TV often trivialises important issues.

Last week I unwittingly became part of that. It’s a more complex issue, so here is a more complete picture behind the scenes …

Channel 7 Sunrise approached me because they had heard about the $2 tape that helps people get a better night’s sleep.

They came to my surgery on Wednesday to film an interview for a story last Friday. I pointed out that the sleep issue was more complicated than that, so they filmed me answering some questions about sleeping and breathing. I was with them for a longer time, but they can only show a small percentage of that.

I want to ensure everyone has all the information in context, so I’m sharing this. I knew the segment would be short, so I kept my responses to the camera short, and it went something like this…

* Why is sleep important?

Sleep is the most essential part of your day. It’s your very own built-in life-support system. It helps build physical, mental and emotional resilience and positively affects every health measure. It’s been described as the ‘Swiss army knife of healthcare.

* three key questions we routinely ask our patients.

1. Is it easy to fall asleep? ( it should take 20-30 mins max).

2. Do you wake up at night to go to the bathroom? (there are many reasons for this, but disordered breathing is one).

3. Most importantly, do you wake up refreshed? ( the consistent answer should be yes).

* What is a good night’s sleep?

A consistently good night’s sleep is a function of quantity and quality. For 95% of the adult population, that means 7-9 hours per night. As far as quality is concerned, that is about how well you breathe while you sleep.

* What does breathing well mean?

There’s a difference between just breathing and breathing well. Breathing helps balance our body chemistry (acid/alkali) by balancing carbon dioxide in our lungs. Breathing slowly and gently is essential.

Using the nose: Noses Are for breathing, and mouths are for feeding. Noses warm, humidify and filter the air before we take it into our lungs. Nasal breathing promotes nitric oxide production, which improves circulation throughout the body and is a critical body regulator. Using your diaphragm means you use more of your lungs, massages your internal organs and is suitable for your pelvic floor.

Listen: Dr Ron Ehrlich interviews Roger Price. The post continues after the audio.

* What if I can’t breathe through my nose?

Use the micropore tape diagnostically to see if your nose is blocked. When you do this, there are three possibilities.

  1. Your nose is not blocked.
  2. You thought your nose was blocked, but once you put the tape on and the body chemistry was more balanced, your nose unblocked.
  3. Your nose is blocked, so you may have a food sensitivity, be sensitive to household dust mites or mould or have a structural problem. You must seek help from an integrative doctor, building biologist or ENT. )

* …. finally, if your nose is not blocked, using Micropore tape at night to promote nasal breathing may help with a better night’s sleep.

This has been part of many breathing retraining courses, including Buteyko, and some interesting research is emerging to support its use. Here is the article

I have used it for many years and have many patients and found it dramatically helps sleep quality.

Unfortunately, the Sunrise program only made a story out of the last point. “a $2 piece of tape that guarantees a perfect night’s sleep”….. ‘guarantee’ is a big claim, and it would be better to substitute that for ‘may help’. I’ll ask them to make the change.

I was disappointed that the complete story wasn’t edited in, but it reminds me how media often deals with important issues and reminds me to be far more careful in what I agree to be part of.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

Be well,

Dr Ron.