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  • Breathing Exercises for Better Sleep

  • LightMove

    Member
    December 22, 2021 at 5:11 am

    Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can take a toll not only on your energy and mood, but also on your health, work performance, and quality of life. Insomnia affects 30 to 35 percent of adults, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

    Stress is a common cause of insomnia because it keeps people awake, overthinking and unable to relax. About 30% of adults suffer from acute insomnia, while 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Insomnia can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, poor concentration and depression.

    It’s frustrating, but you can actually fight insomnia by breathing! Breathing exercises help reduce stress and anxiety and help you relax before bed. Studies have shown that these changes help us fall asleep.

    The following seven breathing exercises can be done easily on your own to help encourage relaxation and sleep more easily.

    Diaphragmatic Breathing

    1.Lie on your back with your knees bent over a pillow or sit in a chair.

    2.Place one hand flat on your chest and the other on your stomach.

    3.Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose, keeping the hand on your chest still as the hand on your stomach rises and falls with the breath.

    4.Next, breathe in slowly through pursed lips.

    5.Eventually, you want to be able to breathe in and out without moving your chest.

    This technique slows down your breathing and reduces your oxygen needs because it strengthens your diaphragm.

    4-7-8 breathing

    Gently part your lips.

    1. Exhale completely, making a big whooshing or sighing sound.

    2.Close your lips and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.

    3.Hold your breath for 7 seconds.

    4. Exhale out of your mouth for 8 seconds, making the same whooshing sound.

    5. Repeat 4 to 8 times

    The 4-7-8 technique focuses on rhythmic breathing to reduce anxiety and help you fall asleep.

    Three-part breathing exercise

    1.Take a long and deep breath in.

    2.Breathe out, focusing on your body and how it feels as you breathe.

    3.Do this several times, slowing your exhale each time. Repeat until your exhale is twice as long as your inhale.

    Three-part breathing is perfect for beginners. This breathing technique can help relieve stress and prevent panic attacks.

    Buteyko breathing

    1.Sit in bed with your mouth gently closed (not pursed) and breathe through your nose at a natural pace for about 30 seconds.

    2.Breathe a bit more intentionally in and out through your nose once.

    3.Gently pinch your nose closed with your thumb and forefinger, keeping your mouth closed as well, until you feel that you need to take a breath again.

    4.With your mouth still closed, take a deep breath in and out through your nose again.

    This relaxation method helps reduce yawning and sighing habits.

    Box Breathing

    1.Let out all of the air in your lungs to the count of four.

    2.Keep your lungs empty for a count of four.

    3.Inhale for a count of four.

    4.Keep your lungs full for a count of four

    Box breathing lowers blood pressure, helps you relax, and is effective against stress and anxiety.

    Bhramari Pranayama Breathing

    1.Sit in a quiet and well ventilated corner and close your eyes.

    2.Place your index fingers on your ears right at the cartilage.

    3.Breathe in and while breathing out press the cartilage with your fingers. …

    4.Breathe in again and out and continue the same pattern for around 6-7 times.

    This breathing technique can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, readying your body for deep sleep.

    Body Scan

    1.Lie down in bed.

    2.Take slow, deep breaths, scanning your body from head to toe in search of points of tension.

    3.If you find yourself tense in any spots, inhale deeply.

    4.Exhale slowly and visualize the tension leaving your body with your breath. Notice your body relaxing as you breathe.

    5.Repeat this process for any other tense muscles in your body.

    Follow this technique and you should find both your mind and body start to relax. Before you know it, you will be drifting off to sleep!

    The next time you find it difficult to fall asleep, try practicing one of the seven breathing exercises above to get a better night’s sleep. If you want to learn more about breathing exercises, the OPUMP breathing trainer can help. Plus, you can even use OPUMP for breathing exercises throughout the day to improve your spirit, mood, and sleep.https://theopump.com/

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