Hyperoxia enhances slow-wave forebrain states in urethane-anesthetized and naturally sleeping rats– Hauer et al. (2018)

Key Points

  • High levels of oxygen promote deep, restorative sleep

  • Slow breathing mimics several of the beneficial effects of high levels of oxygen

  • Slow breathing might also promote deep, restorative sleep, explaining the benefits of applying Principle 2

The Breathing Diabetic Summary

This study found that exposure to high levels of oxygen promoted deep, restorative sleep.  Science Daily did an excellent summary of the research.

Why is this important to us?  Well, we know from a study published in Nature (see abstract) that slow breathing has similar effects to hyperoxia.  In fact, the Nature article found that, in some respects, slow breathing had more benefits than hyperoxia.  For example, the authors found that slow breathing and hyperoxia both increased oxygen saturation and baroreflex sensitivity.  However, hyperoxia also slightly increased blood pressure and worsened arterial function, both of which were improved by slow breathing.

Taken together, we see that if high levels of oxygen promote deep sleep, and slow breathing mimics the effects of high oxygen, then breathing slowly during sleep could also potentially promote deep, restorative sleep.  How do we breathe slowly during sleep?  By taping our mouth and using the natural resistance of our nose! 

Combining these two studies helps explain why I (and thousands of others) have noticed dramatic improvements in energy levels from simply taping up at night.

Journal Reference:

Brandon E. Hauer, Biruk Negash, Kingsley Chan, Wesley Vuong, Frederick Colbourne, Silvia Pagliardini, and Clayton T. Dickson, (2018) Hyperoxia enhances slow-wave forebrain states in urethane-anesthetized and naturally sleeping rats, Journal of Neurophysiology, 120 (4), DOI: 10.1152/jn.00373.2018. 

Science Daily Reference:

University of Alberta. "Resting easy: Oxygen promotes deep, restorative sleep: Neuroscientists point to potential for oxygen therapy for disrupted sleep." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181212134432.htm>.