The Link Between Muscles, Breathing and a Good Night’s Sleep
Parents face increasing challenges when it comes to children and bedtime. Devices distract, while less time spent outdoors means less activity – and more energy.
When the little ones do have a great day of play and fall fast asleep, the goal is simple: a good night’s rest.
A child should wake up in the morning energetic and happy. A tired, groggy child is a sign that the full benefit of sleep has not been achieved… even if they put the full night in.
Modern lifestyles and mental stimuli have impact but we can look to the past and find another issue: weak orofacial development.
Children who are tired – whether they have a good night’s sleep or not – may have a weakness in orofacial development. This issue starts with muscles and bones in the jaw, which affect respiration and, ultimately, rest.
This might be because of mouth breathing; our brains get more oxygen when we breathe through our noses. Nasal breathing during sleep is important for good oxygenation of the brain. One cause of mouth breathing is muscles simply not having the strength or endurance to hold the lips together.
Orofacial health can be developed by chewing. Humans evolved to breastfeed, and after the child is weaned off of breast milk and onto food that food was traditionally harder to chew – leading to activated neurology or ‘brain messaging’ for jaw development.
The soft puree foods of today do not promote this crucial phase of jaw muscle development. That’s one reason why chewing Munchee is a great habit for children.
If your child is tired or grumpy in the morning, check their mouth posture. Is it open at rest or while playing? Sometimes, a nose-breather may have an open mouth while playing or during other activities.
Check at night to see if their lips are fully closed. If not, their tired days could be a result of weak jaw and facial muscles.
Munchee is very helpful for this issue. From 18 months on, chewing the Munchee reactivates the child’s muscle groups.
Exercising the muscles and bones of the jaw prepares children for the introduction of harder-to-chew foods. This helps seal lips together so that the nose is used for breathing at night, the brain gets proper oxygen and the child is rested upon waking up.