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Improve Your Sleep With These 3 Simple Yoga Breathing Exercises

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2020

 

A restful night sleep is vital for your good health and wellbeing.

But I can't tell you the amount of clients I have to have chronic sleep disturbance, and this impacts massively on their mental and physical health, as well as other areas in their lives like career and relationships.

If you're struggling to sleep, here's 3 Yoga breathing practices that will certainly help you.

First,  let's check in...Take a moment now, pause and bring your attention to feeling your breath.

How does it feel? Is there tension in your chest? Is your breath short and shallow, with your breath feeling as though it stops in your chest?

Truth is most people live in a state of chronic hyper arousal... Often locked in your fight or flight stress response. If you have tightness around your neck, shoulders and chest, and your breathing feels tight and short, simply put, you're not breathing correctly, and this pattern is following you at night when you lay your head down to sleep.

 

So what can you do to change these habitual, unconscious patterns of breathing, so you can get a better nights rest.

First things first...Your breath changes to reflect your emotions.

When you're excited or nervous, your breath shortens and breathing becomes more rapid. When you're calm and relaxed, your breath naturally slows down.

You start breathing into our diaphragm and your body will immediately start to relax. 

The importance of deep breathing is often overlooked, but it’s essential to regulating your moods, hormone levels, and even your digestive system.

Breathing deeply into our belly before bedtime stimulates the vagus nerve, which runs from the neck to the abdomen, and tells it to turn off the flight-or-fight response, which then signals to the body that you're safe.

When you're feeling safe, you go in to your parasympathetic or “rest and digest” state.

Sustaining this state as much as you can improves the balance of your nervous and digestive systems, reduces inflammation, regulates your hormone levels, and gives you better sleep.

So Here's 3 Breathing Exercises For A Fabulous Nights Sleep

Use these three breathing techniques alongside a guided sleep meditation and enjoy a good nights rest fast.

1. Alternate Nostril Breathing

A popular breathing technique in yoga and meditation practices is alternate nostril breathing. It's highly regarded for its ability to calm the mind and reduce stress, and can also help those struggling to fall asleep.

 It creates balance in the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system.  Also when you practice alternate nostril breathing, you synchronise the left and right parts of your brain, resulting in a calmer, more focused mind.

How to Do It

  1. Sit in a comfortable position, your right hand near your nose.
  2. With the right thumb, close the right nostril and inhale as slowly as possible through the left nostril, then close it with your ring finger. Pause. Open the right nostril and exhale through it slowly.
  3. Inhale through the right nostril, then close it with your thumb. Pause. Open the left nostril and exhale through it slowly.
  4. Inhale through the left nostril, then close it with your ring finger. Pause before opening the right nostril and exhaling through it slowly.
  5. Inhale through the right nostril before closing it with your thumb again.
  6. Repeat for at least 10 cycles. When alternating nostrils, practice gently, rhythmically, and slowly. 

2. Diaphragmatic Breathing Practice

 This breathing practice combines breathing and relaxation techniques, where you breathe slowly and deliberately from your diaphragm, and through your nose and back of your throat.

Relaxation techniques are then introduced and practiced in unison with the breath.

This practice is also sometimes called the Papworth Method.

Studies have also found the Papworth method effective in relieving symptoms of asthma. Many asthmatics have problems sleeping at night and this technique helps them fall and stay asleep, while simultaneously retraining the unconscious habit of mouth-breathing.

How to Do It

The Papworth method involves slowly breathing in through your nose and breathing out through pursed lips as though your blowing out a candle. The aim is to make sure your exhale is double the length of your inhale, and that you’re breathing using the diaphragm and abdomen instead of the chest.

3. The “4-7-8” Breath

This form of deep, rhythmic breathing is for times of heightened stress and can also help ease you into sleep if you're feeling particularly fractious. It's known to soothe a racing heart and calms feelings of over-whelm and anxiety.

The 4-7-8 breathing technique helps bring the body into a state of ‘rest and digest.’ It’s highly recommended if you’re experiencing anxiety, or you're consumed by your mind and caught up in habitual overthinking.

Also known as the “relaxing breath,” this technique can help you get to sleep in one minute.

Scientific studies suggest six weeks of practicing yoga pranayamic breathing, may have a positive effect on your heart rate variability. It's also been found to reduce long term chronic stress, improve cognition, and relieve anxiety.

How to Do It

  1. Get in a comfortable seated position and place the tip of the tongue on the tissue right behind the top front teeth.
  2. Empty the lungs of air.
  3. Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
  4. Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
  5. Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
  6. Repeat for at least 10 cycles.

There are many research-backed benefits of regularly practicing breathing techniques. These include stress reduction, better sleep quality, and improved health. 

Try practicing these three exercises as you prepare to go to sleep including them in your nightly routine. 

Combine with Certified Therapeutic Grade essential oils such as Lavender, Cedar, Siberian Fir or this gorgeous doTERRA blend Serenity. It's an absolute staple in mine and my families sleep routine as it's a blend of essential oils that are renowned for their ability to lessen feelings of tension and calm emotions.

Apply topically, or use aromatically in a diffuser before bedtime to help reduce worry and prepare for a restful sleep.

If you don't have a doTERRA account with me yet, you can open up your own wholesale account today with me and pay 25% plus, below the retail price.

Just click here and start your natural wellness journey with me today.

 

Want to know more about essential oils and how they can benefit yours and your families health? Register here for my next FREE introduction class, you'll also get a copy of my free ebook 'How to Thrive With Essential Oils'

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