Energy management: Why do we feel exhausted after a day’s work without having a physically demanding work?



Tired already? Here’s one way to better manage your energy.



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Evidence for immune system involvement 




Non, la fatigue chronique n'a rien à voir avec la paresse : c'est une pathologie organique.…



Un dépressif a la force physique d'agir, il ne lui manque que l'envie.

Un fatigué chronique, lui, a mille envies, mais n'a pas la force.


"...pour un autre il faut se reposer toute la journée afin de tenir le choc d'une soirée entre amis"



Stress Apnea: Spontaneous breath holding due to stress

similar to shallow breathing ("hypopnea")

(relevant to sleep apnea)


Different expressions related to "Holding your Breath": (1) The audience held their breath as the magician started doing that dangerous trick; (2) I have been holding my breath hoping that they will call me back for an interview; (3) They may get married, but don't hold your breath.

The discussion on this subject has been inititated by Linda Stone, using the term "Email Apnea"
Although Linda associates it with email reading, it could be argued that different causes that are linked to anxiety could have the same manifestations (e.g. watching a magician trick).


On a Google search for "Email Apnea" two videos come up (citing Linda). They seem to relate this observation exclusively to text reading.

Expert Warns Doing This While Checking Your Messages Can Cause ‘Email Apnea’
December 8, 2014


Seen On CBS2: The Perils Of Technology, The Dangers Of ‘Email Apnea’

Experts: Anticipation Of What's In Emails Or Texts Leads To Spontaneous Breath HoldingNovember 24, 2014


What is the mechanism of breathing?

As mentioned at this link and as this animation shows, the diaphragm is a dome-like muscle which contracts rythmically and continuously and most of the times involontary, although we can also control it by our will. In relaxation it is curved like this ∩. 

If we take a full breath, then this muscle is flattened entirely and also the adjacent abdominal muscles are pushed downwards; this is why we see our belly (abdomen) move. The optimal breathing is diaphragmatic breathing, also called abdominal, although some yogis distinguish these as mentioned in wikipedia. If we breathe a little and out breath is "caught", we only see our chest or thorax expand (thoracic breathing). And finally, if we breath minimally, then we only fill the upper part of the lungs and we are doing clavicular breathing; also our shoulders may be raised a little as a stress reflex.

How do different people breathe?



What are the consequences of inefficient breathing?

As we have learnt in school, our cells produce energy by breaking down (lysing) the 6-carbon molecule glucose using oxygen, in a process called "glycolysis":

C6H12O6 + 6O2 -->6CO2  + 6H2O +ATP

Each glucose molecule (6-carbon molecule) will be broken down and will give 6 carbon dioxide molecules.

If you want to fit this reaction in the general scheme of things, and of gas exchange in particular, here is an informative video

As expected, inefficient breathing will not provide us with the vital oxygen and will not remove the carbon dioxide waste product. Energy production will be influenced. Additional information:



Gas Exchange

Oxygen (O2) is the most immediate need of every cell and is carried throughout the body by the blood circulation. Oxygen is used at the cellular level as the final electron acceptor in the electron transport chain (the primary method of generating ATP for cellular reactions). Oxygen is carried in the blood bound to hemoglobin molecules within red blood cells. Hemoglobin binds oxygen when passing through the alveoli of the lungs and releases oxygen in the warmer, more acidic environment of bodily tissues, via simple diffusion.


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is removed from tissues by blood and released into the air via the lungs. Carbon dioxide is produced by cells as they undergo the processes of cellular respiration (particularly the Kreb's Cycle). The molecules are produced from carbons that were originally part of glucose. Most of the carbon dioxide combines with water and is carried in the plasma as bicarbonate ions. An excess of carbon dioxide (through exercise, or from holding ones breath) quickly shifts the blood pH to being more acidic (acidosis). Chemoreceptors in the brain and major blood vessels detect this shift and stimulate the breathing center of the brain (the medulla oblongata). Hence, as CO2 levels build up and the blood becomes more acidic, we involuntarily breathe faster, thus lowering CO2 levels and stabilizing blood pH. In contrast, a person who is hyperventilating (such as during a panic attack) will expire more CO2 than being produced in the body and the blood will become too alkaline (alkalosis).