Did you know that you’re breathing and sleeping, or the lack of that wonderfully relaxed night’s sleep, have a lot to do with each other? For a wonderful night full of deep sleep, the kind after which you wake up rested and full of energy, you only really need one thing: a relaxed body. And for a relaxed body you can go to a masseur (or ask your partner) or take a long hot shower or bath, but that takes some time. The best way to relax is quick, easy and free: breathing exercises that only take ten minutes.
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Without breathing, you die. And luckily it happens automatically. You breathe in oxygen-rich air and you exhale air rich in carbon dioxide. When you are stressed, your body wants to fight or flee. These activities cost a lot of energy and require a lot of oxygen. This makes you breathe faster and more superficially. It is precisely because of this shallow chest breathing that your heart rate increases even faster. That’s anything but relaxing. Belly breathing is, but many people breathe in and out incorrectly on autopilot. By doing breathing exercises before sleeping, you can train your body to use abdominal breathing, which will make you calm and relaxed and therefore sleep a lot better. If you want more tips to sleep better, it can also be useful to read the following 6 sleep tips .
Relaxing sleep through breathing sounds simple, and it is. It does take some practice and time to learn. Once mastered you can apply it throughout your life and even extend it to meditations . The chronic stress will decrease with some patience and practice, but you will always have peaks in stress. Super handy if you can easily reduce this with your breathing.
This method is also called the Relaxing Breath and helps your body to slow down and calm down. Ideal when you are angry, anxious or nervous and cannot sleep. You become less sensitive to stimuli and create space between breathing in and out. First, exhale completely, then inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeating at least four times is recommended. As you inhale, imagine the energy of the earth feeding you. As you hold it, visualize how it fills your entire body and as you exhale release all the energy you no longer need.
This technique has its roots in ancient pranayama yoga and stands for equal time inhalation and exhalation. You can do this exercise sitting or lying down, although a lying position is preferred for all breathing exercises before sleeping. You close your eyes and become aware of your breathing as it is. After a minute, slowly count from 1 to 4 as you inhale through your nose. Then count to 4 again as you exhale. As you breathe, be aware of your lungs’ feelings of saturation and emptiness. After a while, you can also inhale and exhale for longer than 4 seconds with this exercise, as long as your inhalation and exhalation are equal in length.
Also called the 4-4-4-4 breath or the Sniper Breath, this way deepens your concentration and slows down your heart rate. Ideal for waking up, or for an important meeting, for example. You can do it lying down, but specifically this one is also very nice to do while sitting. And it only takes 5 minutes, so why not try it? You inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds, and wait another 4 seconds before inhaling. If this goes easily, you can also make it a 5-5-5-5 or even 6-6-6-6 breath.
Of course, you don’t just sleep well with good breathing. A comfortable mattress certainly helps with that. At Morningstar Sleeps, we have the perfect mattress for you. Simply delivered to your home for free and you can try it out for 100 nights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Doing breathing exercises before bed can help your body relax. A relaxed body sleeps deeper and rests better. Moreover, you lie awake for less time when you have a calm abdominal breathing.
Each breathing exercise is a belly breath, not a chest breath. Depending on the situation, you can choose, for example, the square breathing or the equal breathing technique. The 4-7-8 method is very suitable for a good night's sleep
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