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Should Oxygen Saturation Increase, Decrease, Or Not Change During Meditation

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Posted on Thu, 23 Jun 2022
Question: Should oxygen saturation increase, decrease, or not change during meditation deep/slow abdominal breathing exercises, or does it not matter? I typically breathe deeply and slowly, mainly through my abdomen. My SPO2 often goes from around 98% at baseline to around 96% after a few minutes. My pulse also decreases, often to the low 60s. I feel relaxed, but often it seems like an SPO2 of at least 98% is described by lung experts as being better than a lower value. I sometimes, however, see meditation described as a "hypometabolic" state with lower oxygen consumption (and maybe lower oxygen saturation?), although other times it seems writers say that oxygen saturation should increase with deep breathing. Even though my SPO2 often slightly decreases, it feels like a nice, peaceful experience, although when I notice the oxygen is lower, I start to worry. I also sometimes feel a bit "out of it" for a few seconds when meditating, but I think it is just because I'm not used to being very relaxed. I always feel back to normal within a few seconds of stopping. I sometimes worry that I might not be meditating right or might be doing harm if the SPO2 drops, and worry that if I stop measuring my SPO2 while meditating, it might go even lower without my realizing it. It can be distracting to keep checking my SPO2 while meditating though. I appreciate your advice.
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Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar (2 days later)
Brief Answer:
During sleep and meditation, oxygen saturation can low.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Ask a doctor forum.
I can understand your concern.
During sleep and meditation, oxygen saturation can drop to 91- 92.
This is normal.
No need to worry for this.
If oxygen saturation is above 90 without any symptoms, no need to worry or recheck oxygen all the time.
This will give you more stress.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2241 Questions

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Should Oxygen Saturation Increase, Decrease, Or Not Change During Meditation

Brief Answer: During sleep and meditation, oxygen saturation can low. Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on Ask a doctor forum. I can understand your concern. During sleep and meditation, oxygen saturation can drop to 91- 92. This is normal. No need to worry for this. If oxygen saturation is above 90 without any symptoms, no need to worry or recheck oxygen all the time. This will give you more stress. Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.