5 Breathing Exercises to Help You Sleep Better Tonight

Breathing Exercises

and Improve Your Health

Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. Millions of people have difficulty either staying asleep or falling asleep due to an abundance of distractions, stress and anxieties. It can not only be harmful for your mental health, but also lead to physical health complications.

Breathing Exercises to Help You Sleep

Fortunately, mindfulness practices such as breathing exercises can help calm the mind and help you drift off to a restful sleep. Here are five of the most powerful breathing exercises to help you overcome sleepless nights.

1. Equal Breathing

Equal breathing, also known as sama vritti pranayama, is a simple yet powerful breathing exercise that helps to bring the body into a relaxed state. Inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of four. This exercise can help to restore balance both mentally and emotionally by calming your nervous system while providing refreshing oxygen to your brain.

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2. Four-Square Breath

The four-square breath, or swastika pranayama, according to ancient yogic practices, helps to calm and energize your body, mind and spirit. Start by inhaling to the count of four. Hold this breath for four counts. Exhale for four counts. Hold for four counts and then repeat the pattern. Continue for a few cycles allowing the breath and body to synchronize and let go of any stress or tension.

3. Alternate Nostril Breath

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, or alternate nostril breath, is a powerful breathing practice that helps to balance the body and soothe the nervous system. Alternate between closing your right and left nostrils, using either the thumb and ring finger of the same hand, to inhale and exhale deeply.

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4. Cooling Breath

Cooling breath, or shitali pranayama, helps to cool down the body, reduce stress and increase concentration. Curl your tongue back, stick it outside your mouth and inhale through your tongue. Close your mouth, exhale through your nose and repeat. Keep your breathing slow and relaxed, letting each breath sink into your body.

5. Mindful Deep Breathing

Mindful deep breathing helps to bring your awareness to your breath, calming and restoring the mind. Slowly inhale to fill your lungs, holding your breath for a few moments. Slowly exhale, mindfully following the progress of your breath from your nose to your lungs. Notice how your body responds, allowing for complete relaxation and improved sleep.

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Why Practicing Breathing Exercises Improves Your Health

It is well-known that unbalanced sleep is a major cause of stress and anxiety, but it can also cause physical health complications. Practicing breathing exercises can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and balance the body’s systems.

By improving your breathing, you can help increase mental clarity and focus, and reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and hypertension. It can also improve your immune system, and help you to sleep better, with deeper and more restful rest.

Breathing exercises are a great way to help calm the mind and improve sleep, as well as overall health. With practice, you can quickly learn these techniques and make them part of your nightly routine. Challenging yourself to a few rounds each night can improve your overall sleep quality and give your body the rest it deserves.

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