Snoring is a common problem. While you may not realize if you are snoring because you are asleep, the noise that snoring creates could be causing sleep disturbances for your partner or family members. Some people may not consider snoring a huge problem if they sleep alone and their snoring doesn’t wake them. However, snoring can be creating health problems by reducing the oxygenation in your body. The great news is that you can cure snoring naturally. As you do so, your health will improve as well!
Become Mindful of Daytime Habits
Snoring is a breathing dysfunction that occurs at night. You will not snore if your mouth is shut and you are breathing through your nose at night. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to start focusing on nasal breathing during the daytime when you do have conscious control over your breathing habits.
As you go about your day, think about keeping your mouth closed when you aren’t talking. When I take walks, I envision my jaw glued shut. This forces me to do nasal breathing, which is the ideal method of breathing. Before long, nasal breathing will become your default. Your body will naturally breathe through the nose.
Your daytime habits will eventually carry over into the night. Slowly, but surely, you’ll start to find that it is more comfortable to breathe through your nose. Your body will naturally start breathing through the nose at night.
Buteyko Breathing Exercises
Snoring occurs when you are breathing incorrectly with your mouth open at night. Buteyko breathing exercises are effective at helping you to retrain your body so that you consistently breathe through your nose. This helps to eliminate snoring and the health problems that develop from snoring.
Nasal breathing is the first step to optimal breathing patterns. Most people are breathing too much and too rapidly. This is caused by a variety of things in modern life from poor posture due to sitting all day, lack of exercise and an overconsumption of refined foods. Even yoga teachers sometimes teach their students to breathe too rapidly for good health.
People who have optimal health breathe 2-3 times per minute naturally. They have a control pause, or a period of time when they can comfortably go without breathing for about 60 seconds. Most people in modern times have nowhere near that control pause. They are comfortable with holding their breath for about 15-20 seconds. However, if you retrain yourself to breathe slower, through your nose and with your diaphragm, you will start to notice amazing health benefits.
The Buteyko breathing method helps to ensure optimal breathing patterns. It has been used by more than 150 MDs in the USSR and Russia for over 40 years. Doctors taught this exercise to their patients with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions. The Buteyko Breathing Method also helps to eliminate the problem of snoring.
Breathing through your mouth, which happens when you snore means that you are breathing roughly 3-5 times more air than the medical norm. This activity is called “hyperventilation.”
Hyperventilation reduces oxygen levels in the brain, heart, and all other vital organs. Hyperventilation is the main reason why snoring promotes chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and others.
Exercise with Nasal Breathing
One of the best ways to eliminate hyperventilation and increase oxygenation in the body is through exercise with nasal breathing. Exercise has many physiological benefits. As you sweat, your body releases toxins. This improves every function in the body.
The benefits of correct physical activity include increased body and brain oxygenation at rest, better sleep and more energy. It is very important to continue nasal breathing during exercise to receive maximum health benefits from the exercise.
When 180 Russian medical doctors tested thousands of their patients, they discovered the main benefits of physical activity. Once their patients achieved high body-oxygen test results and stopped doing their breathing exercises, their long term body-oxygen test numbers were linked to the amount of daily physical exercise. Therefore, they concluded that physical exercise is the key lifestyle factor to increase body oxygenation and maintain good health.
Physical exercises are required to remove abnormalities in the body. Our bodies require shaking, or vibrations of the body, sweating and increased metabolism to successfully and effectively deal with cancerous tumors, asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, inflammatory conditions, GI disorders and other dysfunction.
The Butyeko Breathing Method of retraining your breath should include an exercise component. This will help to maintain your control pause, especially throughout the night. Physical activity is the crucial factor in the process of gradually increasing your monrning control pause and preventing decreases due to lifestyle.
Create Good Sleep Habits
There are some sleeping habits that can prevent snoring altogether. Snoring is often triggered when your head drops backward and the lower jaw stays open. Sleeping on your side can reduce this occurrence. Sleeping on your back is likely to increase the number of times your mouth opens at night.
Another rule of thumb for creating great sleeping habits that prevent snoring is to go to sleep when you are really sleepy and not earlier. This will reduce the amount of time that you are laying down.
Before and during sleep breathe only through the nose. As you are falling asleep, relax all of your muscles and lie on your left side. Do a few control pauses prior to falling asleep. Pinch your nose and hold your breath until you feel the first sign of discomfort. Exhale through the nose.
After your breath hold, take a small inhalation through the nose. Following the short inhalation, relax all of your body’s muscles and exhale slowly. Make sure that the exhalation is natural and unforced. This exercise is getting you focused on breathing through your nose at night. With each breath, take a smaller or reduced inhalation. your goal is to gently create air hunger while relaxing your body muscles.
Mouth Taping at Night
When you are getting started with Buteyko breathing exercises, you don’t want your progress to be destroyed by a night of snoring and poor breathing habits. This can easily happen as your body reverts back to its old habits of allowing the jaw to open up and breathing through the mouth. You may find that taping your mouth shut with some masking tape helps you to keep your mouth closed as you are developing the habit of breathing through your nose while you sleep. Many people have found this practice to be helpful. You may be able to avoid this step if you are making great progress with the other steps. As your breathing improves, this step may become unnecessary.
Buteyko breathing is very effective at naturally restoring proper breathing during sleep. It can be learned from a practitioner, but many components of Buteyko breathing can be learned from videos and books. I highly recommend the book, Close Your Mouth by Patrick McKeown to start. If you find that you’re not making progress or you have a serious health condition, you may want to contact a Buteyko breathing practitioner.