People who experience sleep disturbances, anxiety, and stress, may benefit from breathing exercises before they go to sleep. The exercises can help bring your body back into balance and regulate the fight-or-flight response we feel when we experience too much stress. Breathing exercises bring the body into a deep state of relaxation, and contribute to better sleep.
4-7-8 breathing method
The 4-7-8 breathing method helps you to gain control over your breathing, and when you practice regularly, it contributes to falling asleep faster. The 4-7-8 technique is a breathing technique that forces the mind and body to focus on regulating the breath, rather than overthinking your worries when you lie down at night. Besides that, it can soothe a racing heart or calm frazzled nerves. Specific patterns that involve holding your breath for some time allow your body to replenish its oxygen. When practicing the 4-7-8 method you give your organs and tissues an oxygen boost.
How to do it
The concept of 4-7-8 breathing can be compared with breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing, meditation, and pranayama breathing. All these breathing exercises ensure that your mind focuses on your breathing pattern, and you can completely relax. To start 4-7-8 breathing make sure you lie down or sit comfortably. For best results and a better night's sleep, practice it lying in bed before going to sleep.
- Purse your lips and make a whooshing sound. Make sure to exhale completely through your mouth.
- Close your lips and, in four seconds, inhale silently through your nose.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale for eight seconds making a whooshing sound through your mouth.
When you inhale again, you initiate a new cycle. Practice this pattern for four full breaths. If you practice the 4-7-8 breathing method regularly, you can gradually work up to eight full cycles.
Other techniques to help you sleep
Practicing breathing exercises before going to sleep may not be a suitable technique for everyone, or maybe it is not enough on its own. There are several things you can do which help you to fall asleep faster. For instance, it is helpful to sleep in a completely dark room, so make use of blackout curtains and possibly a sleeping mask. Relaxing music or white noise sounds can also help you to fall asleep. Also, you can try to diffuse essential oils like lavender to become more relaxed. Besides that, it is important to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.
Practice the Wim Hof Method for better sleep
The breathing exercises of the Wim Hof Method are maybe a bit too heavy before you go to sleep. We advise you to practice the breathing exercises in the morning, shortly after waking up, and on an empty stomach. Despite the fairly long period between performing the exercises and your sleep, the effects of the method will certainly be noticeable! Those who practice the Wim Hof Method notice many positive health benefits, such as better focus, lower blood pressure, reduced levels of stress, and they feel more energized. All these effects have a positive impact on your quality of sleep. So, when it is hard for you to fall asleep at night, the Wim Hof Method will help you as a natural sleep aid. Start experiencing all the benefits of the WHM today and sign up for one of our video courses!