Our bodies are truly something to marvel at. Every intricate piece works together to keep us functioning, safe, and healthy.
The heart beats without us having to do anything, our immune systems fight off germs automatically, and we breathe in and out up to 22,000 times per day!
That said, our noses were specifically designed to keep our bodies running in top shape by helping us exchange oxygen efficiently while breathing through the mouth hinders oxygen exchange and causes snoring at night.
Here’s how and why you should take advantage of nature’s air filter and perfect snoring solution: your nose.
How Your Nose Detects Harm
Our noses are intertwined with nearly everything we do, whether we realize it or not.
We all enjoy smelling our favorite scents. Whether it’s a candle, your favorite perfume, the fresh spring breeze, or the cooking of your favorite foods, our noses invigorate our senses and elevate our way of life.
However, our ability to smell originally evolved to help us identify and avoid danger. For example, we can smell if something we plan to eat is bad or not, helping us avoid illness and death.
Furthermore, if you smell fire, you know something is burning close by so that you can either identify the source of the smell or flee the area.
We’re also able to recall memorable scents, like certain ones from childhood. Some of us even associate certain scents with different events from our past.
Scientists believethat the link between smell and memory is so strongly tied together because of how the olfactory system works with the limbic system, or the part of the brain responsible for survival and emotional responses.
Our sense of smell is activated when molecules travel into the nose. These molecules then touch a tissue named the “olfactory epithelium,” which contains receptor cells that grab onto the odour molecules.
As a result, electrical signals fire off, sending messages to nerve cells called glomeruli. Specialized nerve cells send these signals to specific regions of the brain, telling us whether to be intrigued, delighted, repulsed, or ready to run away.
Aside from helping us detect harm, our noses are also great at filtering out dangerous particles before they have a chance to reach the lungs.
Do you have an air purifier in your home to filter the air? Or maybe you use a humidifier that adds some extra moisture for easy breathing?
You also have an air filter and purifier built-in right under your nose. As a matter of fact, itis your nose.
Our noses have small hairs within the nostrils that catch and trap germs, pathogens, and harmful bacteria all before they ever reach your body.
Mucous membranes trap dust particles and evacuate harmful, illness-causing germs by causing the nose to run.
The mucous membranes also warm up the air, adding moisture and humidity to your breath to keep the airway from drying out.
From here, the moisturized, filtered air goes down the trachea and into the lungs where it is more easily absorbed.
Another added bonus of nasal breathing over mouth breathing: nasal nitric oxide.
Nasal Nitric Oxide Boosts Energy
When you breathe in and out through your nose, the paranasal sinuses produce a molecule known as nitric oxide (NO).
Some bacteria have even been found to die in the presence of nitric oxide, making it a perfect addition to our immune system.
NO also reduces blood pressure, improves oxygenation by up to 10 percent, and places the body in a calm state.
When we breathe in and out of the mouth, we over breathe and place our body in a panicked, stressed state of fight or flight.
NO produced during nasal breathing as a result of the slow, steady breathing rate puts us in a relaxed state, often known as rest and digest, by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
The benefits don’t stop there. Believe it or not, nasal breathing can even help you stop snoring at night.
A Natural Snoring Solution
Breathing through your mouth not only bypasses your body’s natural defense against pathogens and germs, it leaves you with unfiltered, dehumidified breath that can cause illness and increase stress.
Mouth breathing doesn’t produce the same amount of nitric oxide, which is known for reducing the stress hormone cortisol.
Furthermore, many of us mouth breathe while we sleep. This causes snoring and an increased risk for sleep apnea.
Most of us seek out snoring solutions to remedy the problem, only to continue snoring each night. This is because the majority of us are habitual mouth breathers. In reality, 61 percentof people self-identify as mouth breathers.
During mouth breathing, the tissues in the airway fall backward, partially blocking airflow. The tissues vibrate together, often causing lapses in breathing. The sound of snoring follows.
Nasal breathing, however, allows the tissues to remain unobstructed and open, leading to clear airways and easy breathing.
This not only reduces your chances of snoring at night; it also leads to better sleep. But how do you train yourself to breathe through your nose as a snoring solution if you’re not even awake?
How to Nasal Breathe at Night
Many of us learned to breathe improperly from a young age, often initiated by allergies, asthma, or illness.
By being mindful of your breath during the day, you’ll train yourself to nasal breathe during waking hours. Clearing congestion and correcting your tongue postureis the first step.