A few years ago, I heard an NPR interview about Breathing. The host interviewed, James Nestor, about his book titled Breath. It was the first time I heard someone discuss breathing and science together. Nestor previously wrote a book, DEEP, about free divers, these are divers who don’t use external oxygen when diving in the ocean. Both books are worth reading.

tldr; The basic premise of the Breath book is, as much as possible, breathe through your nose rather than your mouth.

There are all sorts of positives to nose breathing. The research suggests: more creative thinking, better sleep, better smelling breath, and more. Around the same time as reading the book, I saw mouth tape for sleeping become a trend on YouTube. (Which is funny since I’m rarely if ever on YouTube.). Anyway, My nose is often clogged due to increased allergeric reaction to various year-round seasonal air particles. In fact, as a youngster, I had numerous nose bleeds generally at night, but they could come on at anytime. I remember acing a Spanish final when I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the test to stop my nose from bleeing. Luckily, I grew out of the nose bleeding problem, and now I have given you too much information.

The point my nose is often clogged.

Given the circumstances, it was natural for me to gravitate to more mouth breathing. I did not mean for that to happen. It was not a conscious choice. Also, I was never a full-on heavy mouth breather, but I definitely breathed out of my mouth at night and at various other times. I remember running track workouts and heaving oxygen through my mouth. Given the research I read in Nestor’s book, I decided it was time for me to revisit my breath habits. It’s something I never really gave thought to. If Nose breathing could improve my life, why not try it.

I decided to get a roll of medical tape, and tape my mouth during my sleep. The first night I ripped the tape off immediately. However, my knowledge of habits and knowing that it takes more than one day to try something, I was not deterred. I continued the experiment for 30+ days. My wife mentioned that my snoring was diminished. I noticed I woke refreshed. I was converted.

One new pecularity, I notice I nose breath much more often. Now that I’m thinking about it and recogonizing my breath, I remind myself (less and less) to put my tongue up to the roof of my mouth just behind my front teeth and close my mouth which forces the airflow through my nostrils. Another pecularity, My nose is not clogged as often. I know this is coincidental, but it is around this same time that I can pinpoint the beginning of my weight loss.

Did Nose Breathing help me lose my stubborn excess weight? It’s possible that by using mouth tape to sleep, I got better sleep which helped me recover from workouts better which helped me exercise with more intensity and longer which then helped me to be more disciplined to eat less food while burning more calories which helped me to lose the excess weight. That’s a long run-on sentence. I feel like I’m writing a “breath” version of if you give a mouse a cookie. Anyway, I’d say its correlative at best.

It’s more likely that I was just more focused on my health and fitness and willing to experiment. The habit of nose breathing is not strong enough to withstand the relaxed muscles at sleep. So, I still use mouth tape to this day. I can tell the difference when I don’t. So, can my light-sleeping wife.

Now, here’s a disclaimer, I am not a doctor. If you snore, I’d highly recommend you talk to a doctor before experimenting with mouth tape. Snoring can be a sympton of a bigger problem. If you do decide to experiment, don’t use duct tape or tape your entire mouth. Use some high grade medical tape and just tape two strips up and down kind of like closing a wound. If you want, you can use the Somnifix mouth tape where you can still breathe out of the center of your mouth with the mesh tape.

Now, I often find myself nose breathing without even thinking about it. I even notice breathing through my nose while I’m swimming, but that sometimes will invite nose up the water. So, be careful there too.

Today’s Swim Workout 4100 yards

Dryland exercises today:

  • Warmup: Jog in place 60 seconds

4x the following:
– Calves: 12 X 15 Lb Standing Calf Raises
– Butt: 12 x straight Leg butt lifts (focus on moving leg at the hip while on all fours)

– Upper Abs: 15 crunches slow
– Lower Abs: 12 Knee-ups Reverse crunches
– Side Abs: 12 Oblique V-ups each side.
– Side Abs: 12 Russian Twists with 12lb kettle ball
– Back: 12 reverse crunches on exercise ball
– Transverse: 70 second plank

Today’s Swim


  • 150 yard freestyle (no flip turns easy)
  • 150 yard freestyle (flip turns moderate)
  • 100 yard backstroke
  • 100 yard brest stroke

Main Set

  • 500 Kick with Kick board the following:
    — 100 freestyle kick
    — 100 dolphin kick face down
    — 100 back kick face up
    — 100 breast kick face down
    — 100 freestyle kick
  • 500 Pull Buoy with Paddles:
    — 150 Freestyle
    — 100 Back Stroke
  • 1000 No tools:
    — 150 freestyle
    — 100 back stroke
  • 500 freestyle no tools
  • 500 Kick with Flippers and kickboard 2x:
    • 150 freestyle kick
    • 100 backstroke kick


  • 300 Freestyle with Pull Buoy and Paddles
  • 300 Freestyle no tools.

Stretching afterwards and 10 minutes of Sauna while breathing through the nose. 🙂

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