We probably do not think about “how”‘ we breathe as it is a natural function and happens anyway. However, how we breathe is important especially at night. During sleep we are designed to breathe through the nose. If for any reason nasal breathing is not possible our body’s self-preservation mechanism forces us to breathe through the mouth. There are several reasons as to why some people find it difficult to breathe through the nose during sleep.
Size of nostrils
Nasal collapse (alar collapse)
Nocturnal nasal congestion (rhinitis)
Nasal obstruction (anatomic abnormalities)
These features increase nasal resistance, commonly known simply as ‘nasal resistance’. Nasal resistance may be a contributing factor in the occurrence of sleep disordered breathing, upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
The above study reveals “nasal resistance” as the problem. Conversely, correct nasal breathing ought to be the answer. To accomplish this, some medical doctors have prescribed breathing apparatus or even nasal surgery. But you would think that these should only be necessary in extreme cases. Could there be a better way?