Review – Breathless Sleep… No More

My first sight of Paul’s book was the two pictures taken before and after he had undertaken a Buteyko Institute method (BIM) course of breathing retraining. They set the scene of his journey from what he thought was a healthy young man struggling to meet the deadlines of a demanding job, marriage and young family, to the frustration of being constantly tired and unable to have restful refreshing sleep. The difference in the shape of his face, particularly his jawline, is remarkable and testament to nasal breathing assisting to realign the normal face shape.

Paul tells how he has been affected by sleep apnoea for almost a third of his life but was unaware of this until the more recent past and after making his own discovery could link the symptoms to his mother’s health. His condition affected every part of his waking and sleeping hours and caused his wife much angst as she would at regular intervals have to rouse him as he had stopped breathing. This pattern became the norm with days of weariness and fatigue due to short fitful sleeping periods. His interest was raised when he attended a free seminar which informed of the link between breathing fatigue and apnoeas. This was treated with some scepticism but after implementing some of the strategies he had been advised, he felt a definite improvement.

Paul’s story takes the reader down a path of anticipation, hope, despair, resolution and then new hope and symptom resolution. Paul has interspersed his experience with referenced facts giving credibility to his writing and the benefits of breathing retraining. He has included his pre and post BIM sleep studies detailing the degree of apnoea and the impact this was having on his body and the improvement noted following the completion of the course.

This is a must read for anybody with a sleep problem as it gives a clear concise explanation of the functions of nasal vs mouth breathing and the impact this has on all body functions. It is a well written and explained account of one of the most complex systems of the body and the impact caused by its dysfunction.

The first thing you do when you enter this earth, is inhale your first breath- the last thing before you leave is exhale – the joy of working with breathing retraining is making the length of time between the first and last breath longer” (J. McGowan interview with N. Stone)

This is what Paul has experienced and he will never forget the benefits of it.

Dr Jill McGowan

Ed.D. MN (Ed &Mngt) Dip.FEd (Mst). Dip CPN. RGN.RNMD.