I think we’ve all experienced the desire for better sleep at some point in our lives!
Those nights when your mind is racing, replaying the busy day you had, or planning for the days ahead. When the constant chatter in your mind won’t let up for long enough to drift off - or when it does, you suddenly remember that important thing you need to do and it starts all over again!
Or maybe you do get to sleep just fine, but you’ve noticed that your sleep quality isn’t as good as it could be.
If you have trouble sleeping, there can be plenty of reasons: from temporary excitement to more long-term sleep disorders. Sleep quality can also be affected by the food and drink you consume, the amount of blue light you’re exposed to, even whether or not you smoke.
Luckily, there is a very simple breathing exercise I can share with you that will help you have better sleep in no time!
Breathwork for Better Sleep
This breathing exercise helps you have better sleep by quieting the mind and creating a deep state of relaxation and meditation. When you focus on your breath, you will find yourself fully in the present moment.
This breathwork technique helps to switch on the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system - the perfect state to be in for restful sleep because it encourages your body to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Your blood pressure and heart rate will lower as soon as you do the exercise. If you have a heart rate monitor you can test this very easily. Even if you don’t have a heart rate monitor, you can still feel the reduction just by placing your hand on your heart as you do it.
How To Do The Exercise
If you want to sleep better, do this just before your about to go to bed while your lying down. You may find that you will fall asleep much easier and wake up feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
- Inhale deeply through your nose or mouth.
- Purse your lips and gently breathe the air out of your mouth very slowly as though you are breathing out through a straw. Relax all the muscles in your body as much as possible while you do this.
- As you exhale, imagine a wave of relaxation flowing down your body from the top of your head to the soles of your feet and the tips of your toes.
- Repeat the process for 5-10 minutes, several times a day if you like. The more you practice this, the more effective it is at helping you relax - so you can sleep better when the night comes around.
- Once you have exhaled, hold your breath for a few seconds before inhaling and repeating the process again.
There are a few enhancements you can add to this for a deeper relaxation. Try them out and see if you prefer any of these:
- Converge your eyes towards the tip of your nose or up towards the third eye (this helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system as well).
- Make a long humming sound on the out breath with AUM or any sound or single tone that feels good for you. You will feel a vibration around your body that is deeply relaxing.
- Silently repeat this mantra: “I command my subconscious mind to fall into a deep sleep and wake up feeling totally refreshed and rejuvenated”. This is a very effective self hypnosis.
So, if you have been feeling sleep deprived, or you just want better sleep, give this all natural sleep aid a try. Practising this exercise throughout the day and every evening will help you achieve much better sleep quality so you can wake up every day feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for the day.