Here is the YouTube video "Heavy breathing at sleep". This video clip has information and
quotes from medical studies, which are described above.
heavy breathing effect explains decades of medical research and clinical observations that sleep and especially early morning hours (4-7 am) are the times of highest mortality rates for asthma, angina pectoris, stroke, seizures, and many other conditions.
American pediatricians from the Washington University School
Medicine in St. Louis in their publication noted, “BACKGROUND: Symptoms
from asthma are often prominent at night. In adults significant
circadian variation has been shown with reduced peak expiratory flow
rates and increased bronchial reactivity to methacholine in the early
morning hours” (Porter et al, 1999).
A group of Brazilian medical scientists investigated,
according to their title Morning-to-evening variation in
exercise-induced bronchospasm (Vianna et al, 2002). Their
objective was “to compare morning and evening EIB [exercise-induced
bronchospasm] and minute ventilation during exercise (VE)” (Vianna et
al, 2002). Baseline FEV1 was significantly lower during early
morning hours, while minute ventilation higher.
Over 30 years ago the Thorax published a study: Physiological
patterns in early morning asthma (Hetzel, et al, 1977). The
goal of the study was also to explain “the sudden nature of some asthma
deaths as these often occur in the early morning” (Hetzel, et al,
Several other publications were devoted to effects of sleep on
patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). American
scientists from the Yale Center for Sleep Medicine (Yale University
School of Medicine, New Haven) wrote, “Symptoms related to sleep
disturbances are common in individuals with moderate to severe COPD,
particularly in the elderly, which is commonly manifested as morning
fatigue and early awakenings. One major cause of morbidity in this
population is abnormalities in gas exchange and resultant hypoxemia as
they can lead to elevated pulmonary pressures, dyspnea and in severe
cases right ventricular overload and failure. Sleep has profound
adverse effects on respiration and gas exchange in patients with COPD…”
(Urbano & Mohsenin, 2006).
Moreover, Sheppard and colleagues in the publication from the
Chest magazine noted, “Epidemiologic investigation has revealed that
patients with pulmonary disease are at increased risk of dying during
the early morning hours” (Sheppard et al, 1984). The load on the heart
muscle during the episodes of hypoxemia during sleep, according
to their conclusion, “can be transiently as great as during maximal
Coronary spasms and cardiac arrest
If patients with pulmonary conditions can die due to heart
problems at night, what about heart patients themselves? “Coronary
spasm occurs most often from midnight to early morning when the patient
is at rest”, (Yasue & Kugiyama, 1997) says the Japanese study Coronary
spasm: clinical features and pathogenesis published in the Internal Medicine magazine. The main and the only cause of these spasms is heavy breathing.
Intensive care professionals from the Department of
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine of the Hadassah Medical Centre
in Jerusalem, Israel also decided to investigate, according to their
title, In-hospital cardiac arrest: is outcome related to the
time of arrest? They wrote,
“BACKGROUND: Whether outcome from in-hospital cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) is poorer when it occurs during the night remains
controversial. This study examined the relationship between CPR during
the various hospital shifts and survival to discharge…CONCLUSIONS:
Although unwitnessed arrest is more prevalent during night shift,
resuscitation during this shift is associated with poorer outcomes
independently of witnessed status” (Matot et al, 2006)
Trying to explain the cause of deaths, Turkish cardiologists
from Ankara published a study with the title "Circadian variations of QTc
dispersion: is it a clue to morning increase of sudden cardiac death?"
They explained, “BACKGROUND: Several studies related to cardiac events
including sudden death have shown a peak incidence in the early morning
hours. Our data suggest that QTcD has a circadian variation with an
increase in the morning hours, especially in patients with coronary
artery disease. This finding was thought to be an explanation for the
role played by sympathetic nervous system in the occurrence of acute
cardiac events and sudden death during these hours” (Batur et al, 1999).
A group of American cardiologists from the Georgetown
University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. was also interested in
the most likely time of death, “The time of death was available in… 96
of the 139 patients who died suddenly. There was a circadian variation
of all SCDs [sudden cardiac deaths] compared with other deaths with a
distinct peak during the morning (p = 0.04)” (Behrens et al, 1997).
Swiss medical doctors explained in their abstract,
“Prinzmetal's angina is a variant of the classic exertion dependent
angina pectoris. Typical is the appearance of the symptoms at rest
during early morning hours. It is due to spasms in the coronary
arteries. Various provocation tests may be used to trigger spasms,
among others hyperventilation which leads to vasoconstriction of
coronary arteries” (Jacob et al, 1994).
