Can’t Sleep? Try Implementing Breathing Exercises As An All Natural Sleep Aid
How this breathing exercise can be applied as natural sleeping aid:
- Helps to lower your blood pressure and lower your heart rate.
- Switches off the stress response in the body which reduces anxiety.
- Activates the “rest and digest” response in the body for better digestion, and acts as a natural sleeping aid.
Sleep Deprivation Effects:
There are many things that can keep us awake at night, especially when all we want to do is sleep. Most of us at some point have dealt with constant mind chatter right before bed. Constantly replaying all the things that happened in our day, over and over in the mind.
Essentially this happens most when our minds are either focused on the past or the future, and not in the present moment. In yogic traditions this has been labeled “monkey mind”, for obvious reasons…
If your not currently implementing any types of spiritual or meditative practices this mind chatter can eventually lead to other more intense symptoms. There are other illnesses and sleep disorders that can also keep us from getting that precious sleep, such as; Insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, or mental health disorders.
It is also important to look at all the activities you are engaging in before you go to sleep. Are you eating heavy meals, or food that has a high sugar content right before bed? Have you consumed any caffeine in the afternoon, or later in the evening? Have you consumed any alcohol right before bed? Are you a heavy smoker, or someone that uses tobacco products? These are all important things to consider before heading to bed, as you may be enhancing the effects of your current sleeping disorders.
How Implementing Breathing Exercises Relieves Sleeping Disorders:
Through this breathing exercise we can actually bring the mind back into the present moment by bringing our focus and attention to the breath. It is also important to note that the body may be operating through the sympathetic nervous system or what’s known as the “fight or flight” response if we are in a stressed or anxious mindset before bed. This breathing exercise will actually give us control of this physiological response in the body through the simple act of consciously controlling our breathing.
When we utilize this breathing exercise, it actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This tells the body to move into what’s known as the “rest and digest” phase. What’s interesting about this is that it actually tells the body to produce certain hormones that are actually very similar to the synthetic pharmaceutical drugs that cause much more harm and have many side effects.
Not only does this breathing exercise relax the body and ease the mind, but it also activates the digestive system which allows us to digest our food with much more ease. So even if you do happen to have a meal or a snack later in the evening, you can still greatly assist the body in breaking down the food you have consumed before bed.
As an added benefit, this breathing exercise not only greatly reduces stress, but it will also lower your blood pressure and heart rate immediately. This can be very helpful if utilized throughout your day, whenever you find yourself in certain stressful situations, or if you have a preexisting high blood pressure issue.
With this breathing exercise we now have an all natural option for switching this nervous system response on at will, and bringing the body into a much more peaceful harmonious state of being.
How to Fall Asleep Fast With This Breathing Exercise:
1.) Sit in a comfortable place.
2.) Take a quick inhalation through your nose or mouth.
3.) Purse your lips and gently breathe the air out of your mouth very slowly as though you are breathing out through a straw. Do not tense your muscles while doing this – be as relaxed as possible.
4.) Imagine as the air is flowing out that a wave of relaxation is flowing down your body from top to bottom.
5.) Repeat the process several times for around 5 – 10 minutes a day. The longer the duration the deeper the effect at lowering your blood pressure and heart rate.
6.) You can also hold your breath for a few seconds before repeating the next round, gradually increasing the breathold time each time you repeat for an even deeper effect.
Enhancements To This All Natural Sleep Aid:
- Converge your eyes towards the tip of your nose or up towards the third eye (this helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system as well).
- You can also make a long humming sound on the out breath such as “AUM”, or any sound or single tone that feels good. You will feel a vibration going into your head that should feel very relaxing.
- If you want to improve your digestion, do this directly after a meal.
- If you want to sleep better, do this just before your about to go to bed while your lying down. You may find that you will fall asleep much easier and wake up feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated. You can also incorporate this mantra: “I command my subconscious mind to fall into a deep sleep and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated”. This is a form of self hypnosis that works very well, especially if utilized during the extended exhalation phase of the breathing exercise.
So if your feeling sleep deprived and you just can’t sleep, give this all natural sleep aid a try. By utilizing this breathing exercise and additional enhancements to the exercise you will find that you can achieve much deeper states of sleep and you can wake up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to start your day.