How to Get More Air Through Your Nose

Many people have difficulty getting enough air through the nose and breathe primarily through the mouth. Mouth breathing can cause problems such as snoring, dry mouth, sleep problems and fatigue. Issues like a crooked nasal septum, allergies or weak, flimsy nostrils can make nose breathing a challenge. Following a few tips can help you breathe easier.

A woman breathing deeply outside. (Image: AntonioGuillem/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wear nasal dilator strips. Apply a strip on the outside of the bridge of your nose, a little higher than half way up. An adhesive holds the strip in place, and the strip itself is flexible and acts like a spring to pull your nasal passage open. Experiment with different positions on your nose to see if dilator strips will work for you.

Step 2

Apply a nasal saline spray into your nostrils to help clear out mucous and act as a mild decongestant. Obtain an over-the-counter spray, or mix 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and a pinch of baking soda in 1 cup of lukewarm water. Pour the solution into a fine-mist spray bottle for use.

Step 3

Don't eat for at least three hours before you go to bed. Eating too soon before bed can cause gastric juices to leak into your nose as you sleep, causing swelling.

Step 4

Wash your bedsheets often, in the hottest water possible, to deter allergens like dust that might interfere with your breathing.

Step 5

Practice breathing techniques to clear a stuffy nose. Breathe three breaths lightly through your nose, then hold your breath after the third. Hold your breath for as long as possible, then breathe in gently through your nose, as normal.

Things You'll Need

  • Nasal strips

  • Nasal spray

  • Sea salt

  • Baking soda

  • Fine-mist bottle

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