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What If Breathing Through Your Nose Changed Everything?

Robyn Openshaw - Updated: April 1, 2024 - - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Did you know that the healthiest populations on Earth trained their children to breathe through their nose, rather than their mouth?

Your mouth is a backup system for breathing, if you need it, because we need air 24-7 our whole lives.

[Note: If you prefer to watch rather than read, I’ve made this blog a video for you!]

But research is showing that people who breathe through their nose may have a lot more energy and better performance exercising. What if it could resolve insomnia, sexual dysfunction, sleep apnea, snoring, and even dental decay?

It's not hard to do. It just takes a little mindfulness during the day, and maybe a minor intervention at night.

Some people put a piece of tape over their mouth, to sleep at night. I did this every night for a month.

What if you find you no longer wake up during the night, and don’t wake up dehydrated, or quit snoring?

Using the nose for what it was designed for may be corrective in countless health issues, and may even make weight loss easier.

I’m keeping a log of my own tape experiment. Day 1, I woke up 6 hours later, as I usually do, and the tape was off my mouth.

Maybe that blue masking tape you use to identify flaws in a paint job when you build a house is the wrong kind to use. Some people get special tape.

I put the tape back on and woke up two hours later and it was still on. All of that is my typical night, minus the tape.

Later I started using duct tape, which stays on all night. I was initially reticent about taping my mouth, but I actually liked it, maybe because I knew it was making me breathe correctly.

This book, Breath, has over 25K reviews on Amazon, and it’s worth the read, though I’m giving you the cliff’s notes here.

The author, James Nestor, was in very poor health and enrolled in a study where he and another subject’s noses were plugged for 10 days. All their biomarkers tanked, and they were really struggling and in rapidly declining health. Then, in the study, their mouths were covered, forcing them to use their noses to breathe.

Everything improved, they came alive again, and one of the study participants went from over 50 sleep apnea incidents during the night, to zero.

Blood pressure came down, and countless other measures of the two participants’ health noticeably and measurably improved.

Give the book a read, or try breathing only through your nose, and taping your mouth at night.

I’d love to hear from you about how this goes for you, and I’ll see you next time!

Watch the video:

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

What if breathing through your nose changed everything?

Posted in: High-Vibe Living, Lifestyle, Mind/Body Connection, Natural Products, Preventive Care, Stress Management, Uncategorized

11 thoughts on “What If Breathing Through Your Nose Changed Everything?”

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  1. Chris says:

    I have been taping my mouth at night for a few years now. The first few nights it made me feel claustrophobic and I couldn’t leave it on all night, but now it feels strange if I don’t tape (and wear a sleep mask). The tape I have found to work best and still not be real expensive is the blue Micropore S tape by 3M. You can buy a box of 12 online. It tears easily and can be reused a couple of nights. It sticks well, but also comes off easily without hurting your skin.

    1. Audrey C (GSG Support) says:

      Thank you for sharing this Chris!

  2. Chris says:

    I use a similar technique for getting to sleep easier. Breathe in (through nose) for 4, hold for 7 count and breathe out (through mouth) for 8. Works most of the time!

  3. Chris says:

    I use a similar technique for getting to sleep easier. Breathe in (through nose) for 4, hold for 7 count and breathe out (through mouth) for 8. Works most of the time!

  4. Karyn says:

    I was taping my mouth at night and will start up again. I use surgeon's tape- it works really well. I tend to sleep longer. I have been using a mouth shield and found it difficult to tape my mouth but you have spurred me on. Thanks for that!! There were a lot of issues it helped.

    1. Audrey C (GSG Support) says:

      So glad you found this article helpful Karyn!

  5. Joe says:

    I read James Nestor’s book “Breath” several years ago. I was fascinated by it. I went to his website which led me to a book called “The Breathing Cure” by Patrick McKeown, which was also fascinating and I highly recommend it since there is more to proper breathing than just taping your mouth at night, which is explained thoroughly. Both were available at my library. I read them both first and then purchased “The Breathing Cure.” There are a lot of good breathing exercises in there to improve your BOLT score (Body Oxygen Level Test) for better health and exercise performance.

    Since reading these books, I am acutely aware of whether or not I am breathing through my nose and almost always do, even when exercising, which is so important and most people are unaware of. This is explained in “The Breathing Cure.” I also taped my mouth at night using sensitive skin medical tape which worked well for me.

    I believe exclusive nose breathing is one of the most important things one can do for themselves. Over the years I have made a lot of changes in my wellness routine and I feel this is one of the most important ones I have made. I currently feel great as a result. Proper breathing is one tool in my wellness toolbox that I will never give up.

    1. Audrey C (GSG Support) says:

      Thank you for sharing this Joe!

  6. Janet Dhaenens says:

    When I started working to breathe through my nose, I noticed endlessly I was breathing through my mouth again very soon. When I mentioned this to my Feldenkrais practitioner, she said "of course! because your mouth breathing is connected to a whole series of muscle holding patterns in your body. You can't just change the symptom of breathing through your mouth without paying attention the muscle tension that creates it in the first place."

    Now I can notice holding in my belly and other tense muscles that are directly connected to feeling a need to breathe through my mouth, and as I change my body organization, my nose breathing is gradually increasing as a way of life. After becoming aware of mouth breathing being a symptom of patterns of tension in my own body, I sure wish more people understood this as they work with their bodies!

  7. Julie LeBaron says:

    Another very important reason to nose breathe is because mouth breathing changes the structure of the mouth. Think about where your tongue is in resting position. A first thought may be down on the bottom of your mouth (gravity). However while resting it is sucked up to the roof of your mouth. Your tongue fits neatly in the roof of your mouth. The tongue keeps the mouth arch properly formed. When one breathes through the mouth the tongue has to be down for air to go in and out. Therefore the arch can get deeper or mal-form in other ways because the tongue isn't supporting a proper mouth shape. This can lead to all sorts of orthodontia problems as well as speech difficulties. I regularly counsel parents of my school speech therapy students to do everything they can to encourage and support nose breathing.

  8. Gloria Gross says:

    I have been taping my mouth at night for probably about three years. In the beginning I thought I could "train" myself to automatically keep my mouth closed when sleeping, but such was not the case. I use a paper tape and I don't completely cover my mouth, but leave tiny openings on both sides. It works for me. In the morning I have to soak the tape until I can pull it off without taking my skin with it. Taping has become part of my bedtime routine and I don't have to put up with dry mouth.

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