Do you sleep with your mouth open?

If you do then read on because you may well be causing yourself serious long term damage.

Increasing your intake of oxygen with each nostril breath can add years to your life as well as improving your physical appearance.

As you read this, your cells are likely to be suffocating. You’re not consciously aware of it but they’re gasping for air.

For one-third of the day (ie when you’re asleep) you’re not getting enough of the vital, life-giving oxygen your cells so desperately need.

Why? Because you’re sleeping with your mouth open.

Your energy is renewed as you sleep. The storage battery of muscle energy and thought energy is not charged and re-charged by food as we’ve often been told, but in the bedroom.

Food is to the human body what the soil is to a plant – merely raw material.; tissue elements, to be built into the organism, but not in any sense is it a source of life.

If, while you sleep, you’re not allowing yourself a proper intake of oxygen to your cells, your health suffers. Slowly at first but over time this builds up.

There’s a fundamental point here: oxygen is the source of life to all cells.  Your health is threatened when your body is overwhelmed with high concentrations of free radicals that cause damage to cells, proteins and DNA.

Antioxidant enzymes do a great job of protecting your cells from damaging free radicals but those cells need oxygen to get the most out of the antioxidants.

They work together.

Now you understand why insufficient oxygen leads to below-par health.

Let me put it another way: oxygen deficiency is a major cause of cellular breakdown.

Your cellular health determines the speed at which you age.

So when your cells break down, your body breaks down (with those unwelcome hormone imbalances).

You need to help your cells breathe better. You need to deliver more oxygen to your cells so they can produce more energy and operate better, for longer.

The good news is you can increase your oxygen intake in as little as 6 minutes a day.

Oxygen therapies are becoming more important than ever before. Ambulance crews regard oxygen as a lifesaver.

Starved of oxygen, the body will become ill, and, if allowed to persist we die sooner than we anticipated. The more oxygen we have within us, the more energy we produce; the more healthy we become.

It’s that simple.  It’s also time we reversed this trend.

How Did I Come Across This Weird Japanese Device?

At first I struggled to believe what I was being told.

“Is this a normal?” I asked the practitioner.

“You want me to hold my breath for 15 seconds?” I questioned, looking for reassurance.

“No” the practitioner replied, explaining “There’s a difference between breathing in a lung full of air in order to hold your breath and simply stopping yourself from breathing at all”.

“Do this, and in 15 seconds time you’ll appreciate the value of the exercise, especially if you’re open to changing the way you think about breathing.”

How could I claim not to be open to change?

“Are you ready to start?” she asked. 

I nodded as the practitioner held her watch up and said “Go”.

“1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10…11…12…13…14…15″

“How do you feel now?” she said looking at me.

“I wouldn’t like to do that again, conscious or otherwise.” I replied.

I was going through this because my daughter had been suffering from insomnia for over a year; I was looking into something I’d been recommended by someone who’s opinion I valued.

What did you notice during those 15 seconds?

Theres a sensation of increasing powerlessness.” I ventured, hoping to give the right answer.

Before you read any further, if you haven’t already done the holding-your-breath exercise yourself, pause now and do it so you can better appreciate why I’m telling you this.

Fact # 1: some people stop breathing when they sleep.

Fact # 2: this can be for periods of up to 15 seconds, rarely longer.

Thankfully the involuntary suspension of breath is not a common occurrence yet, if you do it, you’re depriving yourself of vital oxygen.

And bizarre as this may seem, this can lead to a range of poor health conditions.

Should I Worry?

The circulation of blood carries with it life-giving oxygen. When blood flows to the brain, the arrival of oxygen both activates, stimulates and keeps the synapses (nerve junctions) functioning.

Behind the scenes, this also allows your parasympathetic nervous system (it controls rest and digestion) to function as it should.

The equation is simple: when you stop breathing oxygen, your brain stops receiving oxygen.

Let’s be honest – we don’t learn to breathe after we’re born and we rarely think about it, yet the way in which we breathe does make a difference.

Breathing through the nose instead of the mouth changes the position of the tongue. In turn this allows more oxygen into the brain – especially when you’re lying down.

The fact of the matter is that Japanese researchers have shown that changing from mouth breathing to nose breathing boosts oxygen levels in the brain.

Their work and results are considered to be highly valuable, especially as they classified the most common benefits into four distinct groups:

1. increase cerebral blood flow

benefiting conditions including Down Syndrome – behavioural issues – attacks of epilepsy – stroke conditions – creation of synapses in newborns – mental alertness – aphasia (speech disorders) – dementia (Alzheimers and Parkinson’s) and mental rehabilitation.

2. activate facial expressions

benefiting conditions including Bell’s Palsy – drooling – bleeding from the gums while brushing – bad breath – mouth ulcers – phlegm – dry mouth – teeth grinding – sagging face, double chin and fine wrinkles – stiff neck – mis-alignment of teeth through TMJ (temporomandibular) disorders.

3. co-ordinate the movement of tongue and throat

benefiting conditions including speech and articulation disorders – swallowing disorders – snoring – sleep apnea (OSAS) – breathing difficulties – blocked nose – hypertension – heart Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

4. boost parasympathetic nervous system

benefiting conditions including common colds – unidentified coughs – shallow sleep – toilet visits at night – bedwetting – atopic eczema – bowel and bladder issues – asthma attacks – menopause – depleted immunity – rheumatism – diabetes and blood sugar levels – kidney conditions – Sjogren’s Syndrome (an immune system disorder).

