Scientists say resting easy, oxygen promotes deep, restorative sleep

on 16 December 2018
brain magic while we sleep

We all know the importance of breathing but, according to much research, less than 10% of the world know how to breathe properly. Since breathing is essential, why not discover how to do it properly? Instead of just be willing to survive, why not breathe to thrive . . . 

To be perfect in body and mind is the essence of life!

The Roman's had a beautiful saying, "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano" meaning a healthy mind in a healthy body. Diaphragmatic breathing has long been associated with calming the mind and body and that is a consequence of how it is hard-wired into our system and influences the sympathetic nervous system, taking us into fight or flight and the parasympathetic nervous system, taking us into the relaxation response. It is because of this, that I stress the importance of Maslow's basic needs, air, liquids and food. I make a point of liquids, rather than just water, because we need more than water alone. Of course, water is vital but too much is not good either, we need to maintain electrolyte balance.

Air is our most basic need and we can only survive a few minutes without it. However, somewhere between birth and adulthood, we stop breathing diaphragmatically and develop chest breathing. Whilst we will breathe in a way that allows us to survive, we stop breathing in a way that will allow us to survive. That is why I place an emphasis on the importance of these basic needs. However, as this research implies, breathing deeper into our lungs, promotes specific changes and benefits while we are asleep, it also has specific benefits throughout our whole body, if we breathe diaphragmatically all the time. Not every breathe has to be deep but every diaphragmatic breath, is, by its very nature deeper and that is what goes towards creating Mens Sana in Corpore Sano!

In my practice, it is very easy to observe the change in the way a client breathes during hypnosis and the more deeply they, observably, breathe, the deeper the trance they report experiencing. It is in these deeper, REM states that the effect of hypnosis occurs. This is a consequence of both theta brainwaves (REM and NonREM2) and PGO (Ponto Geniculo Occipital) waves. PGO waves have their generators in the thalamus and stimulate pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus neurons in the upper pons, specifically in the region of the reticular formation. This is a very fundamental area and plays an important part in our subconscious awareness, influencing and, perhaps, guiding confirmation bias.

In some sense, hypnosis recalibrates our confirmation bias by reconsolidating memories and thus allowing them to express themselves differently or not at all. When certain memories fail to express, the resultant behaviour no longer occurs. This is most noticeable in negative or strong emotionally charged memories, the type that leads to anxiety, distress or depression. This is important because all human negative/unwanted behaviour will have these codependent conditions as part of the overall condition and these need to be dealt with ahead of completing the treatment.

So, whether you are in therapy, wish you were, or not, learning to breathe properly is going to be a great aid in making life calmer and, eventually, better. From there you can build a better future!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better,  then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here Or, to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so here

The Research: 

Exposure to high levels of oxygen encourages the brain to remain in deep, restorative sleep, according to a new study by the University of Alberta neuroscientists. The researchers administered high levels of oxygen to anaesthetized and naturally sleeping animal models, and examined the resulting activity in their brains.

"We found that when we administer oxygen, our subjects' brains switch out of active sleep, and remain in a deactivated, slow-wave state the entire time," explained Brandon Hauer, PhD student in the neuroscience graduate program administered by the cross-faculty Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute. "Interestingly, when we removed the oxygen, the brain started cycling back through active, or rapid-eye-movement, sleep again."

Deactivated or slow-wave sleep is the deepest stage of sleep, during which the brain oscillates at a very slow, once-per-second rhythm.

"This seems to be the stage where metabolites are cleared from the brain, muscles grow, and proteins reform," said Hauer, who conducted the research under the supervision of Professor Clay Dickson in the Department of Psychology. "Slow-wave sleep seems to be especially suited to recovery for both the brain and body." Slow-wave sleep also plays a role in memory consolidation.

The researchers also showed that when exposed to less than normal levels of oxygen, the brain remains inactive, or rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. "Interestingly, we saw a rebound effect after the brain remained in REM sleep, in which the brain reverted to slow-wave sleep for a longer duration as if it missed out on the slow-wave sleep during the activated stage," added Hauer.

The research highlights the potential for oxygen therapy for humans in a clinical setting.

"Oxygen therapy could be used to enhance slow-wave states during sleep to ensure that individuals who may have disrupted sleep are getting enough of the restorative, slow-wave sleep," said Dickson. "Of course, this has to be tested first before this could become a therapeutic reality."

Story Source:

Materials provided by the University of Alberta. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Brandon E. Hauer, Biruk Negash, Kingsley Chan, Wesley Vuong, Frederick Colbourne, Silvia Pagliardini, Clayton T. Dickson. Hyperoxia enhances slow-wave forebrain states in urethane-anaesthetized and naturally sleeping rats. Journal of Neurophysiology, 2018; 120 (4): 1505 DOI: 10.1152/jn.00373.2018

Cite This Page:

The University of Alberta. "Resting easy: Oxygen promotes deep, restorative sleep: Neuroscientists point to the potential for oxygen therapy for disrupted sleep." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2018. <>.