In general, breathing techniques support quality sleep because they slow down your breathing, which increases comfort and relaxation while reducing stress and anxiety, says Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep specialist at Mattress Next Day, a bed , mattress and bedding based in the United Kingdom. accessories retailer. When you plan to calm down the stressors or stress stimuli using the technique of prolonged breathing, your mind can just be calm enough to close your eyes of good quality.
In addition, Raj Dasgupta, MD, FAASM, sleep expert and spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says that deep, calm inhalation through the nose and exhalation through the mouth signals your parasympathetic system, which helps you to calm down. “It’s time to go to sleep.”
When you are not paying attention to your breathing, it can become shorter and faster, which increases your heart rate — and this is not exactly ideal for falling asleep.
According to Rebecca Robbins, PhD, sleep expert at sleep technology company Oura, there is also something to be said for what happens when you are not being fully aware of how you breathe. “Our breathing can be short and fast, which increases our heart rate and creates an unusual pre-sleep state,” he says.
How to practice the technique of prolonged breathing to fall asleep in a few minutes
Start by relaxing in a comfortable position, says Seeley. From there, he suggests inhaling for two seconds through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth for four seconds. For best results, you will want to repeat this for a few minutes.
Once you notice that you are calmer than before lying down, increase the duration of your inhalations to three seconds (still through your nose) and exhale for six seconds (still through your mouth), says Seeley. Keep rehearsing it until you can say it with conviction and confidence. So if you inhale for four seconds, you will exhale for eight. If it is an inhalation of five seconds, you will have an exhalation of 10 seconds.
That said, “look out for your own abilities,” says Seeley. “If you extend your exhalation more than your capacity allows, your body will go into survival mode,” which can negate the work you are trying to do. To avoid this, start slowly and measure how long you can inhale and exhale.
The reason for double exhalation is that practicing the technique of prolonged breathing to help you fall asleep earlier has to do with checking your breath. The benefits of this technique are at their peak when you deliberately breathe in this way to calm down.
In addition, says Dr. Robbins, “adding the complexity of ‘inside for two and outside for four’ helps us focus on breathing and keeps our thoughts away.” So, the next time you feel that you can not sleep due to anxious thoughts or any other reason, try the technique of prolonged breathing to see if it works for you.
Are you looking for other ways to fall asleep faster? Watch this video to get a recipe for herbal tea that will help you snuggle up as a baby.
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