Seven Benefits To Nasal Breathing
Do you ever wonder why when you wake up in the morning, you are still tired and feeling ragged? The lack of restful sleep can be attributed to a number of different factors, including diet, amount of exercise, and caffeine intake. However, one big reason for restless sleep can be related to the lack of nasal breathing or nasal airflow.
Seven common benefits of breathing through your nose include:
- Your body includes a built-in filtration system. The little hairs in your nose, also known as cilia, help to filter particles and pollutants from the air as you breathe. Additionally, the mucous produced in the nose has enzymes that can help to kill stray viruses and bacteria.
- The nose humidifies the air you breathe. As the air passes through the nose. it becomes warmed and more moisturized. As the warmed air is exhaled, the body can re-absorb some of the moisture, thus reducing the risk of dehydration. Additionally, breathing in dry air can lead to flare ups of allergies and asthma.
- You receive an increased amount of NO or nitric oxide. The nose produces nitric oxide, a gas that helps your blood vessels dilate or widen. This helps the body to absorb more oxygen. Nitric oxide also helps the oxygen to bind to the blood’s hemoglobin, which leads to the transport of more oxygen. Nitric oxide also helps to regulate the secretion of hormones from various glands, including the adrenal glands and the pancreas.
- Nose breathing allows for slower, deeper breaths. Breathing through the nose allows for longer contact between the air, lungs, and nose. This allows the body to absorb a higher amount of oxygen and release a larger amount of carbon dioxide.
- Mouth breathing can dry out your mouth. A dry mouth can lead to an increase in gum disease and cavities. Mouth breathing can also lead to improper placement of the tongue in the mouth, resulting in an altered alignment of the teeth.
- Breathing through the mouth at night can lead to complications with sleep. These complications include snoring and sleep apnea (pauses in breathing while sleeping). Sleep apnea can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Mouth breathing leads to an increased release of stress hormones. The lack of proper breathing can cause the body to think it is not getting enough oxygen, resulting in it being on alert all of the time. This condition makes it impossible to properly relax.
If you are having trouble breathing through your nose, it is important to speak with your physician about your symptoms. Conditions like a deviated septum, nasal valve collapse, or narrowing in your nasal passages can be addressed, and nasal breathing can be restored.