Getting a good quality night’s sleep is critical for our overall health and wellbeing. Sleep is crucial as it enables your body to repair itself as you rest, helping to increase energy levels and ensure you wake up feeling alert and ready for the day ahead. What you may not realize is how much your breathing impacts your sleep. If you aren’t using the right breathing techniques, you may wake up throughout the night and feel sluggish and rundown.
To aid sleep and improve your quality of life, here are some of the best breathing techniques and tips that can help you control your breathing better.
4-7-8 Breathing Routine
Created by Dr Andrew Weil, the 4-7-8 breathing technique is designed to relax and de-stress, helping you to get a better quality of sleep. To master this routine, you will need to inhale through your nose and count to four, keep hold of your breath for seven, before exhaling through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeating this several times can help reduce stress and anxiety and get your body and mind ready for sleep. The 4-7-8 breathing routine claims to soothe a racing heart too.
If you’ve practised meditation before, you will know all the health benefits you gain from the technique. In order to regulate your breathing and help you feel relaxed and comfortable before hitting the hay, you can try out meditative breathing. To do this technique effectively, your full concentration will be needed, but once you get started, the relaxing effects that you experience will make it worthwhile. As you try out meditative breathing, your muscles should begin to loosen and relax, but practising for a minimum of 8 minutes is advised.
Breathe Through Your Nose
While it may seem a little strange, breathing through your nose transmits signals of relaxation to your brain, whereas breathing through your mouth indicates that you are stressed and anxious. We tend to breathe through our mouths when we are unwell, fatigued, or scared, which can cause our heart rate to increase. If you are prone to snoring, a common cause of it is breathing through your mouth, so learning how to stop it in one night can aid sleep and boost your mindset. If you’re struggling to breathe through your nostrils, there are various products available that may help, including mouth strips.
For those who have difficulty switching off and unwinding before sleep, techniques like double exhalation may help. A mind full of stressful thoughts can make it near to impossible to get a good quality night’s sleep, so trying out a slow breathing technique like double exhalation is key. To do this correctly, simply exhale for twice as long as you would when inhaling. Double exhalation is a common practice associated with yoga.
Relax Using Herbs
When trying out a deep breathing exercise, many individuals benefit from inhaling relaxation herbs. Whether you choose peppermint, lavender, or chamomile, inhaling such herbs simultaneously may help you drift off to sleep easier. These sorts of herbs can help your brain and muscles to relax, bringing you peace and tranquillity. Studies also suggest that these kinds of herbs may help you experience longer deep sleep periods in your sleep cycle, meaning you are more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Whether you’ve got a long day at work ahead, or a scroll of errands to run, it’s vital that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for anything. All the breathing exercises and tips listed above can help towards getting a good night’s sleep.