So the act of mouth breathing can lead to conditions that may be mis-diagnosed as something else, with the potential of long term medication being prescribed for a condition that does not exist.

That is something you have to be alert to.

You certainly want to avoid a mis-diagnosis, especially as a study by John Hopkins University researchers showed that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

That visit to the practitioner’s office made me think about who else might be suffering from a breathing-induced condition such as insomnia, snoring or toilet visits at night, and hasn’t yet connected the dots.

A Good Night’s Sleep

There are plenty of people who’ll give you advice on how to get a good night’s sleep. I know because over the years I’ve been given plenty of advice, all of it well-meaning.

Some methods may work better than for others.

How do I know this?

Because my 8 year old daughter had difficulty getting to sleep and regularly woke up throughout the night. 

Every morning she’d come for breakfast before going to school looking exhausted. And guess what?  With her waking so often, we were exhausted too!

My wife and I tried everything – at least we thought we had.

Eliminating monsters in the cupboards to switching her cell phone off at night and no TV or ‘screen’ time for an hour before bedtime (these last two were hard!).

Our line drawn in the sand was the refusal to resort to medication as that slippery slope can go on for longer than necessary and may lead to a dependancy.

We came across and tried the Butyeko Breathing Method which offered a great deal of promise.…and did.

Yet helpful as that was, I’m not writing here to extol the virtues of Butyeko breathing because even that had an aspect they could improve on.

One of their recommendations is to tape over your mouth at night to force you to breathe through your nose.

I’d be concerned about the potential dangers to sticking tape over your mouth while sleeping, especially with young children.

Nothing could have prepared me for what came next.

Only when I stumbled across the brainchild of someone who clearly thought outside the box, was I ready to come across what I’d been looking for.

And thanks to my friend’s endorsement I visited the practitioner who understood it’s properties well.

The Patakara Lip Trainer®

By this stage I was ready to try anything that seemed reasonable, especially as I recalled the words of the renowned spiritual pathfinder G. I. Gurdjeff:

“Without mastering breathing nothing can be mastered”

Given the fact that doctors, dentists and hospitals in Asia were recommending it, I felt there was nothing to lose.

So here I was on my own in the practitioner’s office because even though I was excited at the possibilities, I didn’t want to drag my wife along to what might sound a little silly.

At the end of the session I decided to buy 3 Lip Trainers so my wife and I could support our daughter in carrying out this daily exercise.

The irony was that I was now extolling the virtues of this approach to my wife and daughter even though I’d only just tried it for myself!

My wife and daughter  understood when I described the activity as ‘face yoga”.

Thankfully the relief for our daughter came after only 5 days of use.

She started sleeping right through the night.

The enormity of this really sank in with us.

We’d spent years trying to help her get over this condition and all it took was someone who understood what was causing it to show us how to ‘fix’ it – by breathing through her  nose as she slept.

Until then, the oxygen she’d been inhaling through her mouth wasn’t being fully absorbed.

With the benefit of hindsight it seemed obvious!

The amount of time and money we spent on remedies that didn’t make any difference was stupefying!

How many people reading this have been through or are going through something similar?

Shortly after that day I was shown a copy of the ‘Nursing In General Practice Newsletter’ in which it was written “Nose breathing results in 10 to 20 percent more oxygen uptake than mouth breathing.”

Are There Alternatives?

Other than the Butyeko Breathing Method I found there were copycat devices to the Patakara Lip Trainer®.

On closer inspection they turned out to be made of poor quality materials that were unlikely to bring about the same results as the Patakara Lip Trainer®.

As the saying goes “You get what you pay for”.

As for my response:  After the first week I took my blood pressure (bp). To my surprise, my bp dropped from 145/95 to 112/76. At first I thought that the machine wasn’t working properly. So I tried again a 2nd and 3rd time and yes, the bp was much improved! The readings were consistently at 120/80

My wife’s observations?  She was ecstatic: “I started using it; after a fortnight I noticed my face wasn’t sagging so much.”

We started reading other testimonials coming in that ranged from visible improvements in Down’s Syndrome, snoring, dementia and many other chronic conditions, some improvements of course taking longer than others.

However long the healing was taking, at least they were happening.

For those of you who endure problems sleeping, snoring or any of the many other conditions listed above, the risk you run by not trying the Patakara Lip Trainer® could, like us, cost you time and money wasted pursuing a remedy for a condition that you din’t have.

We use our Patakara Lip Trainers® for 3 weeks, 3 times a year. 

They are easy to use.  Just pop it into your mouth and hold your lips together for 3 minutes.

We both used to sleep with our mouth open. No longer!

If you need help in your quest for better health, email me to ask questions that arise and let me offer some personal advice to get you on the right track.

I know it can be a struggle trying to figure all this stuff out alone, which is why I offer this.

Graeme Dinnen  

The Lip Trainer Patakara® defined:

…is an increasingly popular Myofunctional Therapy Device from Japan designed to help people benefit from breathing through their nose.

It strengthens the lip muscles so that nose breathing even when asleep becomes normal.

Used and recommended by an increasing number of dentists, doctors, hospitals and other health practitioners throughout Asia, the Lip Trainer is the simple answer to many seemingly unrelated poor health conditions.