Even healthy people have heavier breathing and lowered
oxygenation of the brain during early morning hours, as Australian
scientists from Latrobe University in Melbourne revealed. After testing
health subjects, these scientists concluded, “These data indicate that
normal diurnal changes in the cerebrovascular response to CO(2)
influence the hypercapnic ventilatory response as well as the level of
cerebral oxygenation during changes in arterial Pco(2); this may be a
contributing factor for diurnal changes in breathing stability and the
high incidence of stroke in the morning” (Cummings et al, 2007).
effects will cause symptoms of morning sickness fatigue or morning
headache fatigue with possible adrenal fatigue and high morning cortisol.
Cerebral ischemia and stroke
It is not a surprise then that British researchers from the
National Heart and Lung Institute (Imperial College, London) also
noted, “The reduction in hypercapnic cerebral vascular reactivity that
occurs in the morning after sleep is associated with an increased risk
of cerebral ischemia and stroke” (Meadows et al, 2005).
Similarly, Californian neurologists wrote, “This reduced
morning response to hypercapnia suggests diminished vasodilator reserve
during this period, and may be related to the increased stroke risk
during the morning hours” (Ameriso et al, 1994).
Patients with diabetes also suffer from lower oxygenation in
tissues during nights: “Circadian rhythms of tissue oxygen balance and
blood rheological properties were investigated in 40 patients with
insulin dependent diabetes mellitus... Preserved blood hyperviscosity
and increasing tissue hypoxia at night indicated stable disturbance of
hemorheological properties and tissue oxygen balance” (Galenok et al,
Japanese doctors from the Department of Pathology for the
Handicapped in Ehime University warn that those who care about people
with epilepsy should know about higher chances of seizures during
nights, “…S-w paroxysms combined with clinical symptoms and continuing
for more than four seconds were fewer during the afternoon than the
morning and, moreover, during sleep. …Therefore, the observation of
typical absence seizures during the morning should be regarded as
important” (Nagao et al, 1990). Since heavy breathing reduces blood
supple and oxygenation of the brain, while also making nerve cells
over-excited, it is sensible that epileptics are most likely to
experience seizures during sleep (early morning hours).
A marker of inflammation, C-reactive protein, was measured
during different parts of the day in obese patients (Punjabi &
Beamer, 2007). The conclusion of these medical scientists from the
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was in the title of the study, C-reactive
protein is associated with sleep disordered breathing independent of
adiposity. Hence, it is not just obesity, but disordered
breathing at night that can lead to inflammation: “…the results of this
study suggest that mechanisms other than adiposity per se could
contribute to the inflammatory state seen in adults with SDB [sleep
disordered breathing]” (Punjabi & Beamer, 2007).
Inflammation in the amnesic patients
Since inflammation can get worse during nights in many
patients, is it possible that cortisol production (cortisol is one of
the key hormones to fight inflammation) also decreases at nights?
German researchers suggested, “Some studies found patterns of enhanced
or blunted waking cortisol responses observed under chronic stress,
burnout, or post traumatic stress disorder… The morning cortisol
increase typically observed in healthy subjects and also observed in
the control group was absent in the amnesic patients… Further studies
are needed to understand the neurological or psychological mechanisms
leading to a missing morning cortisol response in amnesic
patients” (Wolf et al, 2005).
“Approximately two-thirds of women experience nausea or
vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms are
commonly known as morning sickness” (Flaxman & Sherman, 2000).
It is known that pregnancy of modern women means chronic
hyperventilation. Many of these women have even heavier breathing
during sleep in comparison with their usual daily chronic
hyperventilation. Hence, they often experience adrenal fatigue and high
morning cortisol and morning headache fatigue.
Conclusions. Most diseases appear and progress due to
heavy breathing during
early morning hours. Severely sick people are most likely to die during
the same time of the day (about 4-7 am). The real health of the person
can be only as good, as their morning CP measured immediately after
waking up. All previous tables and graphs do not reflect the full story
about health state of the sick people since all those measurements
(minute ventilation, CP, etc.) were done during daytime.
Causes of Heavy Breathing at Night
breathing during sleep
- Overeating or too late meals
- Poor quality of air and allergies
- Upper-chest breathing
- Sleeping on one's back
- Lack of physical exercise
- Lack of grounding to Earth
- Lack of essential nutrients and low blood cortisol levels
To solve the problem with morning hyperventilation is one of
the main goals of the Buteyko breathing method.
Note. These results (about heavy breathing and
critically low body oxygenation in the sick) also suggest that all our
previous considerations (Graphs and Tables about prevalence of
hyperventilation in the sick, their oxygenation, etc.) underestimate
the real picture. The real respiratory parameters in the sick patients are worse
than those that have been measured by doctors, scientists, and
researchers during daytime studies and investigations.
Two main causes of heavy breathing
at night and millions of deaths worldwide every year are: 1) sleeping
on one's back and 2) mouth
breathing at night. There are simple and specific methods or
techniques to address these and other problems. They can be found in
Learn Section of this
website. Any sick person has much less a chance of dying in his sleep if he or
caretaker apply some
simple techniques, such as mouth taping and prevention of supine sleep (see