Nasal Dilators: Effectiveness, The Science Behind Breathe Strips
The Science Behind Nasal Dilators
Most people are probably convinced that when we breathe through our nose, we are breathing through both nostrils at the same time, though this is not entirely true. In reality, when we are sleeping, our nasal breathing is controlled by a process known as the nasal cycle, which alternates breathing from primarily one nostril to the other for a period of two to three hours at a time.
This is because each nostril requires a period of “rest,” so the other nostril takes control of breathing for a time. This alternating of nasal airflow is what is primarily responsible for the collapsing of the nostrils while sleeping.
To show the full effect, try to plug one nostril and breathe in through the other while looking in a mirror. You will soon see that when breathing in, the nostril slightly collapses or closes itself due to the effect of trying to force air through it. This same effect is precisely what happens when we breathe through one nostril while sleeping due to the nasal cycle.
So you may be asking yourself what this has to do with snoring. Well, the answer is quite simple. When we sleep and cannot get enough oxygen in through our nostrils due to their constant collapsing on the in-breath, our body automatically switches to mouth breathing to provide the required oxygen to the bloodstream, which results in increased snoring, especially if we happen to be sleeping on our back.
This is also precisely why nasal dilators are so useful at stopping snoring because they allow us to breathe freely through our nostrils by ensuring that they remain fully open.