It is known that modern people sleep around 7.5 hours per day on average. The study also found that sleep duration varies from person to person and generally gets shorter with aging: babies can sleep up to 12-18 hours per day, small children for 9-12 hours, teens around 8-10 hours, and adults from around 6 to 9 hours. It is also known that with the development of many chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, COPD, etc.), people generally need more time to sleep. Deliberate efforts to reduce sleep duration for all categories of people were unsuccessful, although some individuals may have shorter sleep requirements.
However, according to clinical observations about 200 Russian doctors practicing Buteyko’s self-oxygenation therapy, when ex-patients achieve superior body oxygenation, they naturally only need 2 hours of sleep and do not have the desire to sleep more. How does it work and why?
Almost all chronic conditions have tissue hypoxia (low body oxygenation) as a normal feature. In cases of cancer, heart disease, and COPD, poor cellular oxygenation is the main factor that determines disease progression and the treatment method used. At the same time, people’s breathing patterns relate or even define the body’s oxygenation. Let’s consider the connection between oxygenation, sleep, and breathing.
For people who are seriously ill and critically ill, oxygen is typically less than 10 in the body. (To measure oxygenation, exhale normally, and count the time to hold your breath in seconds, but only until the first signs of stress or first desire to breathe.) Most of these patients have very poor sleep quality, while sleep duration can up to 10-12 hours or more. The breathing patterns of these people, as we can see easily, deeply and heavily.
When these sick people reach around 35-40 seconds of oxygen in the body, they naturally only spend about 6 hours sleeping refreshingly. Most people who practice Buteyko oxygenation therapy are satisfied with this level of health because they do not experience the symptoms of their disease and do not need medication at this stage.
However, hundreds of Russians continue to progress further. They increase their body’s oxygenation for 2.5-3 minutes and find that their sleep time decreases naturally, once again without trying (!), To be just 2 hours. Dr. Buteyko and many of his medical colleagues are practical examples of this effect.
Amazingly, the same observation (about 2 hours of sleep in perfect health) can be found in books about other breathing training techniques “hatha yoga” (“hatha yoga” means “master breath”).
For both systems, hatha yoga and the Buteyko method, the goal is to reduce / hold breathing using special breathing exercises and natural methods. Physiologically, this goal makes sense because thousands of medical studies prove that the more we breathe (at rest), the less oxygen our tissue gets.
However, Buteyko’s method is more specific and scientific. It was developed by Doctor Buteyko during the 1960s when he led a secret project funded by the Soviet Ministry of Aviation and Space dedicated to the study of optimal air composition in spacecraft for the maximum oxygenation of the first Soviet astronauts. Buteyko studied the interactions between unconscious breathing patterns, breathing exercises, body oxygenation, and various systems of the human body. He realized that deep or large breathing reduced the body’s oxygenation and caused dozens of other physiological abnormalities.
There are different mechanisms for how the body’s breathing and oxygenation affect our sleep. They involve oxygenation and relaxation of our brain and muscles, central nervous system stability (excessive breathing makes nerve cells unstable), blood flow, work of the immune system, hormone activity, sympathetic parasympathetic balance, and many other processes.