Why Better Breathing Doesn’t Always Lead to Better Health [Podcast 44]

In this episode, Kathy and I will reveal “Why Better Breathing Doesn’t Always Lead to Better Health.”

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Here are 7 of these reasons below. Please listen to the recording to find out more.

1. You can’t control your breathing when you’re sleeping
2. You don’t know you’re not breathing well
3. You can’t control your sleep position or posture at night
4. Not all breathing is equal
5. The oxygen myth: Lack of breathing, not lack of oxygen
6. Despite high levels of oxygen in your bloodstream, it may not reach certain areas of your body under stress
7. Stress-Breathing Paradox


Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Dr. Robert Sapolsky

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7 thoughts on “Why Better Breathing Doesn’t Always Lead to Better Health [Podcast 44]

  1. Sometimes I find myself mouth-breathing during the day, so I try to shut my mouth and breathe through my nose. However it makes me feel short of breath and I find myself a few minutes later with my mouth open again. It does not happen all the time, just sometimes. What is happening in my body that makes it think I am better off with my mouth open?

  2. Wonderful Dr Park and Kathy! Another great interview.
    When I ordered your book, I also ordered Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers on Audible. Both were great! Thank you. Now I am wondering where my stress response is coming from and am mindful of what is going on in my life and of not pushing too hard. I keeping thinking because I don’t wake refreshed even though my nightly CPAP report is excellent– that I must have something going on at night to create a stress response. I’ve asked my PCP to give AM and PM saliva cortisol– but they come back generally within range.
    I am wondering if all those years I ignored my sleep apnea symptoms (14 years) while trying to use New Age techniques to approach the problem did more harm than a normal knucklehead would have encountered. Sounds like that is what happened based on your comments in the podcast. Not only did I delay getting help, but it actually allowed the condition to progress from moderate OSA to severe– by the time I ground my teeth down and created issues with exhaustion. Now, I am wondering if a stress response pattern got locked into my physiology, and my body is still reacting as if I am under attack– even though my sleep, day and night breathing are corrected. If so– how to diagnose and how to get out of this?
    Thanks again– you are doing such great and much needed work!

  3. Jay,

    From what I can tell, it’s a laser procedure that’s used to stiffen the soft palate. There are a number of similar options to stiffen the palate including injection snoreplasty, radiofrequency palate ablation, and Pillar implants. They all work to various degree for snoring and less effectively for OSA. I have not seen any research results on this new technology.

  4. Making correct reduced and dominsnt nasal breathing ( breathing both inhaling and exhaling through the nose keeps breathing reduced, fully cleans and conditions the inhaled air adding moisture as needed on inhale where nitric oxide is also added to the inhaled air ftom the nasal sinuses sterilizing the air and assisting in blood flow and exchange ) changes during the day including many minutes of low volume breathing changes your over all breathing set point which translates into better breathing at night – meaning less- breathing at night. also sleep posture can be controlled at night to sleep on your side or in some prone fashion or to sleep in a slant up fashion all the way to sitting for people with apnea with head and neck support so no head flop back. this and being sure you do what ypu can to facilitate nasal bresthing at night which can be managed even with most conditions including colds.
    we sleep at most 8 hours on average = 1/3 of our life. Actually the notion that 8 hours at least is good for everyone is a myth as all the studies sbout this have far too many uncontrolled variables. thousands of people in several studies have found that somewhere beyween 4 and 8 hours apoears to be the healthy range with thise sleeping less than 4 or more than 8 having poorer health in general. Even these studies were not looking at breathing rate or nasal vs mouth breathing or factors regarding bresthing during the day as well as many other important factors as straight forward as hormonal balance and thyroid condition in particular.
    reduced volume generally offers netter corculation of oxygen to the cells and tissues due to the Bohr effect re carbon dioxide facillitating oxygen release from the hemoglobin to the cells and tissues as well as the many other crucisl functions of carbon dioxide in our physiology. CO2 is anything but a waste gas. In the air we breathe, there is less than 0.04 percent CO 2 while when we ate healthy, we maintsin nearly 7percent CO 2 in our lungs. sadly, the importance of CO 2 has been poorly taught in physiology by and large.

  5. The discussion implies that sleep apnea cannot be overcome by individual efforts of any type because all such approaches lack control when a person is asleep. Yet you refer here (and have referred in other podcasts) to the Buteyko method, which involves mouth taping at night. Isn’t this a contradiction? (I think I did hear a comment about “taping” in the the podcast posted here, but it certainly wasn’t emphasized or encouraged).
    The unsaid impression is given that cPAP (or surgery for those with an obvious need for it) is the only acceptable method of curing sleep apnea. Certainly that approach is likely to be successful for those patients with an ENT specialist in their home to make the proper adjustments on a machine, on an ongoing basis, for life, but for those of us who lack the specialist and prefer an alternative approach, the Buteyko method, an approach that clearly won’t help the incredible financial growth of the cPAP industry, but does have the advantage of involving a patient in her/his own recovery, seems like a better “way to go”.