The best breathing exercises for sound sleep

By Yraa #abdomen, #abdominal, #according, #accordingly, #accumulated, #activities, #acute, #add, #advanced, #air, #allow, #allows, #alone, #already, #alternate, #alternative, #always, #amount, #analyze, #ancient, #any, #area, #arms, #ask, #asked, #asleep, #avoid, #bad, #base, #become, #bed, #begin, #begins, #behind, #belly, #benefits, #bent, #blood, #Body, #both, #break, #breakdown, #breath, #breathing, #called, #calm, #carried, #cavity, #central, #chair, #choice, #choose, #chronic, #circulation, #Cleaning, #cleanse, #clearly, #closed, #cm, #come, #coming, #common, #complementary, #complete, #completely, #concentrate, #conducted, #consequences, #considered, #continue, #continuing, #Control, #convenience, #cope, #correct, #count, #creates, #cross, #cycle, #days, #deal, #decreases, #deep, #deeply, #delay, #developing, #devices, #did, #different, #difficult, #difficulties, #direct, #disorder, #disorders, #dissolve, #doing, #down, #drop, #due, #each, #easiest, #easily, #energy, #ensure, #enter, #entire, #etc, #even, #evening, #every, #everything, #example, #exceeds, #execution, #exercises, #exhalation, #exhale, #exhaling, #exist, #exit, #expand, #experiences, #expert, #experts, #extremely, #Eyes, #Face, #fact, #fall, #falling, #fast, #faster, #fatigue, #fear, #feel, #feeling, #feels, #felt, #few, #fill, #filled, #find, #finished, #five, #flat, #flow, #flowers, #focus, #follow, #forearms, #forget, #found, #four, #frequently, #full, #functioning, #general, #gentle, #gently, #getting, #gives, #go, #going, #golden, #Good, #great, #guaranteed, #guided, #gymnastics, #habit, #hand, #hands, #happy, #head, #healing, #health, #Healthy, #heart, #heavier, #held, #help, #helped, #Helps, #here, #high, #him, #hold, #holding, #household, #idea, #imagine, #immunity, #improve, #include, #increases, #inhalation, #inhale, #inhaling, #insomnia, #instructions, #interesting, #interfere, #international, #involve, #involves, #journal, #just, #keep, #keeping, #kept, #knee, #knees, #know, #last, #lead, #learn, #least, #leave, #leaves, #left, #less, #let, #level, #levels, #lie, #lightly, #listen, #long, #longer, #longevity, #look, #looking, #lower, #lowering, #lungs, #lying, #made, #maintaining, #making, #mastered, #may, #measured, #Medical, #medicine, #medium, #melatonin, #method, #might, #million, #mind, #minute, #minutes, #moment, #month, #morpheus, #mouth, #moving, #much, #muscle, #must, #natural, #naturally, #negative, #nervous, #night, #norm, #normal, #normalize, #notice, #now, #numbers, #off, #once, #open, #options, #organs, #our, #overcome, #part, #participation, #partner, #patients, #pause, #people, #perform, #performed, #performing, #physiological, #pick, #pillow, #place, #Power, #powerful, #practice, #practices, #preferably, #prepare, #press, #pressed, #prevent, #previous, #primarily, #problems, #process, #productive, #prolong, #promote, #prone, #provoke, #psychologist, #published, #qualitatively, #quality, #questions, #quickly, #raising, #rate, #really, #reasonable, #reasons, #recommend, #Reduce, #regularly, #relaxation, #relaxed, #relaxes, #relaxing, #release, #relieve, #remain, #removed, #removing, #repeating, #repetition, #reported, #respiratory, #responsible, #rest, #restless, #result, #reverse, #rhythm, #right, #rise, #rises, #room, #rules, #running, #say, #scientists, #second, #secondly, #seconds, #see, #sensations, #sequence, #shape, #she, #short, #shorter, #signal, #significantly, #signs, #similar, #simple, #sitting, #six, #sleep, #sleepy, #slightly, #slow, #slowly, #snoring, #Soft, #solution, #some, #someone, #sometimes, #sound, #specialist, #specific, #speed, #spine, #start, #starting, #step, #steps, #still, #straight, #stretch, #strong, #study, #suddenly, #suffer, #supporting, #supports, #sure, #surface, #system, #t, #take, #taken, #talk, #teach, #technique, #techniques, #teeth, #tense, #tension, #term, #thing, #things, #think, #three, #throughout, #thus, #times, #tips, #together, #total, #touch, #treated, #try, #turn, #twice, #type, #understand, #upper, #us, #variation, #variations, #version, #very, #visual, #wake, #watch, #way, #weeks, #were, #whether, #while, #who, #whole, #wide, #will, #wish, #working, #world, #year, #yoga

