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

Most civilization can hold their breath for somewhere in between 30 seconds and also up to 2 minutes.

You are watching: Average time for holding your breath

Why shot holding her breath longer?

There’s not necessarily an immediate, everyday advantage (other than a conversational icebreaker). However holding her breath have the right to save your life in details situations, like if you autumn off a boat.

The document for holding her breath might be tough to top. Follow to Guinness human being Records, Aleix Segura Vendrell that Barcelona, Spain, set the bar high in ~ 24 minutes and also 3 secs in February 2016.

Let’s gain into those happening in her body as soon as you hold your breath, what feasible side effects can occur if friend don’t do it right, and what services you can get out of holding her breath longer.


Here’s what happens to your body when you hold your breath. The times space approximate:

0:00 to 0:30. You could feel serene as you close her eyes and tune out the world around you.3:00 to 5:00. You’ll begin to feel lightheaded. As CO₂ builds to greater and higher levels, that pushes the oxygen out of your bloodstream and reduces the quantity of oxygenated blood traveling to her brain. 5:00 come 6:00. her body will start to shake as your muscles begin to uncontrollably contract. This is once holding your breath can end up being dangerous.6:00 and also longer. You’ll black out. Your mind badly demands oxygen, so that knocks you unconscious so her automatic breath mechanisms will certainly kick ago in. If she underwater, you’ll more than likely inhale water into your lungs, i beg your pardon is life threatening.

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

CO₂ buildup in your bloodstreamloss the consciousness, or blacking outalveolar hemorrhage, or bleeding in your lungsbuildup of danger reactive oxygen types (ROS), i m sorry happens because of long periods of short oxygen climate breathing oxygen ago in in ~ high levels, i beg your pardon can damages DNA

Yes, yet not if you’re over water.

When you black out, your body immediately starts breath again. Your lungs will certainly gasp for air because you’re programmed come inhale and exhale, also if she unconscious (like once you sleep).

If you underwater, the gasp because that air may let in a large volume of water.

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

But in most cases, blacking the end underwater from holding your breath is deadly.


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


If you interested in holding your breath longer, be sure to walk slowly. Use usual sense: Stop and breathe generally if you’re feeling dizzy or have any type of of the symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

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

Learn just how to take a deep, full breath. This requires your belly moving up and also down quite than her shoulders and chest. A full deep inhalation commonly takes around 20 seconds prior to you exhale.Learn to keep oxygen by complying with oxygen tables. It consists of holding her breath because that 1 minute, breathing generally for 2 minutes, and then increasing just how long you hold your breath by 15 seconds in between each rest, which remains 2 minutes each time.Alternate between CO₂ revolution apnea and also oxygen table exercises every day. Take a couple of hours off in between each exercise.Gradually increase the lot of time you hold your breath in her oxygen exercise by 15-second increments. Don’t sirloin this part. Host your breath until you start to feeling symptoms, favor lightheadedness. Boost your times as you feel safe and comfortable.

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

If you’d favor to learn how to organize your breath longer, don’t rush into it. It can be harmful or deadly if no done with safety in mind. Take her time, and try different approaches to check out what works for you.


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Medically the review by Debra rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — composed by Tim Jewell ~ above February 7, 2020