I have talked about this in a previous blog post (Read More: How do you make improvements in athletics?), but the message is so vital. The old adage that less is more is so true, especially for training for your fitness or athletic goals. Your body has a limited ability to adapt and recover from stress, and after you have reached the minimum effective dosage to induce the desired adaptation in your body (ex. increased muscle mass, decreased fat stores etc.) doing anymore provides minimal benefit, and can sometimes be harmful since your body has a limited ability to bounce back and recover from stress. Therefore you are improving your body functions not during a workout (which is a stressor to your body) but instead during your recovery periods.
One of the most important aspects of ensuring adequate recovery so you can continue training hard, and make improvements is sleep. And the simplest but most profound hacks to improve your sleep is to tape your mouth (see the video below for more explanation, don't write me off as a charlatan just yet ?) . I was inspired to share this tip in this series because of my excellent interview I had with Patrick McKeown the creator of the Oxygen Advantage. (Make sure you to subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don't miss out when I make my interview with Patrick live.)
The benefits of nose breathing are undeniable (if you are fascinated to learn more about the science watch my video below), but it is impossible to consciously control whether you are nose breathing while you are sleeping. This is especially problematic if you have the bad habit of chronic over breathing through your mouth, like I did. Taping your mouth before bed is a simple but profound solution to ensure your are breathing through your nose throughout the night.
I had let this excellent habit fall by the wayside as I got engrossed with preparing for finals and my year 2 OSCE exam. However, I was re-inspired by Patrick during our interview to get back to taping my mouth before bed and the results were remarkable. Not only did my body feel infinitely better once I woke up, but my sleep felt so much deeper and more restorative. When I woke up I didn't feel groggy and not wanting to get out of bed. Instead, I felt mentally sharp and eager to begin my day. However, don't take my word for it. I implore you to try it out yourself and experience the excellent results. Of course please use common sense if you have any concerns or are worried you may have an individual situation or medical condition that would make taping your mouth at night unsafe please don't do it! However, if it is safe, the results can be transformative.
-Progress in fitness or athletes doesn't occur during workouts but instead during your recovery periods
- Sleep is one of the most important aspects in ensuring adequate recovery
- Taping your mouth shut is a simple, but profound hack to drastically improve your sleep quality
If you can’t sustain it, it’s not worth it.
I am a medical student who is obsessed with the Be Activated Muscle Activation Technique, mastering movement and understanding what makes humans thrive.