Mouth Breathing and ADHD

This is a bit different than most of my posts, but after seeing the benefits (and Google traffic to this site from an old post on ADHD, I thought it was worth sharing).
My newfound quest to document my biggest problems has led me first to focus on my lack of quality sleep. I long ago realized that feeling well-rested was a main source of "happiness" most days. It is hard to be grumpy when I wake up feeling like a new man. I rarely have problems sleeping, but I also rarely feel rested in the morning. I am sluggish, my eyes are often burning and I generally feel worse than when I went to bed. I had written this off as "not being a morning person" but I think there is more to it than that.

I have long known of my own snoring problems and my brother's own sleep apnea problems (he uses a breathing machine to sleep at night). Ex-girlfriends have often told me how awful I my snoring can be as well as times when I have stopped breathing and then gasped for air while sleeping. I have been reluctant to do that just because I do not want to become dependent upon such cumbersome external devices. However, I have also ignored small things which might have helped me to overcome my own lack of quality sleep. The key recommendations for a good night’s sleep have always been: exercise, no late meals and no alcohol close to bedtime. I have only haphazardly followed those directions and. It is often advised that people sleep on their back, breathe through their nose and stay well hydrated. I did not do any of those and it has caused persistent sinus problems which has led to me too often to be a "mouth breather" instead of typically breathing through my nose which has numerous health benefits including filtering air, humidifying air, increasing oxygen uptake, and even releasing nitrous oxide which increases oxygen uptake further.

A recent article also suggests that it may be the cause of ADHD diagnoses. This makes intuitive sense, as I can certain relate to the mental fogginess that always appears the day after an all-night or those unfortunate days where I must wake up early after a long night out on the town. I can also relate to the anxiety that comes from not being able to breathe, either while swimming or while wrestling.
I also noticed how calming "nose breathing" can be through practicing yoga and meditation.  In both of these disciplines it is an essential aspect. For whatever reason, they both also greatly reduce anxiety. I have also noticed that when I forcibly applied pressure to my cheeks to make breathing easier my performance while running increased drastically. I was able to run a 5K at a nice clip without much effort.

Anyway, after documenting (and reflecting on the past) I can see a clear relationship between sleep and productivity/clarity. So, with that duly noted, I am attacking it head on - 8 glasses of water, regular exercise, and I also just ordered breathe right strips and a neti pot. Even this week, after just three days of directed effort, I have observed a noticeable difference. I feel much more clarity, and my thoughts don't seem quite as overwhelming.


Update: 6/29

Oh my god! Sweet baby Jesus (or maybe I should thank Vishnu since this originated from Vedic texts). In any case, the neti pot is amazing. I would have given the breate right strips a 10 before, but after using the neti pot for the first time yesterday afternoon, I am hooked. I have asolutely no obstructions and slept like a baby. I feel like someone poured the equivalent of sinus-equivalent draino down my airways. I have been missing out....