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

Most people can organize their breath because that somewhere in between 30 seconds and up to 2 minutes.

You are watching: Can you hold your breath until you die

Why shot holding her breath longer?

There’s no necessarily one immediate, everyday benefit (other than a conversational icebreaker). However holding your breath can save her life in certain situations, choose if you autumn off a boat.

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

Let’s get into those happening in her body when you host your breath, what feasible side impacts can occur if friend don’t execute it right, and also what services you can obtain out that holding her breath longer.

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

0:00 come 0:30. You could feel calm as you close your eyes and tune the end the world around you.3:00 come 5:00. You’ll start to feeling lightheaded. Together CO₂ builds to higher and greater levels, the pushes the oxygen the end of her bloodstream and also reduces the lot of oxygenated blood traveling to your brain. 5:00 come 6:00. her body will start to shake together your muscles start to uncontrollably contract. This is once holding her breath can become dangerous.6:00 and longer. You’ll black out. Your mind badly needs oxygen, so that knocks girlfriend unconscious so her automatic breathing mechanisms will kick ago in. If you underwater, you’ll more than likely inhale water right into your lungs, i m sorry is life threatening.

Holding her breath also long can have part side effects, including:

CO₂ buildup in your bloodstreamloss the consciousness, or blacking outalveolar hemorrhage, or bleeding in your lungsbuildup of danger reactive oxygen varieties (ROS), i m sorry happens due to long durations of short oxygen climate breathing oxygen back in at high levels, i beg your pardon can damages DNA

Yes, however not if you’re above water.

When you black out, your body immediately starts breathing again. Her lungs will certainly gasp for air since you’re programmed to inhale and exhale, also if you’re unconscious (like once you sleep).

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

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

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

Holding her breath, and also generally improving breathing and lung function, has useful, perhaps lifesaving benefits, including:

If you interested in holding her breath longer, be certain to go slowly. Use typical sense: Stop and also breathe generally if you’re feeling dizzy or have any of the symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

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

Learn just how to take it a deep, full breath. This involves your belly moving up and also down rather than her shoulders and also chest. A complete deep inhalation normally takes about 20 seconds before you exhale.Learn to keep oxygen by adhering to oxygen tables. It is composed of holding your breath for 1 minute, breathing generally for 2 minutes, and then increasing just how long you organize 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 quantity of time you organize your breath in her oxygen practice by 15-second increments. Don’t sirloin this part. Organize your breath till you begin to feeling symptoms, like lightheadedness. Boost your times together you feeling safe and comfortable.

See more: Do Mushrooms Go Bad? How Long Do Mushrooms Stay Good How Long Do Mushrooms Last

Holding her breath isn’t just a pool party trick. It have the right to save her life in details situations and may have actually other physiological benefits.

If you’d like to learn just how to host your breath longer, don’t rush right into it. It can be harmful or fatal if not done with safety in mind. Take her time, and try different techniques to see what functions for you.


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