For those of you who are not familiar with mouth taping, it’s a thing! Very easy, very cheap, and can really help with your sleep.
You can easily order any old tape on amazon (I use this kind), and as long as you stick with it, for many clients (myself included!), you can anticipate that your respiratory rate, HR, and HRV will likely improve. See below for more resources.
MOUTH TAPING RESOURCES
️♀️Resource: YouTube, TEDx, Shut your Mouth and Change your Life | Patrick McKeown | TEDxGalway From the same guy who wrote the Oxygen Advantage eye-opening video on the impact of mouth breathing. If you want to get nuts, you can be like me and get his mask
and look like Bane.
️♀️Resource: Article, Everyday Health, Mouth Taping: The Cheapest Life Hack for Better Sleep Before any of this, I had no idea that mouth taping had gotten so popular. (I also didn’t know there was such a thing as “sleep specialists.” Then again, I was a lowly mouth breather.) Today, people worldwide have begun to adopt this strikingly cost-effective and straightforward solution to better sleep.
️♀️Resource: Article, Ask The Dentist, Mouth Tape: The Secret to Better Sleep and a Healthier Mouth Using mouth tape forces you to breathe out of your nose (instead of your mouth). This approach is a simple way to reap the benefits of better sleep and improved oral and dental health.
️♀️Resource: Article, Alex Fergus, Mouth Taping, And 5 Other Unconventional Tips To Improve Your Sleep Quality Great for at a glance useful and quick sleep tips!
️♀️Resource: Article, Viva Naturals Health, My Sleep Secret - The One Product I Can’t Live Without! Just adding this article because of the Oura Ring stats. Worth a look.
SLEEP SCHOLARS (These are from you guys!)
Resource: Video, I Fix It, Oura Ring Teardown: This was an enjoyable watch to understand the inner workings of The Oura Ring. It also happens to be the smallest gadget that “I Fix It” has ever dissected.The Oura Ring has been around for a while now, but it didn’t become mainstream news until the NBA got one for each player to try to detect early signs of COVID-19. There are many questions about the effectiveness of the Oura Ring, but one thing’s for sure: it’s jam-packed with a lot of tech for such a small device.
Resource: Study, NCBI, Heart rate variability biofeedback: how and why does it work? An interesting study is looking at the efficacy of HRV Biofeedback for things like asthma, depression, and beyond. We now speculate that in conjunction with this class of mechanisms [HRV biofeedback], stimulation of the vagal afferent system may also play a role, especially in negative affectivity disorders.
Resource: Study, NCBI, Normal Values of Corrected Heart-Rate Variability in 10-Second Electrocardiograms for All Ages Table 4 shows average Heart Rate Variability in rMSSD age and sex, which is fairly eye-opening. Our study has a number of strengths. We are the first study to report HRV normal values that are corrected for heart rate. We have a total of 13,943 ECGs with wide age coverage, from children of 11 days to 90-year old, both male and female.
Resource: Article, Ben Greenfield, HRV Training: The Answer To Combating Stress And Poor Health? This article is a LONG one, so I’ll cut to the heart of the action steps below on what to do starting TODAY to boost your HRV and your sleep (and vice versa).
Dr. Jay’s HRV Hacks (in no order of preference, but the wearables and biohacking gear are secondary):
- Cold Exposure or hot/cold contrast: This is an amazing hormetic stressor for the nervous system that helps to build nervous system resilience.
- Meditation and Gratitude Practices: I use different mindfulness strategies and a daily gratitude journal like the Christian Gratitude Journal
- Patrick McKeown’s Oxygen Advantage Protocol and Training: Helps you breathe more efficiently.
- Wim Hof Method: A combination of breathwork and cold therapy that rebalances your nervous system and strengthens your immune system.
- Box Breathing: Close your mouth and slowly breathe in through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath for four seconds. Then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Hold the exhale for another four counts. Repeat!
- Holotropic Breathwork: Allows you to achieve a relaxed, sort of “spiritual high.”
- NuCalm: Such a great device for many people for regulating HRV! (use code BEN500 for $500 off the performance package).
- Apollo Neuroscience: This sends a signal to the nervous system through vibratory patterns. It sends a signal of gentleness and safety, resulting in enhance vagal tone – click here for Ben’s Apollo Neuroscience podcast with Dr. David Rabin.
- Sunlight Exposure and Photobiomodulation: I use my Joovv (use code BEN for a gift at checkout) panel for this, but also make sure that I am getting a minimum of 30 minutes of sunlight exposure each day.
- Grounding: A minimum of 30 minutes daily, barefoot on grass (Click here for Ben’s grounding podcast with Clint Ober.)
- Qualia Mind: I use the caffeine-free version…some have had this raise HRV by 20 or 30 points!
- A quality fish oil, like LivingFuel SuperEssentials Fish Oil (Check out this article on fish oil supplements and HRV.)
- Exercise, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Dialing in nutrition: This is going to look different for everyone, but if you are eating foods that are resulting in a stress (inflammatory) response, your HRV will be lowered.
There are many other things that can be effective like making sure you hone in on quality sleep, but, as Ben likes to say, “I am running a little long in the tooth,” so I will save them for another article.
SLEEP IS A SKILL PODCAST NEW EPISODE
️Resource: Podcast, The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast, 013: Dr. Nina Bausek, Ph.D., Chief Scientist of PN Medical, Creators of The Breather. Respiratory trainer Have you noticed that your respiratory rate numbers are on the higher side while you sleep? This podcast will unpack how you can begin to train this area. I first heard about PN Medical and their respiratory trainer (The Breather) from XPT, a performance training company created by big wave surfer and innovator, Laird Hamilton, and former professional athlete, Gabrielle Reece. PN Medical has been in the respiratory training business for decades and recently gained a lot of attention in the face of Covid-19, as people look to improve their respiratory health. Dr. Nina Bausek, Chief Scientist of PN Medical, goes deep to understand what weak breathing can do our health and sleep… and what to do about it.
Guest Bio: Nina Bausek, Ph.D., serves as Chief Scientist of PN Medical and is part of the PN Medical Science Board of advisory. A graduate of the University of Vienna, she developed her scientific and leadership skills during research and teaching positions at the University of Oxford, UK, the University of Sheffield, UK. She is also co-founder of Luft For Life, a European start-up company supporting respiratory health in performance.
️Why Dr. Bausek is passionate about this topic (and how she tracks her sleep in her own life)
How does having an actual contraption to strengthen our respiratory muscles benefit us versus traditional breathwork? What is the benefit of having an apparatus like this?
Dr. Bausek makes the argument that investing in taking the time to respiratory train could, over time, improve our respiratory rate readings at night (and how she sees results on her Biostrap)
️How TheBreather can serve as an additional toolbox of personal wellness, next to yoga, meditation, and exercise.
️How sleep apnea plays into this picture
️A more in-depth discussion of ideal respiratory rates and what abnormal numbers can signal
️Feeling faint while practicing and what to do about it
️How the app works in tandem with The Breather
PN Medical provided a hookup for the Sleep Is A Skill community, ‘sleepisaskill’ gets 20% off for the Breather, and ‘breatherfitsleep’ gets 15% off BreatherFit (made for athletes).
As always, please send me your thoughts on this week’s obsession or your current fascinations.
P.S. Fed up with your sleep? Here are four ways I can help you transform your sleep:
1. Subscribe to The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast
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2. Take our Free Sleep Assessment
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3. Check out the Sleep Is A Skill Sleep Resource Recommendations
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4. Book a 15 minute Call
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