We are always run­ning some­where. Like squir­rels in a wheel. And our life is get­ting faster and faster every year. And a dynam­i­cal­ly devel­op­ing soci­ety dic­tates its own rules: the days are filled with work, and for some, its amount clear­ly exceeds the norm; evenings — house­hold chores and oth­er activ­i­ties. At the same time, some­one also expe­ri­ences finan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, feels emo­tion­al­ly burnt out because of work or for oth­er rea­sons unre­lat­ed to it. And in the end, all this can make it dif­fi­cult to relax and pro­voke stress, which, in turn, will lead to prob­lems with a night’s sleep. Con­cen­trat­ing on your breath will help you deal with this. Let’s look at the best breath­ing tech­niques that will calm your rest­less mind and help you fall into the gen­tle embrace of Mor­pheus.

What do breathing exercises do before bed?

What do breathing exercises do before bed?

Most tech­niques for facil­i­tat­ing the process of falling asleep involve slow, deep breaths in and out.

First­ly, this calms the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, and our brain sud­den­ly begins to under­stand that it’s time to go to rest.

And sec­ond­ly, such breath­ing brings the body into a state of gen­er­al slow­down. The heart no longer beats so fast, blood pres­sure may drop slight­ly, the lev­el of the stress hor­mone that blocks mela­tonin, which is respon­si­ble for a good and healthy night’s sleep, decreas­es.

All of this is part of the relax­ation process. A mea­sured rhythm of breath­ing will calm the mind and relax the body. The accu­mu­lat­ed anx­i­ety will be removed as if by hand, you will learn to cope with stress more eas­i­ly, and you will notice that breath­ing exer­cis­es are a great way to pre­pare for sleep.

Did you know?

Insom­nia is the most com­mon spe­cif­ic sleep dis­or­der, with about 30% of adults report­ing short-term prob­lems and 10% report­ing chron­ic insom­nia.

Breathing exercises: what should be considered?

You can do breath­ing exer­cis­es at any time, right before bed or when you wake up at night. And even dur­ing the day to relax and calm down.

It is best to do the exer­cis­es in a prone posi­tion. But some of them still rec­om­mend doing it while sit­ting. It’s also always a good idea to close your eyes so you don’t get dis­tract­ed. Just focus on your breath and think about its heal­ing pow­er.

Fact!

50–70 mil­lion adults in the US suf­fer from sleep dis­or­ders. Where­in:

    48.0% report snoring;
    37.9% reported falling asleep unintentionally during the day at least once in the previous month;
    4.7% reported nodding or falling asleep while driving at least once in the previous month.

Breathing exercises to help you fall asleep

Breathing exercises to help you fall asleep

Each of these exer­cis­es has dif­fer­ent ben­e­fits. Try them out and see which one suits you best.

Exercise number 1. Abdominal breathing

The diaphragm is a large mus­cle at the base of the lungs, pri­mar­i­ly respon­si­ble for breath­ing. Breath­ing from the diaphragm or bel­ly cre­ates neg­a­tive pres­sure in the pleur­al cav­i­ty. As a result, blood flow to the heart increas­es, the heart rate decreas­es, and you begin to feel calm and relaxed.

The fol­low­ing steps will help ensure that you are breath­ing deeply with your diaphragm and not shal­low­ly with your chest.

Step 1. Lying on your back with knees bent or sit­ting on a chair.

Step 2 One hand on the stom­ach, the oth­er on the chest.

Step 3 Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, keep­ing the hand on your chest still while the hand on your stom­ach ris­es with the breath.

Step 4 Exhale slow­ly through closed lips.

Keep your face relaxed while breath­ing. Inhale and exhale count­ing to make sure you are breath­ing slow­ly. Focus on the sound of your breath.

Con­tin­ue to breathe like this for 5–10 min­utes. Prac­tice this type of breath­ing reg­u­lar­ly, for exam­ple once a day.

