Breathe Yourself to Sleep – Part 2

Source: Health News


Box breathing, or square breathing, is often used in meditation and it’s a powerful tool to use against anxiety. The same technique can be used to calm yourself down before sleeping.
– Lie in bed or sit up with your back straight.
– Inhale through your nose for 4 counts.
– Hold your breath for 4 counts.
– Exhale out of your mouth for 4 counts, making sure to get all of the air out of your lungs.
– Hold your breath for 4 counts.
– Repeat this as many times as needed.

The Papworth method is used to help you breathe more naturally, reducing yawning and sighing. Did you just yawn reading that? You probably did
– Sit up straight.
– Breathe out of either your mouth or your nose, focusing on counting to 4 with each inhale in a methodical manner.
– Keep your focus on your stomach rising and falling, listening to the sounds your breaths make.

If the breathing exercises aren’t working for you, don’t worry. There are other ways to get yourself to sleep!

Your body already produces melatonin — a hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep — so, it’s all natural! If you want to try taking melatonin to sleep, start with a dose of around .5 milligrams up to 3 milligrams taken 2 hours before your desired bedtime.

With melatonin, it’s all about the timing and not the dose. It is not a potent sleep aid, but really helps in shifting your circadian rhythm in the right direction if taken appropriately. Always consult with your doctor to make sure melatonin doesn’t interact with any of the medicines you’re already taking!

Here’s a little aromatherapy for you: studies have shown simply smelling lavender can help put people to sleep.
You can diffuse lavender essential oil in your bedroom or try spraying lavender sleeping spray onto your pillow so you fall into a bed of lavender every night (just make sure it’s actual lavender essential oil and not an artificial “fragrance”).

Valerian root is an herb commonly used to help curb anxiety and promote good sleep. An older 1985 study showed that participants felt they fell asleep faster after taking 450 milligrams and 900 milligrams of valerian root. You can take this supplement by capsule 30 minutes before bed or you can steep 2 to 3 grams of dried valerian root in hot water for 10 minutes for some DIY sleepy tea.

If you’re still struggling to get some rest, talk to your doctor about exploring other options for your best night’s sleep.

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