Why Is it Better to Breathe Through Your Nose Than Your Mouth?
What we’ll be getting into:
- Why Is it Better to Breathe Through Your Nose Than Your Mouth?
- We Were Designed to Breathe Through Our Nose
- Do You Have Trouble Nose-Breathing?
- Side Effects of Mouth Breathing
- Mouth Breathers Don’t Sleep Well
- Nitric Oxide
- Nasal Breathing Techniques
- Become Aware of Your Breathing
Why should you always breathe through your nose and not your mouth?
Straight off I will say that this is not a yoga thing. I hate yoga, and I am allowed to hate it. Does that make me a terrorist?
There are many reasons why it is better to breathe through your nose than through your mouth. And this is going to be an interesting one!
I don’t know what got me thinking about this, but after I did, I stumbled on a video that I found fascinating. Who knew that something we think of as so simple could have several entire books written about it, not to mention a 2-hour video?
And by the way–as weird as it may seem–it is two hours of steady, crucial information. Here is a link to the video, and I will add it again near the end.
We Were Designed to Breathe Through Our Nose
Babies breathe through their noses. How else would they be able to suckle and breathe at the same time?
We were designed to breathe through our nose, rather than our mouth for several reasons. Maybe most importantly, our nose filters out undesirable stuff in the air, like dust and bugs and debris. If anything does get through when nose-breathing, it will tend to go directly down your throat, rather than into your lungs.
Another maybe obvious benefit to nose-breathing is that when breathing through your nose, you can smell if there is something dangerous in the air, or if something in your food has exceeded its shelf life. As well, your nasal passage is a humidifier (moisturizing the sinuses) and an air-temperature regulator.
Do You Have Trouble Nose-Breathing?
If you have trouble breathing through your nose, there is probably something you can do to help. And you should strongly consider doing whatever you can to make nose-breathing possible, because breathing through your nose rather than your mouth has great benefits. If you are not a nose-breather, I would bet you have some troubles.
Side Effects of Mouth Breathing
The negative side effects of mouth breathing include snoring, poor sleep, dry mouth, abnormal facial and dental development, poor oxygen concentration in the blood (which can lead to many other health issues), bad breath, gum disease, and much more.
There are surgical methods of improving the ability to nose-breathe, if one is unable, due to a birth defect or other condition.
Leslie Grant, DDS, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry says that, “After surgery and/or orthodontic intervention, many patients show improvement in behavior, energy level, academic performance, peer acceptance and growth. Seeking treatment for mouth breathing can significantly improve quality of life.”
Sleep disruption occurs in people who tend to mouth-breathe while they sleep.
Dry mouth and other discomforts, due to awkward functioning of things while your mouth is open, and snoring will all result in poor sleep.
We know the effects of poor sleep. If a child is performing poorly in school, or having problems socially, watch how they sleep. A child can be falsely diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or other things, when the only problem they have is brain fog / a poor ability to focus, due to not sleeping well.
Our nose produces nitric oxide, which aids the lungs in absorbing oxygen.
As well as being an agent which helps oxygen to be transported to the blood, heart and brain and everywhere else in our bodies, nitric oxide does much more. It is crucial for healthy blood vessels. If you eat lots of leafy greens and other vegetables that are commonly known to be generally healthy, you should be okay.
Nitric oxide is also very important for the immune system, fighting fungi, viruses, parasites and bad bacteria.
Here is a great article on nitric oxide, and all of its benefits. It also explains ways to increase nitric oxide levels, and much more.
Achieving Nasal Breathing
Breathing strips can help if you have trouble breathing through your nose during sleep. They may even help you to not snore. But if you just habitually breathe through your mouth and want to stop, its as simple as forming a new habit, which there are aids for, of course.
Some of these products are gimmicky. You don’t need them any more than you need a self-cleaning electric eye scratcher.
I am thinking of the adhesive mouth strips, which do the exact same thing as a piece of tape. The idea, of course is to hold your mouth shut while you sleep, forcing you to breathe through your nose. Red Green (Sorry, maybe an elusive reference for non-Canadians…) couldn’t make a disaster out of this concept, and would figure this out in about 1 second.
Nasal Breathing Techniques
I should mention at this point that while simply breathing through your nose is critical, we also need to breathe through our noses properly.
Our expert in the video I mentioned at the start, Patrick McKeown (who is a lovely Irish gentleman who is very fun to listen to, by the way) has some methods and techniques that amaze. If you have trouble breathing through your nose, he demonstrates a simple exercise that could almost instantly resolve the issue for you.
The fancy tape-over-the-mouth technique can force you into the habit of breathing through your mouth while you sleep. It will also likely help to form a habit of nose-breathing while you are awake.
Whether or not you have issues preventing you from breathing through your nose, whether asleep or awake, there may be simple ways to correct this. Please watch this video before you commit to surgery, or expensive apparatus that you may not require.
Become Aware of Your Breathing
The main thing, once you have decided that proper breathing is very important to our overall health, is to become aware of our breathing.
The fundamental thing, besides breathing nasally, is developing an awareness of how we breath, and make sure we are breathing deeply and slowly.
If you are like me and getting on in years, time tends to widen you in the middle, disproportionately to the rest of you. That weight restricts your diaphragm, making you naturally tend to breathe more shallow, unless you are aware of it. When you become habitually aware of your breathing, you can also make a habit of breathing deeper and slower. In the two weeks since I have been practicing this, I have noticed how quick and shallow my breathing was. And since I have become more and more aware and adjusted accordingly, I have noticed that I just feel much better. And I’m quite certain I have always been a nose-breather.
If you didn’t know before about why Is it better to breathe through your nose than through your mouth, you should now have a clear idea about why it is very important, whether or not you have watched the video I am obviously strongly recommending.
We have seen that we were designed to breath a certain way. As everything else with our health and how our bodies are designed, it is best to simply ponder how that design was designed. Only then will we quickly begin to realise that with the design, we were also given a mind that can deduce pretty easily that we have a built in owner’s manual that came with the design of our bodies. It is located in our common sense, which is a very nice gift.
Maybe common sense is not so common anymore, but that is because we have been indoctrinated to believe that doctors and medical “authorities” are Lord.
They are not!
Without breath, we are dead. Think about that.
Proper breathing should not be automatic, and is not, as I have been personally discovering, and as you may be considering also, by now. Once you train yourself to breathe properly, proper breathing will become quite automatic. But if you find yourself with a myriad of physical and mental issues, despite maintaining an otherwise healthy lifestyle, proper breathing should be looked at before rushing off to buy a bunch of ridiculous crap from a pharmacy. Or obediently gliding off to a clinic to be subscribed a bunch of chemicals for things you don’t even have.
I hope you have found some value in this.