Keep Your Mouth Shut for Better Sleep
Does your snoring keep your partner awake at night? Snoring occurs due to a partially obstructed airway during sleep. While this can be harmless, it could also signal a more serious condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. Sleep apnea occurs when an airway is blocked during sleep and can be presented as a pause in breathing that can last between ten seconds to a minute.
Treating sleep apnea can result in better health and a greater feeling of being rested. Patients suffering from sleep apnea can wake many times during the night, causing you to wake up feeling exhausted. More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. It is very difficult at present to estimate the prevalence of childhood OSA because of widely varying monitoring techniques, but a minimum prevalence of 2 to 3% is likely, with prevalence as high as 10 to 20% in habitually snoring children. OSA occurs in all age groups and both sexes. (Watch Dr. Welz talk about how he cured his mild sleep apnea by mouth-taping!)
You may require a dental appliance, which reposition the lower jaw and tongue, CPAP machine or even easier, a roll of tape. Dr. Welz, who has sleep apnea himself, is an advocate of mouth taping. Mouth taping is a breathing technique that teaches you to breathe through your nose, by taping your mouth shut. When breathing through the nose, it acts as a filter, warms the air and creates nitric oxide which helps blood oxygen levels. When breathing through the mouth none of those occur. The tonsils are in constant defense as are the lungs which leads to chronic tonsillitis, asthma and allergies. Mouth breathing also disrupts the balance of your oral microbiome and can make you more prone to tooth decay.
It takes a lot more energy to breath through the mouth so in return you may become exhausted and may not get a restful sleep. Many other health problems may develop just from mouth breathing. Dr. Welz recommends a book: The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown. In an article that addresses all the benefits as well as clinical studies about mouth breathing, the dentist recommends using Somnifix Sleep Strips, but 3M Micropore Tape is just as effective and less expensive. Additionally, an article recently released by NPR elaborates further on the benefits of nose-breathing, including reduced anxiety and increased lung capacity.
First, we recommend seeing an ENT specialist before trying mouth taping to rule out other types of sleep apnea, including Central Sleep Apnea or Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome.
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