Are you getting enough air?
Get a close pin and clip your nose. Try training. Fuck it's impossible! Try sleeping. Good luck haha. Yet that's what you are doing when you go about your life with a bad nose. When your septum is deviated, or your sinuses or mucous membranes are inflamed from allergies or irritants, you're not getting enough air. You get more air by clearing your breathing pathway. Here's how to open up your nose.
The "opening up your nose" program
This program is best tested as a pre-sleep routine. So that's how we're going to try this program.
Step 1: Go to the pharmacy and buy stuff
Any alcohol swabs will do. I recommend EXTRA sized nasal strips, they actually are stronger than normal sized strips and work significantly better. As for the Oxymetazoline based nasal decongestant spray, I think all Oxymetazoline spray products are standardized to 0.05% concentration, so it doesn't matter which you purchase. I bought a store brand at a US grocery chain (Publix).
Step 2: Use the stuff you bought
I recommend first trying this out an an hour before bed.
Snort and blow your nose for the next hour as the nasal passages begin clearing. You might notice it's a lot easier to breathe out of your nose. Great. Now go to sleep. You might have the best night of sleep you've ever had. One interesting observation you may make: you don't wake up to pee. Often when we wake up to pee at night, it's not because we have to pee, it's because we can't breathe... and then we just get up and pee while we're awakened.
Unfortunately, if you like this pre-sleep ritual you can't do it forever because Oxymetazoline is dangerous if used everyday.
Step 3: Make a diluted Oxymetazoline solution
Oxymetazoline is not a drug to dick around with. It's very powerful and you shouldn't use it for more than 3 days in a row at the normal over-the-counter doses: it can permanently damage your nasal passages if used long term. However, it is possible to safely use Oxymetazoline long term if it is diluted. So let's make a diluted version of the Oxymetazoline nasal spray.
Go back to the pharmacy and buy:
- An empty container for small liquids.
- A 1 mL dropper.
Roughly make a 5:95 solution of Oxymetazoline nasal spray to saline. (about 5% Oxymetazoline). Take these steps:
- Empty ALL of the Oxymetazoline nasal spray from its container into the empty container.
- Refill the original Oxymetazoline container with Saline solution to the top.
- Add back in 1 mL of the transferred Oxymetazoline back into its original container.
These instructions are for a 30 mL unit of Oxymetazoline nasal spray.
(IE. 30 mL of saline + 1 mL of Oxymetazoline + whatever is left on the inside walls of the original Oxymetazoline spray bottle is about 5%)
How precise is this dilution protocol? Well, it's not as precise as me using a pipette, but it's close enough.
When you use the diluted Oxymetazoline solution you should notice that it still works very well. Continue using the new diluted Oxymetazoline solution nightly with your nose strips.
This isn't the end of the road for us, let's add one final tweak, and then a very important last step on our journey towards ultimate nosery.
Step 4: Introduce the neti pot
Go acquire these items from a natural health food store or herbal shop:
- A neti pot
- Neti wash salt
- Distilled water
A neti pot will clear your nasal passages of debris and boogers. It's really quite cool! So start by filling your neti pot with room temperature distilled water and microwave for about 20 seconds, until luke warm. Add about 1/16th tsp of neti salt, mix, and then use. Repeat again for the other nostril. There are many instructions on the internet on how to use a neti pot for nasal irrigation. I'll let you google that yourself. Hell, your neti pot box probably has instructions on it somewhere. Don't use the neti pot immediately before bed.
- 60 minutes before bed: apply nose strip and use your new diluted Oxymetazoline solution.
- 45 minutes before bed: use neti pot.
So do this 15 minutes after you apply the nose strip and use your diluted Oxymetazoline solution. (the neti pot is more effective when your airways are already opened up). The reason you use the neti pot 45 minutes before bed instead of immediately before bed is because after you use the neti pot, you might bend over later and notice more water draining out of your nose. It happens. You need enough time before bed for it to drain or you'll be sleeping with water in your nose.
Now for the most important step in this program.
Step 5: Visit an ENT doctor
Make an appointment for an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat doctor). If you've never had an ENT doctor check your nose before, it's time to do it NOW. Schedule an appointment and then tell them you want a general checkup. While you are there, have them visually inspect for a deviated septum and report any trouble you may have had breathing. Here's something important to remember: the primary cause of a deviated septum is a blow to the nose.
Have you ever gotten in a fight, been hit in the nose by a ball, elbowed in the nose, or hit your face tricking? That's all it takes to deviate your septum permanently for the rest of your life. It's possible your nose was smacked, your septum then deviated, and you didn't even know it. It's possible you've been breathing crappy only recently the past few years. Visit an ENT. Now.
Here are at least two things the ENT may do. 1) If your septum is very deviated, they'll perform surgery like they did on my friend Armando. 2) If your nose isn't that bad, but isn't great, they may prescribe you a medicine safer for long term use than Oxymetazoline. Me? My septum is deviated, but only very mildly. The doctor said I may not benefit from a surgery. However, he noted my mucous membranes were severely inflamed, which is why I had so much trouble breathing out of my nose. What was inflaming them? Allergies. To what? Modern life. Probably caused by a host of unavoidable things floating around in the atmosphere from industry, traffic, household cleaners, by products of air conditioning, chemicals, you name it...
The doctor prescribed me medication for my inflamed nasal passages. I got a prescription for something called Dymista.
I love Dymista and it's what I'm using now instead of the Oxymetazoline for daily use. It's not as powerful as Oxymetazoline but there are fewer side effects and it's safer for long term use. I use it in the morning, and before sleeping. Dymista is an anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory, which reduces the swelling and allows me to breathe optimally.
Bonus: the "high air" pre-workout protocol
If you want more than just improved sleep quality through oxygen uptake you can try the "high air" pre-workout protocol. There are 3 ingredients...
You could do this once or twice a week long term, the limiting ingredient being the full strength Oxymetazoline spray (because I wouldn't use the full strength Oxymetazoline spray more than once or twice per week long term.) Experience the future of pre-workout trends, today, by stacking the "high air" pre-workout stack on top of your current pre-workout stack (preferably coffee, a mild pain killer, and some trending odd soon-to-be-illicit stimulant of some sort).
Why I wrote this
Air is the most anabolic substance on earth. If you aren't getting enough air because you have asthma or restrictions in your nasal passage like I discussed in this post, your gains will be stunted and your quality of life will be needlessly reduced. I realized I haven't been getting enough air when I breathe through my nose when my buddy Armando Figueroa shared his story with me. He inspired these instructions courtesy of his ENT, which I ran by my own ENT with confirmation, which I've shared here, that I've been using the past months with great effect. I now sleep much better, sometimes not waking up even once in the middle of the night! I am very thankful he motivated me to visit an ENT and get myself checked up.
Now it's time for you to try the protocol in this post and comment below. Then visit an ENT soon and let us know how your visit goes. Good luck!
If anyone can figure out a way to save money on nose strips please let me know! I'm going broke on these things and none of the DIY instructions online I've tried have worked!