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The 9 Best Breathing Techniques for Sleep

By Sleepsia

Breathe to sleep!

With a fast-paced life over half the population suffers from insomnia today. Life has become overtly competitive and to keep up with the world and your contemporaries you often sacrifice your sleep. After a while, you become insomniac and look for ways to fall asleep. Many take the easy way of consuming sedatives and choose to do it naturally by practicing yoga and generating a healthy lifestyle. Breathing techniques are prevalent and effective in inducing sleep. It only helps you get a night of better sleep but also helps you calm your mind and relax you. Breathing comes naturally to you it was never taught to you, just the art of simple breathing helps you overcome a lot.

To begin with, you have to start by stopping all your distractions in your surroundings, then close your eyes and proceed with the following breathing exercises.

  1. 4-7-8 Breathing Technique: It is a long, deep breathing technique. And it requires your complete focus on the breathing pattern. Proper and synchronised breathing is the basic part of meditation and yoga. Simply getting your breathing in a rhythm can help you achieve a lot.

In what ways does the 4-7-8 breathing technique benefits you;

  • It helps you to deal with anxiety by reducing it.
  • It helps you to get sleep.
  • It helps in managing your cravings.
  • It also you in reducing and control your anger responses.

How to do the 4-7-8 breathing?

  • Before diving right into the exercise you should find a comfortable sitting posture and place the tip of your tongue behind the top front teeth.
  • Clear out all the air from your body.
  • Inhale through your to the count of 4.
  • Then hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  • Release your breath forcefully through your mouth, pursing the lips for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat the entire process 4-5 times more.
  1. Bhramari Breathing Technique: The bhramari pranayam technique or the bee-breathing technique. This includes inhalation and exhalation accompanied by humming, just like a bee.

In what ways does Bhramari help you?

  • Helps you with migraine.
  • Helps in focusing and good memory.
  • Gives instant relief from anxiety or if you are having anger issues.
  • Helps in building your confidence.

How to do it?

  • Sit up straight.
  • Cover your ears by placing your finger on the cartilage near your ears.
  • Inhale a deep breath
  • Then breathe out and while you do that press your finger over the cartilage.
  • Make the humming sound while breathing out.
  • Continue the process four 4 times.
  • It helps clear your mind and get better sleep.
  1. The three-part breathing technique is a part of the yoga practice in which the inhalation and the exhalation take place in three layers. It involves your abdominal muscles, rib cage and chest including the diaphragm muscles.

Benefits of the three-part breathing technique:

  • Strengthens your immune system.
  • Improves your digestive system.
  • Detoxifies your body.
  • Prepares your mind for meditation.

How to practice the three-part breathing technique?

  • Fill your lungs with air completely
  • Like breathing into your belly, rib cage and upper chest.
  • Now, exhale fully just reversing the entire flow
  1. The diaphragmatic breathing technique helps you strengthen your diaphragm along with other benefits.

Why should you practice diaphragmatic breathing?

  • Helps you relax.
  • Increase oxygen content in your blood.
  • Reduces blood pressure.

How to do it?

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Put one hand on your upper chest and the other just below the rib cage.
  • Breathe in keeping your hand completely still.
  • Exhale with your lips pursed
  • Repeat the process 4-5 times.
  1. Buteyko Breathing: Buteyko breathing became popular in places like Australia and the UK back in the 90s and is still used to treat certain respiratory and neurological issues.

Benefits of Buteyko Breathing:

  • Relieves anxiety and depression.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Relieves you from COPD.
  • Reduces asthma.
  1. Alternate nasal breathing is also an important breathing technique in yoga and is also known as nadi sodhana pranayam or anulom vilom.

Benefits of Alternate nasal breathing:

  • Calms and focuses your mind.
  • Clears energy channels.
  • Relieves stress.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Maintains your body temperature.

How to do it?

  • Sit straight with your legs crossed.
  • Place your left hand on your knee with your palm facing upwards
  • Put your right thumb on your right nostril and press it
  • Inhale through the left nostril, then push the left nostril with your middle and ring finger
  • Exhale through the left nostril, now inhale through the left keeping the right nostril closed
  • Repeat this alternate breathing 4-5 times.
  1. Papworth Method: The Papworth breathing technique is another kind of diaphragmatic breathing technique. It consists of a series of breathing and relaxation techniques.

Benefits:

  • It helps you relax your mind.
  • It helps you get better sleep.
  • It helps you with asthma.
  • It helps in dealing with hyperventilation.

Steps to Papworth technique:

  • Sit straight on your bed
  • Inhale through your nose
  • Exhale through your mouth with your lips pursed
  • The exhalation process should be slower than the inhalation.
  1. Box breathing or square breathing, practicing this technique in your bedroom before going to sleep will give you miraculous benefits.

Benefits of box breathing:

  • It improves your heart health
  • It reduces depression and anxiety
  • It helps you with sleep-related issues
  • It helps you control hyperventilation.

How to do box breathing?

  • Inhale with your lungs full
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  • Exhale
  • Hold for 4 seconds, do not breathe in
  1. Kapalbhati Breathing technique: All the aforementioned breathing techniques are based on control breathing, whereas Kapalbhati focuses on forceful breathing technique and how? Let’s find out.

Benefits of Kapalbhati

  • Improves concentration
  • Reduces blood sugar levels
  • Helps in weight loss
  • It is also good for your heart

How to do it?

  • You can sit with your legs crossed or in Vajrasan
  • Sit upright and inhale
  • Then exhale forcefully pulling in your naval
  • Breathe in passively and do the same again
  • Repeat the process 20 times for a complete round
  • And then sit for a few seconds and relax.
  • Repeat the entire procedure 4-5 times