We’re pretty certain that at one point or another, you’ve found yourself lying awake in bed, unable to fall asleep. Whether you only have this issue from time to time, or frequently find yourself frustrated and unable to drift off to sleep, you’ll want to read more about breathing exercises and how they can help you relax and fall asleep. Nothing against counting sheep, but these breathing techniques have a high success rate, making them a fantastic tool to add to your bedtime routine.
The great thing about breathing exercises is that they work to calm your nervous system, which helps combat insomnia and prepares your body for sleep. The more you use one of these breathing techniques, the more effective they will become for you and you’ll have an increased chance of falling asleep quickly. In addition to using them at home, they are obviously easy to take with you anywhere you go, and can be really helpful when trying to sleep in an unfamiliar space like a hotel or while travelling.
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Try These 4 Sleep Inducing Breathing Exercises
You may need to try a few of these exercises before you find the one that works best for you. Armed with these breathing techniques, your chances of peacefully drifting off to sleep each night just got a lot better. All of these exercises should be completed once you’re already in bed and ready for sleep.
Breathing In Threes
With one hand resting on your stomach below your belly button and the other on your chest, inhale for a count of three, then exhale for a count of three. Do this deep breathing five times. Let your mind focus on the way your hands are rising and falling – this will help quiet your mind which can be hard to shut off.
Visualize Your Breath
When you inhale, picture your breath traveling into your nose, through your entire body, and out again. Imagine it traveling all the way to your toes and fingers, before it comes back out during your exhale. Putting the focus on breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which slows your heart rate and encourages your body to calm down and relax.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Pattern
Inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold that breathe for a count of seven. Exhale through your mouth, for a count of eight. Keep repeating the pattern until you feel yourself drifting off to sleep. If you can’t hold your breath for the entire time at first, that’s okay. You can count quickly until you work your way up to slower breath counts.
Lengthen Your Breath
When you are feeling stressed, you tend to breathe quicker which makes it harder to relax. The trick is to breath out longer than you breathe in, which will convince your body to accept relaxation. Try inhaling for a count of three, and then exhale for a count of six. Slow, deep breathing like this, helps to reset your nervous system.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Regardless of age, everyone should make sleep a priority. If you find yourself too wound up before bed, it’s time to take a look at how you wind down for the night. These breathing techniques can be very helpful, but if you get into bed before properly taking the time to get your mind and body ready, sleep may always feel like an uphill battle. If your bedtime routine could use some improvements, try adding in some breathing exercises that will help you leave the day behind and bring yourself into a more relaxed state. For more options that can help you get your sleep back on track, check out Good Night Sleep Site’s adult sleep resources.