Why Correct Breathing Pattern Eliminates Insomnia
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov (www.NormalBreathing.com)
There is a certain breathing pattern that corresponds to normal breathing (or the physiological standard for human beings). Normal breathing is strictly nasal, diaphragmatic, very slow (only 10-12 breaths per minute at rest) and shallow (with tidal volume of 500 ml per breath only).
This norm was established about 100 years ago. What do we know about breathing of modern people?
How Breathing Relates to Sleep
If you watch sleep of your friends and relatives, you must be able to notice that their morning wellness and quality of health depend on one factor mainly: their breath pattern during their sleep.
When their breathing is deep and fast (noisy breathing, snoring, mouth breathing, irregular breathing, etc.), they are more sick. When their breathing is slow and relaxed, they have better health state and sleep. You can even count their breathing frequency during sleep to foretell their health. Furthermore, respiration of fairly healthy people during sleep is scarcely visible or hearable at all: they sleep as if they are lifeless.
As a result, it makes sense to assume that light and slow breathing can help to get rid of insomnia and get good sleep. Vice versa, heavy breathing causes problems with sleep and insomnia.
Before we evaluate various effects of breathing on sleep, let us examine breathing patterns in the sick during daytime. Do they have abnormal breathing at rest? Yes, my website has data of tens of physiological papers that confirmed that mildly sick people breathe at rest about two and half times more air than the established scientific norm. Severely or critically ill, including terminally sick and hospitalized paients, breathe even heavier. Terminal stages of heart disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, HIV and other health problems usually correspond to around 40 breaths per minute and more, instead of 12 breaths/minute, which is the physiological norm.
How can chronic over-breathing or hyperventilation undermine quality of our sleep? In order to study this question, let us focus on effects of breathing on the nerve cells and brain.
First, miniscule normal breathing provides us with virtually highest possible oxygen saturation for the arterial blood: (approximately 97-99 percent). Consequently, as soon as humans breathe more, we cannot improve oxygenation of the arterial blood, but we immediately lower CO2 (carbon dioxide) content in the bronchi and bronchioles, alveoli of the lungs, arterial blood, capillaries, and all other body cells, the nerve cells included.
This product, CO2, is a powerful dilator of blood vessels (vasodilation effects). Hence, chronic over-breathing produces constriction of blood vessels. This is the key effect that easily explains why we can faint or pass out after approximately 2-3 min of voluntary or forceful overbreathing: less oxygen and glucose is delivered to the nervous cells in the brain.
Carbon dioxide is also imperative for effective release of oxygen in all vital organs and other tissues. This fact of the respiration physiology is known as the Bohr effect: diminished CO2 quantity lowers oxygen proportion in cells. Really, hundreds of medical publications have undoubtedly confirmed that over-breathing REDUCES oxygenation of the body. Simultaneously, virtually all health problems are based on low cells oxygen amount.
Besides, CO2 is a powerful sedative and calmative of the nerve cells in the brain. Neurological medical papers have shown that lack of CO2 results in excessive excitability of brain cells. What happens with people who have sleeping problems. Insomnia is caused by spontaneous and asynchronous thoughts or ideas that pop up in the brain and prevent sleep.
Hence, our deep and heavy respiratory pattern results in more problems with sleep in many, but not all humans. Solutions?
If someone eliminates her or his hyperventilation, she or he is going to be free from insomnia and sleeping problems.
In order to see the effects of breathing, one can try a simple breathing exercise: How to Fall Asleep Fast.
Web page Breathing Techniques analyzes most common and popular breathing methods and techniques.
Dr. Artour Rakhimov is a health educator. He is the author of books on breathing and the educational website www.NormalBreathing.com devoted to natural self-oxygenation and health education. His website has hundreds of medical quotes, graphs, charts, tables, references, results of clinical trials, analysis of respiratory techniques and methods, free breathing exercises, manuals, techniques, lifestyle modules and other resources for better body and brain oxygen contents and health. Normal Breathing defeats chronic diseases!
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