Are you holding your breath?
Many people hold their breath. You may breath hold whilst doing activities, concentrating or sleeping. It is often worse during periods of stress or threat or maybe waiting for something to happen or anticipating. ‘Don’t hold your breath’ is a common phrase used with regard to waiting or anticipating something which might not even happen.
It may be that you are breathing in a very shallow way or holding your breath for periods of time. One of the signs of breath holding is frequent sighing or yawning.
Many people that have pain breath hold. They can be very tense in their abdomen and diaphragm.
Breath holding at night is increasingly recognised and diagnosed as sleep apnoea. There can be many symptoms from night time breath holding including feeling tired all the time, headaches, falling asleep during the day.
For people who hold their breath a lot when they do breathe they are often upper chest breathing. Belly breathing can be quite difficult if you are a habitual breath holder.
Being aware of times when you are more prone to breath holding can help to resolve symptoms. Exercises can help you to breathe more deeply. If you suspect you have sleep apnoea you need to see a GP for further investigations.