Although there are a number of breathing exercises you can try to relax and fall asleep, a few basic principles apply to all of them.
It’s always a good idea to close your eyes, which may help you shut out distractions. Focus on your breathing and think about the healing power of your breath.
These nine different exercises each have slightly different benefits. Take a look to see which one is the best match for you, and soon you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
Here is how to practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique:
- Allow your lips to gently part.
- Exhale completely, making a breathy whoosh sound as you do.
- Press your lips together as you silently inhale through the nose for a count of 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7.
- Exhale again for a full 8 seconds, making a whooshing sound throughout.
- Repeat 4 times when you first start. Eventually work up to 8 repetitions.
This technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil as a variation of pranayama, an ancient yogic technique that helps people relax as it replenishes oxygen in the body.