If you are someone who experiences dry mouth both during the day or in the morning when you wake up after a night’s rest, you may want to consider nasal breathing as a solution to your uncomfortable problem.
Nasal breathing, or the act of gently sealing your lips to breathe in and out through your nose and nasal canal, can help relieve dry mouth, improve sleep quality, help you inhale cleaner air, clear your sinuses, and more.
To learn more about nasal breathing techniques, the benefits of nasal breathing, and how to breathe through your mouth while sleeping, continue reading below: a part of our Breathwork series.
The Benefits of Nasal Breathing
Nasal breathing has recently been studied by some of the top breath and sleep scientists in the world. This breathing style has been found to have many physical and emotional benefits for the human body from improved sleep and increased energy levels to better air filtration and more open sinuses.
More benefits of consistent and constant nasal breathing include the following:
- More efficient oxygen intake
- Better air filtration for cleaner air intake
- Moisturizes and heats the air in preparation for the lungs
- Increased energy levels
- Slows breathing to a healthier speed
- Moderates breathing volume and amount of air intake
- Avoids dry mouth and sore throat
- Releases helpful gas carbon dioxide
- Keeps your nasal passages and sinuses open and unrestricted
How to Do Nasal Breathing Meditation Exercises
For those of you who are a little bit nervous about closing your mouth and breathing exclusively through your nose, there’s nothing to fear.
The human nose was designed for breathing and therefore will continue to serve that purpose without fail as long as you are not sick or suffering from severe allergies.
To start slow with a nasal breathing meditation taken from Ayurvedic and ancient yogic practices, take the following steps:
Step 1: Pick a comfortable place to either sit up straight with your legs crossed or in a lotus position or lay flat on your back.
Step 2: Gently close your lips together and relax your jaw.
Step 3: Gently close your eyes and focus inward.
Step 4: Place your hands on your knees if sitting and by your sides if laying, palms up.
Step 5: Breathe in gently through your nose to the count of 5.
Step 6: Breathe out gently through your nose to the count of 5.
Step 7: Repeat this for ten minutes. Do not speed up or slow down your breath.
Step 8: Blink your eyes open.
Step 9: Enjoy the relaxed and meditative feeling you have experienced!
Nasal Breathing Throughout the Day
If you are ready to tackle nose breathing throughout your day and have already tried the nose breathing meditation, you’re in luck. The best way to nose breathe throughout the day is to simply be mindful of your breathing style.
Keep your eyes open and go about your day with your lips gently closed and your jaw relaxed. Breathe in and out through your nose steadily and it will soon become second nature.
If you ever notice that you are breathing through your mouth, just close it and opt to nose breathe again. Eventually, your go-to breathing habit will be nasal breathing.
How to Keep Nasal Breathing While You Sleep
Nasal breathing is not only important while you are awake, but also an imperative habit to maintain while sleeping. To avoid waking up with a sore throat and dry mouth after a night of open-mouthed breathing, simply do the following:
- Purchase a body-safe medical tape at the drugstore or pharmacy
- Before bed, take a small piece of tape and stick it to the front of your mouth
- You don’t need to tape your whole mouth shut, just the tip of your lips
- Go to sleep and breathe through your nose
The Problem with Mouth Breathing
Nasal breathing is the optimum way for an able-bodied human being to breathe. In addition to benefits for nasal breathing, there are also a lot of poor consequences for mouth breathing. The biggest problems with mouth breathing include:
- Increases over-breathing which creates too many free radicals
- Makes the air coming into your lungs too dry and irritating
- Not releasing carbon dioxide
- Can lead to poor sleep, clogged sinuses, weak nasal passages, fatigue, and high blood pressure
- Creates dry mouth and sore throat, especially when breathing through your mouth overnight
- Releases too much air at once causing irregular breathing patterns and yawning
Improve Your Health and Quality of Sleep with Nasal Breathing
To improve your health and remove dry mouth from your life, take up nasal breathing as a healthy lifestyle habit.
Not only will your moisturized mouth and throat thank you, but you will likely feel an overall sense of well-being and improved health as well.
- Research has found that breathing through your mouth means that you miss out on much of the oxygen – up to 90 percent – your body needs to support your organs, tissues, and cells. (millenniumsmiles.com)
- It is estimated that cilia protect our bodies against about 20 billion particles of foreign matter every day! (gaiam.com)
- According to experts, most people breathe at 10-20 percent of their full capacity. (gaiam.com)
- Nasal breathing alone can boost nitric oxide sixfold, which is one of the reasons we can absorb about 18% more oxygen than by just breathing through the mouth. (mindbodygreen.com)
- AR is a global health problem that affects patients of all ages and ethnic groups with an estimated prevalence of 30% in the general population [ AR treatment includes allergen avoidance, pharmacotherapy and immunotherapy. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
External Reference Links
- Nose Injuries and Disorders | Deviated Septum | Rhinitis | MedlinePlus
- Sinusitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia