It can be easy to get frustrated when you can’t sleep. However, you don’t need to spend hours tossing and turning and then wake up tired and grumpy in the morning. As long as you utilize breathwork on those sleepless nights, falling asleep should be no hard task.
What is breathwork?
Breathwork isn’t dissimilar to meditation. However, it’s all about focusing on your body rather than trying to slow down your mind. You pay attention to details like the length of your inhales and exhales, the movement of your ribcage, and so on until you activate your parasympathetic system. This helps you to relax, which is what you need when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Where you should focus your breathing
Your lungs might be in your chest, but that doesn’t mean that’s where you’re supposed to be breathing from. The best breathing is apparently done through the diaphragm, so you need to think about that when doing breathwork. According to Dr. Jen Fabroni, your focus can start with your belly, but it needs to progress to your sides and back too. Imagining your entire rib cage expanding as you breathe in can supposedly help with this.
Do a couple of stretches before bed
For breathwork to be truly effective, it helps to combine it with a couple of stretches. Doing these in time with your breathing will make it easier to activate your parasympathetic system, ensuring you’re not lying in bed for ages waiting to nod off. The cat-cow and open book stretch are suitable for this purpose because they’re slow and relaxing.
Lengthen your exhales
For breathwork to be effective, your exhales need to be longer than your inhales. The difference should be about double, with inhales roughly two to four seconds and exhales eight to ten. Don’t exert yourself, though, because that won’t help you to relax. If you can’t breathe out for that long, just do what feels comfortable. Exhaling through pursed lips could prove effective if you do struggle because it makes it easier to lengthen each breath. However, it’s better to breathe through your nose than your mouth at night, so try to progress to this when you can.
How long does all this take?
You don’t have to dedicate a good chunk of your time to breathwork in order to reap its benefits. The stretches should collectively take no more than five minutes, after which you should spend another five or so minutes focusing on your breathing. Once this is over, you should feel relaxed and ready to fall asleep. If not, keep up the breathwork a little while longer and see if that makes a difference.
Restless sleep is inevitable sometimes. However, it doesn’t have to become a regular annoyance, especially when you know how to deal with it. Breathwork should be the solution you’re looking for, with learning how to hopefully helping you to pull it off effectively. If it works for you, not only will it ensure better sleep, but it may make relaxing throughout the day easier too.