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Posture, Sleep and Taping

6 minutes

Escape from Asthma Episode # 11 Posture, Sleep, and Taping.

Hi, this is Michael Lingard welcoming you to Escape from Asthma episode eleven, entitled Posture, Sleep and Taping. I hope you are finding this course already helping with your asthma and that the work you have put in so far beginning to pay off as you feel more in control of your condition and perhaps experiencing more energy, better sleep and fewer symptoms.

So how does posture affect our breathing? The raised shoulders, expanded chest and tense upper muscles are to be seen on most asthmatic patients and others who normally over-breathe.
With habitual heavy breathing these ancillary respiratory muscles need to be used repeatedly and they become chronically tense with over-use.
We should breathe primarily with just our diaphragm, the large dome shaped muscle under our lower ribs, and we should not normally use the upper chest for normal activity breathing.

During Buteyko training the effects of different postures on our breathing, when awake and asleep are discussed, based on Professor Buteyko’s research. He found that sleeping on our left side reduced breathing at night the most, sleeping on the right side or stomach was almost as good for our breathing, but sleeping on the back invariably increased the breathing rate.
So try to avoid sleeping on your back as this has been clearly demonstrated to
lead to over-breathing in sleep and often also mouth breathing since the lower jaw easily drops when on our back. This is usually the sleep position when snoring is at its worst.
Sleeping on the left side was found to reduce breathing the most, on the right side or front was found to keep breathing rate lower than when sleeping on the back.

When sitting try to keep the back upright and the diaphragm free to move easily, avoid slouching and restricting the lower ribs and abdomen. Good posture is just part of the many elements taught on a Buteyko course. Good posture permits normal body action and in particular aids better breathing. Improving your posture is part of the bad habit correction. Improved posture will also improve the overall physiology of your body.

There are various ways you can train yourself to avoid sleeping on your back and one is to attach a cork or small ball to the back of your pyjama top, whenever you roll onto your back this will painfully remind you to go onto your side or stomach!

Obviously during your waking hours you will by now be very aware of how you are breathing but when you are asleep you are no longer in control of your breathing.
One of the commonest bad habits when sleeping is mouth breathing and snoring.
If you awake in the morning with a dry mouth, the chances are is that you have been mouth-breathing in your sleep. If you snore you almost certainly have been mouth-breathing. So how do we stop this when we are unconscious?
The simplest solution is to use a thin strip of micropore adhesive tape as used to secure dressings.
You can use one centimeter wide tape, tear off about ten centimetres, fold over one end, it's a good idea to reduce some of the stickiness by pressing it on your bedclothes a couple of times then place it diagonally across your mouth. You will still be able to talk and breathe through the corners of your mouth but it will remind you to keep your mouth closed. When you get used to using the tape this way you may need to begin to place it horizontally across your mouth to ensure you do keep your mouth closed.
Don’t forget to make sure your nose is clear before going to sleep by doing the nose clearing exercises if you need to.
Many people have found this simple procedure has stopped them from snoring and that they have the best sleep ever.

The next episode 12 will be about When You Are Ill. If you haven’t yet downloaded the book to accompany this course entitled “The Buteyko Guide to Better Breathing & Better Asthma Management” by Michael Lingard, Click HERE

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