Insomnia is characterized by persistent difficulties in falling or staying asleep. Having trouble falling asleep is a common experience for many people. Research suggests that almost one-third of adults experience some form of insomnia.
Some medical conditions can contribute to the problem, such as GERD, restless Legs and chronic pain. Medications can also play a part. However, stress and anxiety are most often to blame for sleep issues. When the body is stressed, it responds with a cascade of hormones that make us feel more alert and trigger other physiological changes (quick and shallow breathing. Increased heart rate and blood pressure, and decrease in digestion and elimination)
Try these breathing exercises before bed
There are indeed prescribed treatments for insomnia and an extensive array of natural supplements that can help regulate unmanaged sleeping patterns, but the non-pharmacological approach can be very effective at managing insomnia by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure and providing an increased sense of well-being.
One approach to relaxation without the aid of medications or supplements is the practice of deep Breathing. Taking slow, deep breaths is one of the easiest and most basic ways to engage your body's natural relaxation response.
Let's get started
Prepare for bed. Create a routine that may involve hygiene, putting on pyjamas etc. You may be a person that needs to read before bed, so don't deny yourself the pleasure. But limit yourself to so many pages or turn off your tablet after a certain amount of time.
Darken your room as much as possible, and lay in bed with your eyes closed. Keep your mind focused on your Breathing.
Technique # 3 Bhramari pranayama breathing exercise
Bhramari pranayama is very effective at calming your mind down right away. It's one of the best breathing exercises to rid your mind of agitation, frustration, and anxiety. It can also help to prevent anger. Since it's a simple technique to perform, it can be practiced at work, at home, and anywhere in between. It's an instant option available to de-stress yourself.
- Sit in a comfortable position with a straight back in a quiet, well-ventilated space. Gently close your eyes
- Place your index fingers on your ears. There's cartilage between your cheek and ear. Place your index fingers on this cartilage.
- Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, make a humming sound like a bee, gently pressing the cartilage. You can keep the cartilage pressed or press it in and out with your fingers.
- You can make a low-pitched sound, but it's a good idea to make a high-pitched one for better results.
- Inhale again, and continue the same pattern five to nine times.
- Keep your eyes closed for some time. Observe the sensations in the body and the quietness within.
Don't give up if none of these breathing techniques seem right for you. There are many other breathing techniques available. Find one that you are comfortable with and practice it daily. You may find that your sleeping habits have improved without needing further intervention.
Technique #1 Diaphragm Breathing
- While lying down, place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand at the top of your belly, right below your rib cage. Your hands will help ensure that you're only breathing through your belly during this exercise.
- Breathe in through the nose, so your belly pushes against your hand. Your other hand and your chest should remain as still as possible.
- While continuing to keep your chest still, tighten your stomach muscles and exhale through pursed lips (the way you might hold your lips when you whistle).
- Repeat this process.
Because many of us aren't used to engaging our diaphragm when we breathe, this exercise may take some practice. Try starting with just a few minutes of diaphragmatic Breathing when you get into bed, then gradually increase the time to maximize benefits.
Technique #2 4-7-8 Breathing
This slightly more advanced breathing technique helps control the speed of your breath. This may not be the best option if you're uncomfortable holding your breath, but it's generally considered safe and easy. Here's how it works:
- Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth (you'll keep it here for the entire exercise).
- Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds, allowing your exhale to make a natural sound like you're blowing out a candle.
Like other breathing exercises, start practicing this technique for a few minutes before bed. As you get used to the pace, feel free to increase the time you spend practicing 4-7-8 Breathing.
Give Yourself Permission to Breathe
Remember to breathe!
Wherever you are in your life, we hope you give yourself permission to breathe. We hope that you take time every day to take stock of all the amazing parts of yourself, and you check personal criticism at the door.
The world we live in today is not easy; demands and stresses are bearing down on us every day. Our hope for you is that in a world that is always rushing, you can find a moment of stillness in your life to just be in the moment. Whatever that moment is.
If you feel grief, give yourself permission to feel it. If you feel tired, give yourself permission to take a rest. If you feel joy, then allow yourself to celebrate happiness. If you are not sure what you are feeling, release the pressure of trying to define the feelings and just be in the moment
Whatever happened today, this week or this month, give yourself “Permission to Breathe
- To remember
- To honour
- To celebrate
- To nurture
- To practice thankfulness
- To laugh
- To cry
- To Breathe