If you’ve been struggling to sleep lately, especially in amidst the hot and humid weather, then you’re probably on the lookout for tricks and techniques for drifting off to slumber.
Luckily, there are plenty of activities you can try to encourage sleep come the evening time, from enjoying a hot bath through to sipping some herbal tea or reading a book.
A great evening routine makes all the difference, but if you’re looking for a great sleep boosting activity to partake in during the moments before sleep, then a great breathing routine could be the answer. Take a look below at our top picks to discover more.
Alternating Nostril Breath
Ever ended up panting and breathing heavily through your mouth when you’re excited or super nervous? That’s because mouth breathing can stress the body out at night, making it pretty tricky to slip into a relaxed and peaceful mood.
In order to calm yourself, try breathing in through alternating nostrils.
Press you finger one side of your nose, blocking the air flow, before breathing in deeply through the nostril that it is still open. When you exhale, do it through the nostril you previously blocked, whilst pressing against the nostril that was previously open. This can be a great technique to try before sleep as it regulates your breathing perfectly.
This breathing technique can be something you can try whilst lying in bed with your eyes closed before sleep as it involves visualisation.
As you breathe in, imagine the air flowing up through your nostrils and into your body, passing throughout your muscles and into your lungs, imagine it going all the way to the tips of your toes and fingers, before picturing it rushing from your body again as you breathe out.
This technique allows you to focus deeply on your body, an activity which regulates breathing and relaxes the mind.
Studies have shown that when our bodies are stressed, we breathe fast and take in much less air than we normally would, which leads to a panicked state of mind.
A great way to calm down and lengthen this breathing is to inhale deeply for a count of three and then to exhale for a count of six. You’re welcome to change up the numbers, the key however is to make sure that exhalation lasts longer than inhalation, essentially lengthening your breathing and calming your body down.
One of the most well-known breathing exercises, the 4-7-8 technique can be wonderful for calming your mind before rest. Discover how to do it below.
-position your tongue so that it is resting against the back of your top teeth, keep it there for the exercise.
-breath in through your mouth, allowing yourself to make a whooshing sound as you do so.
-close your mouth and inhale through your nose, do this for four seconds.
-hold your breath for seven seconds.
-exhale through your mouth once more, making the whooshing sound again, do this for a duration of eight seconds.
Although this exercise might seem intense at first, it’s important to keep going, training your body into the breathing exercises.
Studies show that once this technique is mastered, people can fall asleep in less than one minute, so it’s definitely a beneficial skill to have.