Coronavirus: If you are a snorer or have sleep apnoea there is never been a more important time to correct your breathing. Virus infect via breathing primarily and mouth breathers have no natural filter, and they are breathing approx 3 times the volume of air. Also they have a more compromised immune system due to poor oxygenation of cells. Contact Brian for skype course.

ALL people who SNORE or who have SLEEP APNOEA have elevated Minute Volume Breathing.  This is totally overlooked by the majority of sleep treatments.

Sleep Apnoea & Snoring are BREATHING problems.

The only thing you are doing while sleeping is BREATHING. If you have been diagnosed with apnoea (apnea) please , please contact me on – by Retraining your Breathing  – most people can naturally eliminate loud snoring, and sleep apnoea totally and usually sleep quality dramatically improves in days … 

Sleep apnoea is a condition characterised by ‘stopping breathing’ while asleep for an abnormal duration and an abnormal frequency. This stopping and starting breathing results in poor quality sleep which means people are tired, wake un-refreshed and are often sleepy and fatigued during the day. There are two types of sleep apnoea; obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and the less common central sleep apnoea (CSA). If people present to a Doctor the Diagnosis is confirmed by a polysomnograph or ‘sleep study’.

People are then offered:

  1. Surgery, Trimming The Soft Palate
  2. Sleep with Dental Device, (Mandibular Advancement)
  3. Sleep with A Cpap Machine.

A Buteyko Course to retrain a person’s breathing back towards normal provides an excellent safe alternative to these “modern” treatments because it addresses the most common cause instead of just attempting to reduce the symptoms a pain killer.

The real cause of most respiratory problems is incorrect breathing, typically over breathing (usually too much mouth breathing over time).

When people breathe too much eg a panic attack they get dizzy and faint …. this is because too much breathing causes a lack of oxygen. Our breathing starts off perfect, babies don’t snore and they sleep nasal breathing, and gradually gets worse due mainly to our modern lifestyles.

SNORING is caused by breathing so heavy that it causes VIBRATIONS that you can hear.

When the snoring gets worse – ie the breathing is worse – this force of air creates a vacuum in your airways (OSA) or your brain (CSA) stops the breathing due to lack of oxygen (just like the panic attack) – this is called SLEEP APNOEA.

SLEEP APNOEA & SNORING are TREATED by sleep studies, splints or masks & CPAP machines which attempt (often at great expense ..) to reduce the “symptoms” in other words like a PAIN KILLER. People usually NEVER actually get better as they need this, often expensive, pain killer treatments forever ie lifelong dependence.

Buteyko Health’s experience with working with 1000s of people is ….

  1. The majority of people can avoid needing a CPAP machine, surgery or dental devices.
  2. If you have been using a CPAP machine, you should call to discuss your experience, you may be able to safely come off the machine and sleep better, and confirm this with another Sleep Study to show reduction or usually elimination of apnoea.
  3. When your breathing returns to a more normal level usually other conditions such as and hay fever, morning dry mouth, energy levels, sense of smell, reduction in snoring all improve.
  4. MANY people cannot successfully use a CPAP machine and MANY people do not want to use a CPAP machine.
  5. Improvements in sleep usually happen in days.
  6. All people should, if possible, do this breathing correction course, BEFORE they undertake these, expensive, uncomfortable and more invasive treatments.

The Buteyko view is that SLEEP APNOEA is the body’s defence against the way the person is breathing. The Breathing Retraining course to correct the breathing back to normal may resolve the root CAUSE , and hence overcomes the problem.

CPAP machines, if you can tolerate them, SLOWS sleep breathing by blowing against your out breath, this resistance can SLOW the breathing and the airway stays clear. This is only SYMPTOMATIC treatment because it only works while using it. CPAP can reduce minute volume breathing while sleeping. The Buteyko Method I teaches reduces minute volume breathing 24/7 often eliminating sleep apnoea and the need for CPAP. If you ONLY use a CPAP your future is 1) Increase the pressure as you breathing continues to get worse & 2) Long term dependence.

SNORING is caused by one thing only – the volume of air a person is pushing in and out through their breathing pipes at night.

