Breath Work

Breathing Tips to Deepen Sleep, Calm Anxiety and Curb Pain w/ Patrick McKeown

by Mike Mutzel





Sponsor: Deepen your sleep w/ MYOXCIENCE's Klean Hemp liquid
Use code podcast to save


Books Mentioned

Breath Cure Book


Show Notes

03:25 Even people who teach breathing exercises do not know the physiology behind it.

04:46 Of the autonomic nervous system, the automatic body functions, breath is the one we can most influence.

06:58 There is a breathing revolution taking place.

08:12 75% to 80% of people with anxiety and panic disorder have dysfunctional breathing patterns. They also have poor sleep.

08:48 For anxiety and more, breathe light, feel air hunger, desensitize your body’s reaction to suffocation.

09:26 When carbon dioxide has increased in the blood from air hunger, it helps improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain. It is a calming affect on the central nervous system.

09:19 The diaphragm is connected to emotions. Breathing slow stimulates the vagus nerve, to improve heartrate variability.

09:35 Those of us with insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea have higher rates of depression.

09:48 Breathing, sleep and stress/emotions go together. Western medicine has separated the into separate components, without looking at the integral play between each.

14:00 Fight/flight is accompanied by fast upper chest breathing. Many of us with dysfunctional breathing patterns breathe similarly and need only a little stress to push us over.

15:15 The exhalation is key to bring the body into relaxation. The driver of the exhalation is the parasympathetic response.

16:35 Prolonged exhalation stimulates the vagus nerve. Vagal nerve stimulation can reduce harmful inflammation.

17:35 The harder we breathe the more we blow off too much carbon dioxide, causing blood vessels to constrict.

18:00 It is common for people with dysfunctional breathing to have cold hands, cold feet and brain fog. 

19:02 Patrick’s hands and feet warmed when he began slowing his breathing to the point of air hunger.

21:05 Nasal breathing is the key to deep sleep.

21:15 Sleep apnea, for men especially, 26% of men age 30 and 50 years of age and 43% of men between 50 and 70. For women 9% between 30 and 50 and post-menopausal, this increases 200 to 300%.

21:45 Nasal breathing opens the architecture of the upper airway. It allows the tongue to the correct resting posture. It ensures that the throat will be moist. It reduces inflammation and increases lung volume. Nasal breathing helps stabilize blood gasses and harnesses nasal nitric oxide.

22:40 People with asthma are not being taught to breathe through their nose. If you have a stuffy nose, you are 2 to 3 times more likely to have sleep disordered breathing.

27:45 The nose performs 30 different functions in the human body. Nasal breathing helps with memory. You can sniff out danger. It helps you choose a mate. Your mouth has no function in breathing.

28:37 The diaphragm, triggered by nasal breathing, performs lymphatic drainage and generates intra-abdominal pressure, which stabilizes the spine. 50% of people with lower back pain have dysfunctional breathing.

29:25 Children with sleep disordered breathing have 10 times the risk of learning difficulties. Mouth breathing affects cognitive development in children.

31:25 Children could have a nasal obstruction at the front or back of the nose. Breathing exercises can open the front of the nose. We can change the behavior of mouth breathing. The tape used by Patrick surrounds the mouth. Patrick has children tape their mouths closed for ½ hour to ¾ hour every day, especially when they are distracted. The tape is a gentle reminder and continuous reinforcement of nasal breathing.

37:15 Dentists can spot the risk factors for sleep apnea. It is likely that a child has sleep apnea if they have a high upper narrow pallet. Dentists can see if there is inflammation in the throat, or scalloping on the tongue.

39:15 Women breathe differently from men because of monthly hormonal changes. Progesterone is a respiratory stimulant, causing breathing to become faster. It causes too much carbon dioxide to be removed from the blood through the lungs.

39:51 CO2 in the blood can drop by as much as 25%. Pain perception increases. Pain threshold is lower. Sleep can be impacted and anxiety/panic can contribute to the feeling of air hunger.

41:39 When you slow breathing rates of women during PMS, symptoms are reduced. Post-menopausal women find that closing their mouth during sleep decreases symptoms.

43:10 We can stimulate the vagal nerve by nasal breathing during sleep. HRV is an objective measure of vagal tone.

46:53 Poor sleep quality impacts academic performance and concentration.

48:55 To stimulate the vagus nerve, do nasal breathing, breathe light to feel air hunger (increased carbon dioxide stimulates the vagus nerve), breathe low to increase amplitude of the diaphragm. Breathe slow. Small breath holds are also effective.

49:53 Breath holding helps people with anxiety by stimulating the vagus nerve and increasing blood flow to the brain, calming the central nervous system.

55:20 The BOLT score is a measure of functional breathing patterns. It is influenced by your sensitivity to carbon dioxide, the primary driver to breathe. Lung inflammation can reduce your BOLT score. There are also cognitive factors, like a person’s experience with air hunger.

56:45 For the BOLT score, sit for 5 minutes. Take a normal breath in, then out and pinch/hold your nose. Time it in seconds until you feel the first desire to breathe or the first involuntary movement of your diaphragm.

57:20 If your BOLT score is above 25 seconds, there is an 89% chance that you do not have dysfunctional breathing. If your breathing is normal, your movements are more likely to be normal. If your breathing is dysfunctional, your movements are more likely to be dysfunctional.

Leave a Reply