Okay, try this. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose. Nice isn’t it? Well, now pinch your nose so that you can’t suck any air in and then relax your grip slightly so that only a tiny amount can get in. Now breathe like that through your nose for a minute or so. It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? Just like having a cold. Frustrating and eventually you’ll want to let go of your nose or breathe through your mouth. Well, that’s what it’s like all the time for me. My nasal passages are pretty narrow and this means that I can’t really breathe through my nose at all – it’s like it’s permanently blocked.
This is the reason I never sleep more than 3-4 hours at any one time. My brain has worked out that my nose is useless and so when I fall asleep I automatically breathe through my mouth. This means that after a couple of hours my mouth gets extremely dry. And then it gets so dry that I wake up and take a swig of juice. I then go back to sleep again and the whole cycle continues.
To be honest, this has never really bothered me and I’ve never really noticed it. Until now. You see I’ve found a way to breathe like a normal human being. I’ve discovered nasal strips. These are pieces of self-adhesive plastic that you place over your nose. They have the effect of widening the nasal passages and increase the oxygen intake of an athlete. Whether they do any good or not to athletes is questionable, but the change they make to me is incredible.
My long-suffering girlfriend happened to get a free packet of them and I decided to put one on just for fun. And as soon as I did it changed my life (I’m not exaggerating). I could breathe through my nose! I could suck in a deep breath without fighting for it! I could close my mouth and not suffocate within a few minutes! So I’ve worn them for the past couple of nights. My brain still makes me breathe through my mouth when I sleep (it’s tough to teach your brain new tricks), but the feeling of being able to breathe properly is like a drug – and I love it. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe how wonderful it is.
But come morning my dream wears off. I get up and wander over to the shower and realise that I’m going to have to take the strip off. I’m breathing normally with it on and I think to myself that “it won’t be that bad” and maybe my nose will be okay this time. But as soon as I remove it, my nose is back to normal and it feels like someone has put cotton wool up my nostrils. It’s terrible. Like Cinderella after the ball when her carriage turns back into a pumpkin.
So I have two choices: either I go and buy another box of strips and just wear them in the evening – removing them and coming down to earth the following morning. Or I could go and have surgery to widen my nostrils. I’m not sure I can be bothered with an operation, although my company offers free private health care so it’s tempting. I’ll persist with the nasal strips for now, as I can live without having my nostrils altered, but I just had to write down how wonderful being able to breathe is. So go on, spend the next ten minutes breathing through your nose only. I certainly won’t be able to without sounding like a vacuum cleaner or collapsing with asphyxia. But you can for me!