The Best Breathing Techniques For Better Sleep

We know good sleep, and we know how important it is for every part of your life. Ever felt that awful can’t-sleep-but-super-tired feeling, where you’re staring at the ceiling for hours instead of snoozing?

This usually happens because our mind is unable to switch off and your body is unable to relax. But, breathing can help. Controlled breathing triggers your body’s natural relaxation response, as it relaxes muscles, slows down your heart rate and calms your mind.

We’ve broken down the breathing techniques depending on what you think is keeping you up at night.

For Anxiety

If you find this one difficult, begin at a lower number. The idea is that you can focus your mind on what your body is doing rather than the worrying running around your mind.

Count your breaths down from 40.

To start with, count both your exhalations and inhalations from 40 to 20.

Then from 20 counts, only your exhalations.

After that, continue to breathe normally but concentrate on your chest moving up and down.

For Stress

The difference between stress and anxiety is that stress is usually triggered by a specific event or area of your life. Experiencing stress isn’t always a bad thing, and it’s completely normal to experience it from time-to-time. But for you to make sure you’re performing your best no matter what the circumstances, a good nights sleep will work wonders.

Close your right nostril and breathe in through the left.

Then, close the left and breathe out through the right.

Continue breathing slowly this way and focus on the breath.

For Overthinking

Sometimes it's about what’s happening tomorrow, or you’ve found yourself watching an intense drama before heading to bed, either way, it’s common to find yourself on overdrive when you head for bed. It can send a surge of cortisol (your stress hormone) flooding your body making it incredibly difficult to switch off.

Breathe in for four seconds and out for six seconds, both through the nose.

For Energy

If you find yourself struggling to stay awake throughout the day, then this one’s for you. This breathing exercise can help wake you up when you’re feeling that post-lunch slump.

Draw your tummy in sharply as you exhale. Repeat once a second so you get into a rhythm.

If you find this difficult, place your hand on your tummy and press gently as you exhale. 

Repeat with 20 pumps at first, then breathe deeply before holding your breath for 30 seconds if possible.

Final Thoughts 

Deep and controlled breathing is the easiest way to trick your brain into thinking you're calm, and the steady breathing will also get your brain ready for sleep. Give these a go tonight and let us know how they go!

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