The other night when talking with my wife just before nodding off to sleep, I made some comment about not lying on my back to avoid snoring. She kindly informed me that despite my precautions, I still snore some when sleeping.
“Hmmm,” that made me think. “That’s not good.”
She tells me that it doesn’t bother her because normally she’s asleep. Once in a while she’ll nudge me over and I stop snoring.
Snoring is annoying as heck to other people trying to sleep. It can also indicate health problems. Sleep apnea is one of those issues. The link to information on Mayo Clinic notes the types of this conditions and it symptoms. A few people I know deal with this problem. Some have machines to regulate their overnight breathing.
Most mornings I wake up rested. I use my Garmin Fenix watch to check my sleep data now and then. It shows what type of sleep I’m getting. I note the data but do not obsess about it. So much about getting to sleep and staying asleep is psychological as well as physical.
Yet I don’t want my wife to have to deal with snoring. If it keeps her awake at all, or ever, it’s a problem I’d prefer to address.
I recalled that she purchased a package of Breathe Right nasal strips a while back. She wore them to run once in a while. I tried one on yesterday morning and felt an immediate clarity while breathing through my nose. The air passages opened up more. The strips work by lifting the tissues apart inside your nose. I walked the dog while wearing the Breathe Right and kept it on all morning. I liked it. I was addicted to breathing better right away.
Last night I wore the strips while sleeping. In the morning, I asked Sue if she noticed me snoring. She didn’t. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It just means she didn’t hear me.
I’m going to keep wearing those strips and check the quality of my sleep on the Garmin data. I’ll be interested to see if there are any changes. Last night’s readout showed the breakdown between Deep Sleep, Light Sleep and REM. I’ll have to analyze the value of each and track them a bit using Breathe Right strips to see if having more air coming through my nasal passages helps sleep quality. I’ve never studied that much, but this article is likely to pique your curiosity. I have a ton of dreams and REM sleep is when they happen. You can see the stages in the data graph below.
Benefits of nasal strip use
The other curiosity I have is about wearing Breathe Right strips while swimming. I’ve learned to breathe out through my nose and breathe in using my mouth. Could the strips stay on my face and help that sport?
I also recall that for a while, many world-class runners wore Breathe Rights to compete. That fad might have worn off. In any case, this Chicago Tribune article sums up the alternate uses. I noticed a pro football player sporting a strip across his nose in the Vikings vs. Saint game yesterday. I get it.
One of the most common benefits associated with nasal strips is snoring reduction. Because the air passages remain open during sleep, the user is far less likely to experience the level of nasal blockage that triggers snoring or sleep apnea. Another benefit is increased airflow during physical activity. Many athletes wear nasal strips during competition because they improve breathing efficiency. Allergy sufferers may also benefit from nasal strips because the strips keep their irritated or swollen nasal passages from closing up completely.
I’ll admit that during the morning hours, often while driving my dog to day care or the park at 8:30, there’s a fair amount of nasal congestion that needs to be cleared. Years ago while living in a small house with vents close to our bed, my sinuses dried out and there were headaches all the time. Most of us deal with nasal issues of one kind or another. When I wear the Breathe Rights the band of flesh across my nose is expanded. It’s a remarkable technology.
The other aspect I plan to explore is breathwork, the practice of using breathing techniques for better health, mindfulness and more. I just wrote content for a virtual Breathing Festival taking place in the New Year. That might be interesting to try as well.
I’m addicted to breathing. Actually, we all are. Without it, we’d die. But there’s a whole range of benefits to explore in better breathing before that ever happens.