The body utilizes countless automatic processes to keep you alive. You don’t usually have to think twice about swallowing, blinking, or breathing, for example.
But what if we told you that giving your breath a bit more attention could make a huge difference in your overall quality of life? Science says it can.
Mouth breathing is detrimental to the body and mind, while nasal breathing fuels us more optimally. Therefore, it’s vital to understand how to fix mouth breathing and switch to nasal breathing once and for all.
How Mouth Breathing Harms the Body and Mind
There are various potential causes for mouth breathing. Nasal congestion, asthma, allergies, or a deviated septum are just a few of the potential culprits that cause us to breathe through the mouth.
The most challenging issue? The more you breathe through the mouth, the more you reinforce the habit and worsen congestion, leading to more mouth breathing. It’s a vicious cycle.
Moreover, mouth breathing increases stress and hypertension. This is because breathing through the mouth actually leads to over-breathing.
Shallow breathing through the mouth activates the sympathetic nervous system and places the body and mind in a hypervigilant state of fight or flight and anxiety.
When you breathe through the mouth, the body doesn’t have enough time to absorb oxygen from your last breath before you breathe in even more air on the next inhalation.
Mouth breathing has even been shown to cause facial abnormalitiessuch as a long, narrowed, weak jaw and tired eyes. Practicing proper tongue posture, often known as mewing, can change the structure of your face and jaw.
Your mouth also leaves your body defenseless when it comes to toxins and bacteria in the air. Breathing in dry and cold air filled with germs can irritate your lungs and airway, causing coughing or shortness of breath.
The nose, on the other hand, filters the air you breathe thanks to cilia, the small hairs within the nostrils. Your nose also warms and moistens the air you breathe, making it easier for the body to absorb.
This is just one of many reasons to make the switch from mouth breathing to nasal breathing.
Why You Should Switch to Nasal Breathing
On your journey of learning how to fix mouth breathing, understanding why you should make the switch to nasal breathing is essential.
As we mentioned before, the hairs within your nostrils filter the air you breathe. But the nose also produces a miraculous molecule called nitric oxide.
Nitric oxideopens up the airways, helps to dilate blood vessels, and increases oxygen uptake across the body. Nitric oxide helps to calm the body and places you in a state of relaxation and stress relief.
The nose also helps to protect your pearly whites from unnecessary damage. When you breathe through the mouth, your saliva dries out, which is vital for coating the teeth and protecting them from germs inside the mouth.
Breathing through the nose, however, ensures that your saliva remains within the mouth, coating the teeth and shielding them from plaque. This helps to prevent gingivitis, cavities, bad breath, receding gums, and more.
Furthermore, nasal breathing can improve your sleep in many ways. When you breathe through the nose during sleep, you’re less likely to snore, wake up with a dry mouth, or experience disrupted sleep.
If you breathe through the mouth, the tissues in your airway fall backward and vibrate, causing snoring and increasing your risk for sleep apnea.
But how do you stop mouth breathing at night while you’re not awake to check in with your breath? And how do you start the process of getting used to nasal breathing during the day?
One of the best things you can do to get started is continually decongesting your nose.
Decongest Your Nose
Most people breathe through the mouth because their nose is stopped up. Your blocked nose isn’t a lost cause. There are many ways to decongest naturally.
For starters, several pressure points can help you dilate your sinuses and nose, promoting drainage in these areas.
Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Then, use your pointer finger to press the area between your eyebrows for at least 20 seconds. You should feel fluid drain from your sinuses within the back of your throat.
If pressure points don’t provide much relief, you can turn to Buteyko breathing exercises, named after Dr. Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko. After inhaling and exhaling normally, hold your nose closed with one hand.
Then, nod your head up and down until you feel a strong hunger for air. Release the nose and breathe normally. Repeat this process up to five times until you feel relief.
Complete Buteyko breathing exercises before you go to sleep for additional assistance on your journey to stop mouth breathing at night.
Once you’ve decongested and no longer have a blocked nose, you can finally put nasal breathing into practice on a regular basis.
Put Nasal Breathing Into Practice 24/7
The final step on your journey toward learning how to fix mouth breathing is bringing your attention to your breath consistently.
For example, does your mouth naturally drop open during the day? At night, do you snore or drool?
During the day, check-in with yourself every hour to evaluate how you’ve been breathing. Decongest as needed and master a proper tongue postureand lip seal to ensure nasal breathing.
At night, try to sleep in a position that allows for your mouth to remain closed. Sleeping on your back encourages mouth breathing, so you should avoid it if possible.
Finally, as a secret weapon to help you stop mouth breathing at night, use specially designed mouth tape to physically keep your mouth sealed while you dream. It may sound wacky, but it’s the most convenient way to continue nasal breathing after you’ve hit the hay.
Ensure Nasal Breathing at Night With SomniFix
Learning how to fix mouth breathing is a journey. The switch from mouth breathing to nasal breathing may not happen right away, but over time breathing through the nose will become an unconscious habit.
At night, however, you may need a little bit of extra help. Mouth tape allows you to physically keep the lips together, helping you stop mouth breathing at night for good.
Before you grab the closest tape you can find, consider that the adhesive on most tapes contains toxic, harmful, and irritating chemicals. SomniFix contains skin-safe ingredients that are hypoallergenic, gluten-free, latex-free, and non-irritating.
Simply pop a strip on before bed and nasal breathe into the night to maintain all of the benefits the nose can provide (even as you dream!)
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