Medically the review by Debra climbed Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — created by Tim Jewell top top February 7, 2020

Most civilization can host their breath for somewhere between 30 seconds and also up come 2 minutes.

You are watching: Holding your breath until you pass out

Why shot holding your breath longer?

There’s not necessarily an immediate, everyday advantage (other 보다 a conversational icebreaker). But holding her breath deserve to save your life in details situations, choose if you autumn off a boat.

The record for holding your breath may be difficult to top. According to Guinness civilization Records, Aleix Segura Vendrell that Barcelona, Spain, set the bar high at 24 minutes and 3 seconds in February 2016.

Let’s obtain into what’s happening in her body when you hold your breath, what possible side impacts can happen if girlfriend don’t execute it right, and also what benefits you can get out the holding your breath longer.


Here’s what happens to her body once you hold your breath. The times room approximate:

0:00 come 0:30. You might feel calm as girlfriend close her eyes and also tune out the world roughly you.3:00 to 5:00. You’ll start to feeling lightheaded. As CO₂ builds to greater and higher levels, that pushes the oxygen the end of her bloodstream and also reduces the lot of oxygenated blood traveling to her brain. 5:00 come 6:00. her body will begin to shake together your muscles begin to uncontrollably contract. This is as soon as holding your breath can end up being dangerous.6:00 and longer. You’ll black color out. Your brain badly needs oxygen, so it knocks girlfriend unconscious so her automatic breathing mechanisms will kick earlier in. If she underwater, you’ll more than likely inhale water into your lungs, i beg your pardon is life threatening.

Holding her breath too long deserve to have some side effects, including:

CO₂ buildup in her bloodstreamloss of consciousness, or blacking outalveolar hemorrhage, or bleeding in her lungsbuildup of dangerous reactive oxygen types (ROS), i m sorry happens due to long periods of low oxygen climate breathing oxygen ago in at high levels, which can damage DNA

Yes, yet not if you’re over water.

When you black out, her body instantly starts breath again. Her lungs will certainly gasp for air due to the fact that you’re programmed come inhale and exhale, even if she unconscious (like when you sleep).

If you’re underwater, the gasp for air might let in a large volume the water.

Inhaling water isn’t constantly fatal if you resuscitated by CPR or have actually the water pumped out of your lungs through emergency responders.

But in many cases, blacking out underwater native holding her breath is deadly.


Holding your breath, and also generally enhancing breathing and lung function, has actually useful, possibly lifesaving benefits, including:


If she interested in holding her breath longer, be sure to walk slowly. Use common sense: Stop and also breathe normally if you’re emotion dizzy or have any type of of the symptom of oxygen deprivation.

Here’s a step-by-step overview to train yourself just how to host your breath longer:

Learn exactly how to take it a deep, full breath. This entails your belly moving up and also down quite than your shoulders and chest. A full deep inhalation normally takes around 20 seconds prior to you exhale.Learn to keep oxygen by adhering to oxygen tables. It is composed of holding her breath because that 1 minute, breathing normally for 2 minutes, and also then increasing exactly how long you host your breath by 15 seconds in between each rest, which remains 2 minutes every time.Alternate in between CO₂ static apnea and also oxygen table exercises every day. Take a couple of hours off between each exercise.Gradually increase the amount of time you host your breath in her oxygen exercise by 15-second increments. Don’t sirloin this part. Hold your breath until you begin to feeling symptoms, like lightheadedness. Increase your times as you feel safe and also comfortable.

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Holding her breath isn’t simply a swimming pool party trick. It deserve to save her life in details situations and also may have other physiological benefits.

If you’d like to learn just how to host your breath longer, nothing rush into it. It deserve to be harmful or fatal if no done with security in mind. Take her time, and try different methods to view what works for you.


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Medically reviewed by Debra climbed Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — written by Tim Jewell on February 7, 2020