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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I slow down my breathing while alseep?

    Almost every morning I wake up feeling mildly panicked, and notice that I'm breathing quite fast, from my chest rather than diaphragm.

    I can control the problem easily while I'm awake as I know how to slow my breathing down.

    Is there anything I can do to help control my breathing while I'm asleep?

    I also grind/clench my teeth, so am going to get a mouth guard, but not sure this will have any impact on the breathing.

    Any suggestions welcome!
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Susan Wolf


    My aim is to listen and understand. Specialising in LGBTQI/GLBT and all other atypical lifestyles. Other areas include depression, anxiety and communication within families and … View Profile

    A mouth guard may be a great idea for the grinding and clenching as many find it very useful. This in tern may calm the anxiety levels while asleep. However talk to a chemist or your doctor about this problem. The chemist should know if the mouthguard will obstruct breathing, and the doctor may be able to help with the morning anxiety. 

    Is there a pattern to the waking anxiety? Have you moved to a noisy neighbourhood? Are you near a highway where car horns may wake you? Or do you have a new alarm clock? Any changes can affect us this way, so look at surroundings and how you wake. If possible, earplugs may help you as well. 

    Good luck.

  • 2


    Dr Maree Barnes

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Barnes has competed specialty training in sleep medicine and is currently working at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. Dr Barnes’ current research focuses are: … View Profile

    Tooth grinding during the night may cause permanent damage to the teeth and to your jaw. It is important to have this checked by a dentist who will be able to custom make you a mouth guard that will prevent the grinding and also prevent any tooth or jaw problems. It is not recommended to use over the counter mouth guards, as these fit very poorly and usually fall out during the night, making the problem worse.
    You should speak to your doctor about waking up breathing quickly, as this may be due to an underlying sleep or breathing problem.

  • Jaffar Dental - Trusted and Established since 1997. We are a family owned General Dental Practice offering a friendly and caring environment in Waterford QLD. … View Profile

    Relaxation techniques just prior to sleep.

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