By the way!

In a study pub­lished in jour­nal Per­spec­tives in Psy­chi­atric Careadults who prac­ticed diaphrag­mat­ic breath­ing for at least 10 min­utes twice a day for 8 weeks report­ed low­er lev­els of anx­i­ety.

Exercise number 2. Mantra repetition

Once you have mas­tered the art of diaphrag­mat­ic breath­ing, add a mantra to help you focus on the relax­ing aspect of breath­ing. Fol­low the instruc­tions below.

Step 1. Lying or sit­ting in a relaxed posi­tion.

Step 2 While inhal­ing through the diaphragm, say a phrase to your­self, for exam­ple, “I breathe in relax­ation.”

Step 3 Then at the exit, releas­ing the air from the abdomen, say “I exhale ten­sion.” As you do this, be aware of any ten­sion in your body and release it. You can even use your imag­i­na­tion. Think of these sen­sa­tions as visu­al events, such as air mov­ing in and out of your body.

Be sure to pause before exhal­ing and before inhal­ing. Keep doing this for 5–10 min­utes until you feel sleepy.

Exercise number 3. Breathing program 4–7‑8

Some med­ical experts con­firm the relax­ation ben­e­fits of this tech­nique, which involves inhal­ing for 4 sec­onds, hold­ing the breath for 7 sec­onds, and exhal­ing for 8 sec­onds.

Fol­low the steps below to prac­tice this type of breath­ing.

Step 1. Sit­ting with a straight back. Lips slight­ly part­ed. The tip of the tongue behind the front upper teeth.

Step 2 Exhale com­plete­ly, mak­ing a hoarse whistling sound as you do so.

Step 3 Press your lips togeth­er and inhale slow­ly through your nose for 4 sec­onds.

Step 4 Hold your breath for a count of 7.

Step 5 Now exhale for a full 8 sec­onds, mak­ing a whistling sound.

If you com­plete this cycle, you have tak­en one breath. Do this again three times.

By the way!

In a study pub­lished in The Jour­nal of Alter­na­tive and Com­ple­men­tary Med­i­cine, 39 adults were asked to per­form a pranaya­ma tech­nique sim­i­lar to 4–7‑8 breath­ing. While sit­ting, they inhaled through their nose for four sec­onds and then slow­ly exhaled for six sec­onds, for a total of five min­utes. Sys­tolic and dias­tolic blood pres­sure dropped sig­nif­i­cant­ly, as did the heart rate.

Exercise number 4. Counting while breathing

Exercise number 4. Counting while breathing

There are many vari­a­tions on the theme of count­ing breaths. Choose one of them and prac­tice until you feel sleepy. Fol­low the tips below.

Step 1. Lying in bed, focus on your breath­ing and try to relax.

Step 2 As you exhale and relax, feel how the bed sup­ports your body.

Step 3 Count from one to 10 and then back from 10 to one, but align the count with your exha­la­tions.

Step 4 Keep repeat­ing this sequence until you fall asleep.

Exercise number 5. Scanning the body

This method involves scan­ning your body for signs of ten­sion so that you can over­come them and fall asleep. Fol­low the steps below to prac­tice this tech­nique.

Step 1. Lying in bed, focus on relax­ing as you exhale.

Step 2 Feel the bed under­neath you and how it sup­ports you.

Step 3 Visu­al­ize every part of your body, start­ing at your head and work­ing your way through your entire body, to find places that feel tense. When you notice an area of ​​ten­sion, direct your breath to that spot. See if you can feel the ten­sion release and the part of your body relax.

Step 4 After you’ve fin­ished look­ing for ten­sion through­out your body, focus on exhal­ing. Also, repeat a mantra to your­self, such as the word “sleep” or any oth­er sig­nal that will help you start to doze off.

By fol­low­ing this tech­nique, you will find that both your mind and body begin to relax.

Fact!

Sci­en­tists have found that body scans can reduce stress, pro­mote relax­ation, and improve sleep qual­i­ty. For exam­ple, study, held in 2020 with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of 54 teenagers, treat­ed for insom­nia found that a 20-minute body scan before bed helped them sleep longer and wake up less fre­quent­ly at night.

