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Do you get a restful sleep?

It is vital for our health and wellbeing that we get a good night sleep. The quality of our sleep during the night will reflect in the quality of our day. A restful sleep will leave us refreshed and ready for the day ahead of us but if we struggle through the night we will be feeling exhausted, tired and be in a bad mood.

If you don’t sleep well, you can’t perform well.  As a result you might have trouble concentrating on your work, mistakes are creeping in, memory loss shows or you make bad decisions when driving the car.

What are commonly seen sleep problems?

Insomnia – The inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep for an adequate length of time
Sleep apnoea – Cessation of breathing during sleep which can occur every few minutes and each event can last up to 60 seconds.
Snoring – Noisy breathing during sleep due to vibration of the soft palate, uvula and/or pharyngeal wall
Restless leg syndrome – Cramps or a tingling feeling in the legs at night

Health risks associated with snoring and sleep apnoea are well documented and can result long term in high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke or heart attack.

Over-breathing is characteristic for people diagnosed with sleep-breathing disorders (snoring and apnoea). You might wonder how breathing a “bit more” can have such an effect on us. As with so many things there is a breathing norm and medical books state 8-12 breaths/minute as a healthy level. Individuals with sleep disorders show signs of over-breathing and a value of 20-24 breaths/minute is not uncommon. Breathing for 2 people is unhealthy and will result in symptoms; the same applies to prolong over-eating.

If we stay in the normal range our breathing will be calm, silent, relaxed and gentle. As a result our brain, organs and tissues are supplied with sufficient oxygen so we can function at our best. Breathing that “bit more” becomes windy, noisy and irregular resulting long term in symptoms. Breathing more does not mean that our body receives more oxygen. It is more the opposite where over-breathing results in oxygen holding on to haemoglobin (Bohr Effect) and our cells can become starved of oxygen.

You may want to consider enrolling in a Buteyko breathing programme to improve your sleep related symptoms. Simply Great Health breathing courses run over a period of six weeks. During that time you learn breathing techniques and exercises to help change your breathing rhythm, volume and rate towards a healthier you.