Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Difficulty breathing - what may be the cause?

    Related Topic
    I have been having difficulty in breathing. I have to keep my mouth open and take very deep breaths to feel relaxed. This is not the first time and it usually happens when I am either stressed or I feel I am not getting enough sleep, despite sleeping for 8 hours or disrupted sleep.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1




    Agnes Szollos

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Although it may sound counter-intuitive, you are actually doing the reverse of what you should be, in your breathing practice.

    The secret of relaxation is in the breathing out part (long, slow, sustained), not in the breathing in part.

    I encourage you to see a psychologist or other health professional about this, to learn about overbreathing - and it can be hard to change the pattern, especially during stressful periods, without guidance and retraining.

  • 2


    James is passionate about osteopathy, it’s philosophy and works with facilitating the bodies innate drive for health and balance. He enjoys teaching patients about how … View Profile


    Agree with above, overbreathing is the problem!! Remember the breathing in a paper back when people have a panic attack, it's so we don't breath in too much oxygen!

    Mouth breathing by the same principle should be avoided unless exercising/ demand for oxygen increases. It tends to make it harder to breathe through the nose the less we do it. Which leads me to the sleep, breathing with the mouth open or on your back the can consume too much oxygen and subsequently stop you from breathing. The brain has to wake you from deep sleep to begin breathing again and hence you don't get enough deep restful sleep. This is called sleep apnoea. If you are concerned, ask your doctor about getting a sleep study, appropriate treatment is avalible and will make a big difference to your energy levels.

    Hope this helps,


answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Ask a health question

Empowering Australians to make better health choices