Exercise number 6. Breathing images

Exercise number 6. Breathing images

It may sound sim­ple, but imagery is a pow­er­ful way to relax, and so by doing these breath­ing exer­cis­es, you can help your­self slow down before bed.

The fol­low­ing steps will get it right.

Step 1. Lying in bed, focus on relax­ing as you exhale.

Step 2 Feel your bed sup­port­ing you as you enter into a relaxed state as you exhale.

Step 3 As you relax, focus on your exha­la­tions and notice how you feel as you exhale. Exam­ples of sen­sa­tions might include sink­ing into bed, feel­ing like every­thing is slow­ing down, feel­ing heav­ier, or even some­times feel­ing like you have more patience.

Step 4 When you relax, begin to imag­ine that your breath is made up of flow­ers. Watch as you breathe in and out and see how these col­ors match your breath.

Step 5 Focus only on your breath­ing until you fall asleep.

Exercise number 7. Alternative nasal breathing

Here are the steps for the alter­nate nose breath­ing exer­cise, also called nadi shod­hana pranaya­ma.

Step 1. Sit­ting cross-legged.

Step 2 The left hand rests on the knee, and the thumb of the right hand is pressed to the nose.

Step 3 Exhale com­plete­ly, then close the right nos­tril.

Step 4 Deep breath through the left nos­tril.

Step 5 Now the left nos­tril is closed, and through the open right nos­tril, you slow­ly exhale all the air.

Step 6 Con­tin­ue this cycle for 5 min­utes, end­ing with an exha­la­tion through the left nos­tril.

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Inter­est­ing!

A study con­duct­ed in 2013 among young med­ical stu­dents from Indiashowed that peo­ple who tried nasal breath­ing exer­cis­es felt less stress after­wards.

Exercise #8

Exercise #8

In this exer­cise, you also focus on your diaphragm to breathe more nat­u­ral­ly.

Step 1. Sit­ting up straight, you can right in bed.

Step 2 Take a deep breath (whether through your nose or mouth) while count­ing to 4, then, con­tin­u­ing to count to 4, exhale slow­ly through your nose.

Step 3 Focus on rais­ing and low­er­ing your bel­ly and lis­ten for breath sounds com­ing from your stom­ach.

Inter­est­ing!

This relax­ing method helps break the habit of yawn­ing and sigh­ing.

Expert com­ment

Ele­na Rashevskaya, psy­chother­a­pist, psy­chol­o­gist

Prob­lems with falling asleep at night always remain extreme­ly impor­tant. Often we fall asleep due to fatigue, bare­ly reach­ing the bed. Because of this, all the impor­tant events that occurred dur­ing the day can “get stuck” in the mind, and some­times even end in a ner­vous break­down. To avoid such con­se­quences, as a psy­chother­a­pist who often encoun­ters such prob­lems with patients, I sug­gest the fol­low­ing:

    Before going to bed, it is important to tune in to a night’s rest — talk to yourself or with a person you trust. We analyze what happened, find a reasonable solution or explanation, thus removing the negative. And only after that we go “into the arms of Morpheus.”
    According to patients, they really like the “butterfly hug” exercise. This is one of the options for breathing exercises. You need to close your eyes, take three deep breaths, after each, making a second delay, and then four exhalations. The number of exhalations should be one more. We exhale and mentally let go of all the bad things accumulated during the day. If there is a partner next to us, we ask him to lightly and gently touch our forearms. If we are alone, we touch ourselves, as if the wing of a butterfly.
    The choice of pillow and mattress is very important. The pillow should be flat, no more than 7–8 cm high, of medium softness. The mattress is preferably orthopedic, well-kept shape, medium hardness. This will ensure the physiological position of your spine and, accordingly, prolong health and longevity.

If you fol­low these sim­ple rec­om­men­da­tions, you are guar­an­teed a deep and pro­duc­tive sleep.

Expert com­ment

Nina Kolomiyt­se­va, cer­ti­fied spe­cial­ist of the Inter­na­tion­al Yoga Asso­ci­a­tion (Yoga alliance)

Breath­ing prac­tices exist not only for recov­er­ing from acute res­pi­ra­to­ry viral infec­tions and main­tain­ing immu­ni­ty, but also for relax­ation. Breath­ing exer­cis­es in the evening qual­i­ta­tive­ly improve the qual­i­ty of sleep, as they allow you to tune in to the upcom­ing vaca­tion. Among oth­er things, breath­ing exer­cis­es before bed help cleanse the air­ways, improve blood cir­cu­la­tion, relieve mus­cle clamps and spasms, help nor­mal­ize the func­tion­ing of the ner­vous sys­tem, and pre­vent insom­nia and rest­less sleep.

