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Breathing Exercises to Help You Sleep

Breathing Exercises to Help You Sleep

Many people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Whether your sleeping trouble is caused by a medical condition, stress about work, or worrying about life, there are a few ways to combat it. Learning how you can control your breathing to wind down and relax is a great first step to improving your sleep. Keep reading for breathing exercises to help you sleep.

Before Trying A Breathing Technique

While controlling your breathing is the main component of a breathing technique, there are a few other things to do when trying to relax and fall asleep. These things include closing your eyes, turning off unnecessary noises, and turning off any lights. This will help you to cut off any distractions and allow you to focus on your breathing.

The 4 - 7 - 8 Breathing Technique

Below are the steps for the 4 - 7 - 8 breathing technique:

  1. Keep your mouth open a little bit.
  2. Deeply exhale, making a "whoosh" sound.
  3. Close your mouth as you inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
  4. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  5. Exhale again through your nose and mouth for 8 seconds.
  6. Repeat 4 more times.

The Three-Part Breathing Exercise

The three-part breathing exercise is one of the most commonly used since it is very simple and easy to complete. There are only three steps for this breathing exercise:

  1. Deeply inhale through your nose and mouth.
  2. Exhale completely while focusing on the feelings going on in your body.
  3. After completing these steps 3 times, slow down your exhale so it takes twice the amount of time as your inhale.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise

The diaphragmatic breathing technique slows down your breathing and decreases the amount of oxygen you need to strengthen your diaphragm muscle.

  1. Lie down on your back and bend your knees over a pillow.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach.
  3. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and keep your hand on your chest while the hand on your stomach moves with your breathing.
  4. Exhale through your mouth.
  5. Repeat these steps until you can inhale and exhale without your chest moving.

Box Breathing

This type of breathing technique is mostly used for mediation but is also a great way to relax your body to fall asleep. When doing box breathing, you should be focusing on the oxygen you are inhaling and exhaling.

  1. Sit up with your back straight, inhale, then try to release all the air in your lungs as your exhale.
  2. Inhale through your nose slowly as you count to 4.
  3. Hold your breath and count to 4.
  4. Exhale through your mouth as you count to 4.

Any of these breathing techniques can help you relax to fall asleep and stay asleep. AccessOPEN is a program that allows members to pay for medical care only when they need it. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars a month on health insurance to only visit the doctor a few times a year. AccessOPEN is the key to affordable healthcare. Check out our website to learn more about our program and how it can benefit you!