A good night sleep is so important to our everyday ability to function well. Unfortunately for many, as well as all the other distractions of modern-day life, a good night's sleep is not possible due to poor airway and breathing function.
Signs that you are not getting good sleep can include snoring, daytime sleepiness, having a dry mouth, lack of concentration and fatigue and waking up still feeling tired and not rested. Your concerns should always be discussed with your GP and this is especially important if your child is regularly snoring, waking up with headaches, feeling tired or hyperactive.
When we are asleep, muscles in the body relax, and this includes those in the throat. The relaxed muscles cause narrowing, which can reduce the airflow and make breathing difficult for some people, particularly those who have a restricted airway. Breathing then often restarts with a gasp or snort and this returns the airway and breathing to normal, allowing the person to return to sleep. Snoring is the sound made by the airway vibrating as it reopens after a partial collapse. When the problem is severe, this can happen many times each night and disturbs the quality of sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition that affects the airway and how we breathe. Apnoea is a Greek word that means ‘suspension of breathing’ – there is not enough air entering the lungs. When breathing is interrupted or reduced, there may be a fall in the level of oxygen in the body and this may lead to bigger efforts to breathe. Sensors in the brain will tell the body to restart or increase breathing and the person wakes up briefly. This can happen hundreds of times a night.
Aims of Buteyko and Myofunctional Therapy
Buteyko and Myofunctional therapy aim to restore good nasal breathing, reduce hyperventilation and strengthen tongue and muscle tone to help reduce symptoms and improve sleep.