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
A simple breathwork exercise everyday can help you sleep better 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 parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the state of “rest and digest”. This is 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 you are about to go to bed while lying down. You may find that you will fall asleep much easier and wake up feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated.
- To begin, find a comfortable position, sitting with your back straight.
- Inhale deeply with your nose or mouth.
- Form a rounded shape with your lips as if you are holding onto a straw and gently but slowly breathe out through your mouth. Relax all the muscles in your body as much as possible while you do this.
- Imagine a feeling of relaxation washing over your entire body from the top of your head to the soles of your feet and tips of your toes as you exhale.
- For a few seconds after every exhale, hold your breath before inhaling again, then repeat the process.
- Repeat this flow of breath for 5 to 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.
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:
- You can also awaken your parasympathetic nervous system by converging your eyes, either staring down at your nose tip or focusing up where you would imagine your third eye.
- As you breathe out, try making a long single toned humming sound. The vibration this creates within and around you will give you a deep feeling of relaxation.
- 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.