Dental devices attempt to help with Mandibular Advancement Appliances but are often uncomfortable, expensive and can stretch the lower jaw permanently.

SNORING noise reduces within the first days of the Buteyko course and reduces right down as the person’s breathing returns to normal.

Breathless Sleep No More … is a Compelling Case Study of how Paul … through Breathing Retraining overcame Sleep Apnoea & Snoring and will inspire people to learn how to overcome Sleep Apnoea.

Most people are familiar with snoring and the negative effects it can have on relationships with partners and other members of the household. Snoring often leads to the onset of sleep apnoea. From the Buteyko perspective both sleep apnoea and snoring occur due to incorrect breathing, specifically over breathing or hyperventilation. People exert most control of their breathing and breathe smaller volumes of air when upright. The closer a person becomes to the horizontal position the deeper the breathing volume becomes and the more loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) there is from the lungs. The worst way to sleep is on the back with the mouth open without the use of a pillow. This is the situation in which the breathing volume increases significantly.

Typically, persons with sleep apnoea will display:

  • Apnoeas of between 10 seconds and 2 minutes or more
  • Snoring (though not always with CSA)
  • Restlessness, excessive movement/ kicking while asleep (restless legs)
  • Mouth breathing
  • Dental problems ie teeth grinding and malocculsion
  • Dry mouth/throat on waking
  • Waking unrefreshed, daytime tiredness, foggy thinking
  • Tendency to fall asleep in meetings and in front of the TV
  • Breathlessness on exercise

Normal sleep occurs in five stages: Stages 1,2,3,4, & REM (rapid eye movement).

Stages 3 & 4 are the most restful and deep sleep. But when a person is over breathing, or hyperventilating, they are prevented from easily reaching these stages and primarily remain in the light and easily disturbed sleep of stages 1 & 2. A person with sleep apnoea has the added difficulty of ‘arousal’ occurring each time an apnoea finishes with a gasping breath which drags the person near to consciousness though often they remain asleep. This explains why it often takes a long time for a person to accept that they have a problem needing investigation, much to the frustration of others!

The Buteyko Institute Method of breathing retraining (BIM) successfully reduces overbreathing (hyperventilation) and normal sleep patterns return. Physiologically, hyperventilation lowers the arterial and alveolar carbon dioxide (CO2) to the point where the breathing reflex is depressed -interpreted as an apnoea or hypopnoea to an observer. A hypopnea is when breathing is reduced by 50% or more. During cessation of breathing (apnoea) the CO2 slowly accumulates until it triggers the body to take the next breath. By correcting the breathing pattern the body no longer needs to suppress the breathing reflex as the CO2 level is maintained within normal limits.

When apnoeas no longer occur CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machines are no longer required and surgery can be avoided.

Other Sleep Disturbances

Sleeping disturbances can of course take other forms: insomnia, waking throughout the night, vivid chaotic dreams, night terrors, nightmares, sleep talking, sleep walking, excessive waking for urination, bed wetting and many more. The way that a person breathes pays a part in all of these conditions and correcting breathing patterns with Buteyko greatly reduces their occurrence. .

The different stages of sleep are very important to the body as the production of certain hormones and other chemicals occurs during certain stages. One of these hormones is ADH (Anti-Diuretic Hormone), which enables the body to concentrate the urine. People who hyperventilate during sleep will often need to void urine more frequently than others and will experience broken sleep due to nocturnal visits to the bathroom. Children will often be bed-wetters.

The Buteyko Institute Method of breathing retraining normalises both daytime and night-time breathing. A return to normal sleep patterns is observed in the vast majority of people who undertake the Buteyko course.

An article on Sleep Apnoea and the Buteyko Institute Breathing Method written by BIBH member Mary Birch has been published as the clinical feature article of the August 2004 issue of the ANJ (Australian Nursing Journal).

Download this excellent article & Case Study published by Mary Birch in Australian Nursing.


Brian Firth, B.Sc. Melb, Dip Ed
Sec Buteyko Institute of Breathing & Health


Buteyko Health, 273 Riding Rd
Balmoral Qld 4171 Australia

Phone: 0413 482 765

Int: +61413 482 765


Contact Me