Before you start breath­ing exer­cis­es, you need to per­form a few sim­ple steps.

First­ly, be sure to ven­ti­late the room. If you have no prob­lems with immu­ni­ty, you can leave the win­dow open all night.

Sec­ond­ly, pick up spa­cious clothes for sleep from soft nat­ur­al fab­rics.

Third­ly, turn off all devices that some­how inter­fere with nor­mal sleep, includ­ing the TV.

Breath­ing exer­cis­es can be per­formed lying in bed with your eyes closed. It is very impor­tant to focus on doing the exer­cis­es and not think at this moment about some of your affairs, prob­lems, etc. All these ques­tions must be left until the morn­ing, guid­ed by ancient wis­dom that the morn­ing is wis­er than the evening. Breath­ing dur­ing gym­nas­tics should be car­ried out only through the nose. It is impor­tant that the inhala­tion be short­er than the exha­la­tion.

Exer­cise num­ber 1. Breathe out. Then start inhal­ing slow­ly, first fill­ing the stom­ach with air (it should inflate at the same time), then the area of ​​the ribs (they should expand at the same time), last we fill the chest with air (its upper part, includ­ing the col­lar­bone area). Exha­la­tion is also car­ried out slow­ly and in the reverse order: the upper chest, ribs, stom­ach. Repeat this exer­cise at least 5 times.

Exer­cise num­ber 2. Here you need to focus on breath­ing with your stom­ach. Try not to involve the chest and its upper part. To con­trol the cor­rect exe­cu­tion of this tech­nique, place your hand on your stom­ach. Repeat this exer­cise 5–7 times.

Exer­cise num­ber 3. This exer­cise can be called count­ing breath­ing. Breathe out. Then start inhal­ing and as you do this, count to 4, hold your breath and count to 7, slow­ly exhale and count to 8. Hold your breath and repeat this exer­cise a few more times.

Exer­cise num­ber 4. In this exer­cise, we count to 10: odd num­bers — inhale, even — exhale. This tech­nique helps to con­cen­trate and teach you to dis­con­nect from the out­side world.

When per­form­ing any breath­ing exer­cis­es, do not for­get the main thing: a short breath, a deep exha­la­tion. And it is guar­an­teed to help you fall asleep very quick­ly.

Expert com­ment

Anna Deva­vani, psy­chol­o­gist

It is real­ly eas­i­est to start breath­ing exer­cis­es before going to bed. Since you are already lying on a flat sur­face, which means with a straight back, and at the same time your body is as relaxed as pos­si­ble. If this is not the case, find a way to lie flat and “dis­solve” all the ten­sion in the body. As far as you can!

Start breath­ing deep into your bel­ly. For con­ve­nience, place your hands on your stom­ach. They should rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Do not speed up your breath­ing, but make it deep­er each time. We often tight­en our bel­ly to look slim­mer. Now for­get about har­mo­ny. Just relax your bel­ly and let it expand. The chest expands as you inhale. The most impor­tant thing is that you feel for the very mus­cle that dri­ves breath­ing: the diaphragm. It is she who allows, by “clean­ing up” the organs of the abdom­i­nal cav­i­ty, as wide as pos­si­ble to stretch our pul­monary furs.

When you feel that your breath­ing has become deep­er, imag­ine that with each breath your body is filled with gold­en ener­gy of joy, live­li­ness. And with each exha­la­tion, con­cern, fear, ten­sion leave you.

An advanced ver­sion of the exer­cise: imag­ine that the ener­gy on inhala­tion does not come through the mouth or nose, but flows inward, as if through the pores of the whole body. And on exha­la­tion — leaves it. This vari­a­tion gives sur­pris­ing­ly strong sen­sa­tions in the body, and it relax­es much faster.

The exer­cise time can start from 5 min­utes, and last as long as you wish. I rec­om­mend doing the exer­cise for at least 10 min­utes every day.

Hap­py prac­tice!

By Yraa

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