Laying on your bed and not being able to sleep at night could be the most frustrating feeling in the world. If you are someone who experiences this, you’re not alone. The problem of sleep deprivation is more common than you think. A large section of the world population has issues with sleep. Nowadays, the fast-paced and stressful lifestyles of people make it even worse to have a good night’s sleep. This can cause several other health issues as well.
The good news here is, you can improve your relationship with sleep by practicing some simple yet very effective breathing techniques. You can practice these breathing exercises before bedtime for a sound and peaceful sleep.
1) 4-7-8 Breathing exercise
The calming advantages of this technique make it the most famous. You can follow the below steps to practice this breathing exercise:
1. Come to a comfortable position. It can be sitting or lying down. You need to make sure that your whole body is relaxed.
2. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth, for the whole exercise—breath in through your nose for four seconds.
3. Hold your breath for seven seconds. (You can decrease this time if your feel very uncomfortable)
4. Exhale through your mouth while counting for 8 seconds, your breath making a natural sound while exhaling.
5. Repeat this exercise four to five-time in your first attempt.
Note it is essential that you breathe in quietly, but when you exhale, your breath must make a whoosh sound. The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is a type of pranayama yoga. It may help lower your blood pressure as well as heart rate and promote relaxation for better sleep.
2) Abdominal breathing exercise
As opposed to shallow breathing in the chest, deep breathing into the abdomen is referred to as abdominal breathing. The steps below will ensure that you are breathing from your abdomen.
1. Lie down in a comfortable position straighten your legs while pointing your toes outside, keeping your arms by your sides, palms facing up, and eyes closed.
2. Place one of your hands on your stomach and the other on your chest. This will allow you to have controlled breathing.
3. Breath as you’re filling all the air in your stomach and slowly exhale.
4. Feel your stomach rise and fall with each breath.
5. Keep practicing this regularly, and you’ll be able to breathe without moving your chest.
This technique is meant to slow down your oxygen needs and provide strength to your diaphragm.
3) Three-part breathing exercise
It is pretty easy to get adaptive to this exercise. That is why it is the favorite of many people.
1. Come to a comfortable position. Take a long and deep breath in.
2. Breathe out and as you do so, focus on how each part of your body feels.
3. Repeat this a few times and slow your exhale with each repetition. Do this until you exhale doubles up from the time of your inhale.
Most people prefer this breathing exercise because of its sheer simplicity and effectiveness.
4) Bhramari pranayama
Bhramari pranayama breathing is yogic breathing that has been shown in medical studies to reduce heart rate, so you know it’s incredibly relaxing! Follow these steps to practice this exercise:
1. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
2. Breathe in and out deeply and slowly while covering your eyes with your thumbs. 3. Keep your pointer finger and middle finger across your eyes.
4. While keeping your mouth closed, breathe deeply through your nose, making an om sound.
5. Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes.
Kapalbhati is a three-step series of inhaling and exhaling exercises.
1. Sit in a comfortable spot with your spine straight. Put your hands on your knees, palms facing up. You can sit cross-legged on the ground, in Virasana Pose, or on a bench with your feet flat on the floor.
2. Take a long deep breath.
3. While exhaling, contract your stomach and force the breath out in a short burst. You can use your hand to sense your abdominal muscles contract.
4. Your breath should stream into your lungs as you swiftly release your belly. 5. To complete one set of kapalbhati pranayama, repeat this sequence twenty times. 6. After finishing one round, shut your eyes and analyze the sensations in your body. 7. Do two sets in total for your practice to complete.
Kapalbhati ventilation has been linked to sinus opening and improved concentration. It is regarded as an advanced breathing technique. It is recommended that you first master other methods, such as Bhramari pranayama, before actually trying this one.
Slow, deep breaths can help you fall and stay asleep by calming both your body and mind. These breathing exercises are an excellent place to begin.
You can do them before bedtime or whenever you wake up in the middle of the night. You can also do them during the day to calm you down and unwind. You might also want to try one of the many different types of meditation to enhance even more comfort during the day. Decreasing your stress levels during the day, whether through breathing techniques or meditation, will reduce your cortisol levels, allowing you to sleep better.