Breathe Yourself to Sleep: Exercises to Help You Nod Off

Source: Health News

You’ve been here before: Laying in bed, staring at your ceiling, wondering when you’re going to fall asleep. You might be exhausted and begging for rest, but your mind just won’t cooperate. Well, you’re definitely not alone: According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, insomnia affects 30 to 35 percent of adults.

It’s frustrating, but you can actually combat sleeplessness just by using your breath! These breathing exercises for sleep can help you drift off to dreamland in no time.

You can count on the 4-7-8 breathing technique (based on yogic breathing) to help you catch some Zzz’s!
– Gently part your lips.
– Exhale completely, making a big whooshing or sighing sound.
– Close your lips and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
– Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
– Exhale out of your mouth for 8 seconds, making the same whooshing sound.
– Repeat 4 to 8 times.

Bhramari pranayama breathing is yogic breathing that’s been proven in clinical studies to reduce heart rate, so you know it’s super calming!
– Close your eyes.
– Breathe in and out deeply.
– Cover your ears with your thumbs.
– Place your pointer and middle fingers across your eyes.
– Gently put pressure on the sides of your nose with your ring fingers.
– Keep your lips sealed and breathe in and out slowly through your nose, making an om sound.
– Repeat for about 5 minutes.

Diaphragmatic breathing not only helps you relax to get to sleep, but it also strengthens your diaphragm, and important muscle for getting the most out of each breath. The goal here is to slow your breathing so much that your chest doesn’t move, only your stomach, as you take each breath.
– Lie on your back and put pillows under your knees or sit up in a chair.
– Place one hand flat on your heart and the other on your stomach.
– Take deep breaths through your nose and feel your chest and stomach rise and fall as you breathe.
– Breathe slowly through slightly pursed lips for about 5 minutes.

Three-part breathing: One part breath, three parts relaxation! This exercise is super easy to get the hang of which makes it a favorite for many.
– Take a long and deep breath in.
– Breathe out, focusing on your body and how it feels as you breathe.
– Do this several times, slowing your exhale each time. Repeat until your exhale is twice as long as your inhale.

Buteyko breathing can bring you back to calm when your breathing has gotten so fast that it’s bordering on hyperventilation.
– Sit up in bed and gently close your mouth. Breathe through your nose normally for about 30 seconds.
– Then, breathe more intentionally through your nose.
– Gently pinch your nose closed, keeping your mouth closed. Do this until you need to breathe again.
– Release your grip and take another deep breath through your nose.
– Repeat a few times as needed.


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Breathe Yourself to Sleep - Part 2