TedG954 wrote:Just like how your lungs crave air during exertion, I would think that you are breathing more shallow because that is all your body requires while sleeping. I note my own shallower breaths in the morning vs first going to bed. I don't think it's a problem. Am I wrong?
I do know that your breathing is directly tied to your heart rate / output. If you think about it, breathing faster would give you more oxygen, and thus your heart would need to move blood through your lungs faster in order to absorb all of the available oxygen.
From what I understand though, sleeping is usually characterized by slower, longer deep breathing.
[Sleeping is "parasympathetic", which means that you should be relaxed and providing minimal exertion. In contrast, a "sympathetic" response would have you breathing short, fast shallow breaths. Imagine when you get scared/surprised, and you say "My heart is racing" - you're also breathing very fast.]
I think you're right about the fact that your body needs less oxygen, since you're not being very active. As long as the breathing isn't rapid, then I suppose it wouldn't really be a problem.
*By the way - sorry if I'm being overly analytical in my response. But if I said anything incorrectly, please let me know - I'm currently studying for the MCAT's, and I'm hoping that I've got a pretty good grasp on this...