Sometimes it’s totally natural to breathe through your mouth. Take an instance where you have to lift something heavy or when you hit the gym. There are other times when doing so (breathing through the mouth) can have a detrimental effect particularly if it’s during sleep. So, how do you stop mouth breathing at night?
Well, there are a number of ways through which you can bring a stop to this habit. However, you should first uncover the underlying causative factor. In other words, identify what’s causing the problem.
Normally this is as a result of a nasal obstruction. You breathe via your nose but when your brain doesn’t get enough air then the mouth takes over. This natural mechanisms cannot be faulted.
However, mouth breathing leaves your mouth dry and susceptible to bacterial infections.
Worse still, people who breathe through their mouth tend to develop abnormal facial and dental development (could be a long, narrow face, smaller lower jaws, crooked jaws and gummy smiles) so use these tips to stop the habit.
Sleep on Your Back
This is a good sleeping position as it promotes nasal breathing. Your airways open up while allowing proper nasal drainage – all of which reduce the risk of a blocked nasal passage. However, this position may not be ideal for everybody wishing to quit mouth breathing while sleeping. Some people complain of a fallen back tongue which blocks the airway whenever they sleep on their backs.
Nasal congestion could be as a result of the allergens present in your sofa or bed sheets. Keep your house clean (especially the living and sleeping areas). Wash your sheets in hot water, remove dusty rugs/ carpets and steam clean them. Do not allow your pet(s) to sleep in the bedroom.
Did you know that stress can lead to dysfunctional breathing? Now that you do, make an effort to alleviate your stress levels. There is nothing more important in your life than your health so take it easy on yourself. Get a note on the fridge or working desk with a reminder to breathe. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold and exhale.
Elevate Your Head
Sleeping on your back with the head resting in a certain way makes you open your mouth (involuntarily) while asleep. Elevating the head’s resting position helps open up the nasal passage. As a result, you breathe easier though the nose. Get a pillow or two and use it to rest your head.
The chin strap is an excellent over-the-counter breathing device that can be used. A chin strap forces you to breathe through the nose by securing your mouth shut when you doze off. Open up your nasal passage by using a nasal spray.
Book an Appointment With a Myofunctional Therapist
If this habit persists, you will have to book an appointment with a myofunctional therapist. They’ll handle all problems related to speech, dental health, swallowing, breathing and orthodontic treatment. The therapist will help you gain control over muscle patterning habits.