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    Thread: Do you ever find yourselves breathing faster and heavier when you wake up during the night?

    1. #1
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      Do you ever find yourselves breathing faster and heavier when you wake up during the night?

      I am not sure how common this is, but I have noticed that if I wake up in the middle of the night my breathing will often be somewhat faster and slightly more "dramatic".
      This might sound almost negative, but I actually think it feels quite pleasant.
      But there is definitely something about the way that I breathe during brief awakenings that is different from "ordinary" breathing - it's almost a bit like a relaxed and pleasant panting, and I will inhale about 22 times per minute (I timed myself, lol).

      I know that your breathing becomes more irregular and random during the REM periods, so maybe I breathe this way because I had just woken up from a REM period at that point or something?
      Last edited by Laurelindo; 01-04-2016 at 02:11 PM.

    2. #2
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      I don't know about breathing at night but "ordinary breathing" is really hard to define, because our style of breathing changes as we grow up. When we are children, we breathe the correct way--with our bellies. As adults, we sort of unlearn the correct way of breathing and begin using our chests instead. This type of breathing only allows for a minimal amount of surface area in the lungs to be exposed to oxygen (in other words we don't fill our lungs completely, or even mostly). As a result, we have poorer oxygen intake. Belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and allows us to make near full use of our lungs. "Regular" breathing causes us to take more breaths than belly breathing, wasting energy. Belly breathing causes less breathing, but obviously it is heavier to an extent. However, this more paced breathing and greater surface area of lungs receiving oxygen works twofold: in order to have optimal oxygen levels, we must actually have a proper amount of CO2 in the bloodstream as well. This is why hyperventilating causes people to pass out and be light headed. Despite breathing in more oxygen, your body is not able to make use of that oxygen. In other words, energy and oxygen is wasted breathing, and oxygen that is breathed in doesn't have a chance to be absorbed in the lungs, so you breathe a lot of oxygen back out.

      To briefly explain why CO2 is important in the blood, it is because CO2 is a vasodilator, in other words it expands blood vessels. Oxygen is a vasoconstrictor, and makes them more narrow. When the blood vessels are too narrow, your lungs cannot reabsorb oxygen very efficiently at all, and oxygen is not able to be efficiently transported to muscles in need of it. A certain level of CO2 build up is needed to reopen the vessels, to allow optimal reabsorption and transport of oxygen to needed muscles. Hence, people with asthma breathe into brown paper bags, to increase the blood CO2 level. The best way to achieve higher blood CO2 naturally, of course, is to slow one's breathing. However, if you chest breathe, you will not get enough oxygen in. This is why belly breathing is best. As I mentioned, it slows down breathing, raising blood CO2 level, which allows greater oxygen levels to be absorbed in the lungs, which allows greater oxygenation of blood and oxygen delivery to muscles. Less energy spent on breathing muscles also means less demand for oxygen in several areas, allowing for more than just vital organs to receive proper oxygen levels.

      At night, we do belly breathe, but at several points the breathing is actually very shallow. I need to look up the reason for this, I will try to get back to you on it. Sorry to rant in your thread! lol
      Kaitakaro likes this.

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      Belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and allows us to make near full use of our lungs.
      That sounds very interesting, do you still know where you got this info?
      Since the parasympathetic nervous system is the 'antagonist' to the sympathetic nervous system,
      and over activity of the SnS seems to be turning into a mass disease, i would like to know more about this.

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