The 4 Best Breathing Techniques for Sleep
You're not alone if you're having difficulty falling asleep. This is a common symptom in today's fast paced world. We're either getting emails and thinking about work long after we've left the office, stressed about our financial well-being, or worrying about other emotionally draining problems.
With these specific breathing techniques, you can take your mind off of these problems, calm down, and finally drift off to the quality slumber you deserve. Try some or all of these techniques and discover which works best for you! Before you begin, however, remember that all of them will work better if you close your eyes and turn off any distracting noises.
The three-part breathing technique is preferred by many people because of its simplicity. Here's what you need to do.
- Take a deep and long breath in.
- Exhale completely and focus on how it makes your body feel.
- After doing steps 1 and 2 a couple of times, make your exhale last twice as long as your inhale.
Box breathing is a breathing technique that is frequently used for meditation and relaxation. Give this technique a shot when you're having trouble sleeping.
- Sit with your back in a straight position, take a normal breath in.
- Breathe out and attempt to exhale all of the air in your lungs.
- Breathe in through your nose while counting to 4.
- Hold your breath for another 4 second count.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth and again attempt to exhale all of the air in your lungs.
- Repeat steps 3 through 6.
Papworth Breathing Method
The Papworth breathing method has you focus more on your diaphragm so that your body breathes in a more natural way. Follow these simple steps.
- Sit up straight in bed and take deep breaths (mouth or nose) while doing a 4 second count.
- Exhale normally through your nose.
- Concentrate and listen to your abdomen rising and falling with each breath.
Buteyko Breathing Technique
This technique may be hard to pronounce, but it's easy to follow. Try the following steps.
- Breathe normally through your nose at a normal speed and count 30 seconds.
- Do 1 more breath in and out through your nose, but at about twice the speed, making sure to inhale and exhale fully.
- Pinch your nose gently between your thumb and finger, keep your mouth closed, and hold your breath until you begin to feel the need to breathe again.
- Keep your mouth closed, release the grip on your nose, and breathe normally through your nose again.
- Repeat steps 1 through 4.
Key Takeaway: Simple Solutions to Complex Problems
There is no real magic behind these breathing techniques. They are simply a tool to help you relax, concentrate on something other than your busy and stressful life, and finally allow you to get some much needed shut-eye.