of stress by activating the relaxation response.

Light, disturbed sleep leads to waking up feeling lethargic, lowering productivity, and increasing stress levels (3). In addition, researchers have consistently reported a relationship between poor sleep and high blood pressure. This connection may be explained by the bodily stress insufficient sleep places on the nervous system (4). All in all, poor sleep reduces your quality of life, and is often connected to the way you breathe at night.

References:

1. Maria Basta, M.D.,1 George P Chrousos, M.D,2 Antonio Vela-Bueno, M.D,3 and Alexandros N Vgontzas, M.D.1. Sleep Med Clin. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2007 Dec 10.
Published in final edited form as: Sleep Med Clin. 2007 Jun; 2(2): 279–291. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2007.04.002 PMCID: PMC2128619 NIHMSID: NIHMS27339 CHRONIC INSOMNIA AND STRESS SYSTEM

2. Maria Basta, M.D.,1 George P Chrousos, M.D,2 Antonio Vela-Bueno, M.D,3 and Alexandros N Vgontzas, M.D.1. Sleep Med Clin. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2007 Dec 10. Published in final edited form as: Sleep Med Clin. 2007 Jun; 2(2): 279–291. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2007.04.002 PMCID: PMC2128619 NIHMSID: NIHMS27339 CHRONIC INSOMNIA AND STRESS SYSTEM

3. Simon GE, Von Korff M. Prevalence, burden, and treatment of insomnia in primary care. Am J Psychiatry. 1997;154:1417–23.

4. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/sleep-deprivation/faq-20057959

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