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SURVEY:
What do you want to know about breathing? Answered in our newsletter

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Back Sleeping and Optimal Breathing

Snoring is a precursor to sleep apnea. Although Sleep Medicine usually recommends side sleeping due to its tendency to lessen snoring, I have discovered that side and belly sleeping have definite drawbacks including thousands of possibly harmful microbes on one's pillow cases. Some may find that sleeping on the back makes them snore more.  This does not mean that sleeping on the back is bad only that snoring is an even more important issue and should be addressed in several ways. Several inexpensive devices and a few herbals make back sleeping quite accessible. This does not take into account various disabilities or maladies that may require a non "optimal" sleeping position.

Sleeping on one's back helps maintain a consistent body position and allows gravity to assist the mucosa to drain into the throat and not build up in the sinuses, nose and your pillow case.  Circadian rhythms can alternate hourly between right and left brain hemispheres without being stuck on one side or the other.  If the surface you are lying on is firm enough the back of the ribs will be pushed forward allowing the diaphragm to rise and fall with less resistance from the rib cage thus reducing the oxygen cost of breathing. You breathe from 2,000 to 8,000 times an 8 hour sleeping shift so this oxygen savings adds up.

Head pillows cause the head to bend forward thus inviting partial throat closure increasing the risk of snoring so it is best to not use pillows and instead keep the throat open.  The throat can be kept open using special props shown in our Primary Resting Position (PRP) in the Exercises DVD. Side sleeping causes breathing resistance to the lungs having body weight upon them.  Stomach sleeping requires us to lift a significant amount of body weight to breathe in and that weight invites shallow breathing during our waking hours. Belly sleeping also invites facial wrinkles as well as potential low back pain. Many who sleep on their stomach throw a knee way to the side and help the hip socket destabilize.  If sleeping on your stomach makes your low back pain better or worse I suggest you see a chiropractor or osteopath about that. Other factors include excess pot belly fat weighing on the rib cage restricting easy inhales and overdeveloped super tight washboard abs that tend to restrict ease of belly breathing and make side sleeping more restful than back sleeping but still not optimal: stop overdeveloping the abs and/or lose the pot belly.

Spine wise, side sleeping causes the spine to curve downward/sideways inviting unnatural curvatures aka scoliosis.  Back sleeping, given a firm enough support so as not to allow sunken chest and inhibited diaphragmatic rise and fall, gives more even consistent shaping. Study yoga and the sushumna or energy pathway up and down the spinal cord and see that bending it may restrict the flow.

Back sleeping may expose oneself to "unprotected" emotions such as vulnerability. This can be addressed with resting hand positions on the chest and belly.

A unique method of sleeping late to more effectively catch up on loss of sleep.
As noted in Science News, December 14 - 2013, Lora Hooper, an immunologist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas  notices a boosted supply of inflammatory cells due to excessive sources of light.  Circadian rhythms are largely influenced by light. Premature and/or artificial light for example when you have not slept long enough will disturb those rhythms and stress your immune system.  The Mindfold more effectively cuts out all light allowing extended periods of non light disturbed rest.  The bottom line is to sleep any way you can get well rested. Non optimal is better than insufficient but non optimal may cause insufficiencies over time. 

Popular Science reports that 3.5 hours of sleep have been lost since the invention of the light bulb.

Our Sleep Program has several exercises and techniques to train one to go to sleep on one's back and stay there throughout the night, without snoring. Many awaken to discover they did not move at all thus allowing for deeper undisturbed sleeping time.

Apnea-surgical   Apnea neurological    Apnea Hypertension   Apnea Digeridoo   Apnea Youth Fitness    Apnea Chemistry    Apnea Mechanical    Nose Breathing    Apnea and Oxygen  Apnea Herbal Relief   Apnea the Non Disease   Apnea Quiz   Sleeping Snoring Strokes  

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"Mike's Optimal Breathing teachings should be incorporated into the physical exam taught in medical schools as well as other allied physical and mental health programs, particularly education, and speech, physical, and respiratory therapy."

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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.

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