How Breathing Techniques Can Help You Sleep

It is recommended that adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. With a busy lifestyle, family, career, and other external factors, there are a wide variety of reasons you may not be getting the recommended dose of sleep. If you aren’t able to get adequate sleep, you are not alone. According to the American Sleep Association, insomnia is the number one sleep disorder among Americans. Roughly 30% of American adults have short-term issues with insomnia, and 10% have chronic sleep issues. One of the most effective ways to get more sleep is by using breathing techniques. Below you will find how breathing techniques can help you sleep better.

Breathing Techniques for Sleep

While many people resort to prescription medications to sleep better, there are helpful breathing techniques that can help get you to sleep.

Abdominal Breathing:

Most people breathe shallow breaths in their chest. However, abdominal breathing focuses on deep breathing that goes below your chest and into your abdomen. Abdominal breathing requires that you lie down with your legs straight and slightly spread apart. Keep your toes pointed outward, let your arms lie gently next to you, with your palms up, and your eyes closed. Once you begin deep breathing, place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Watch out for which one rises more and focus on filling your abdomen if your chest is rising more. Practice breathing in your nose and out your mouth for roughly five to ten minutes. Focusing on deep breathing for this amount of time can ease tension, stress, and promote healing and induce sleep.

Body Scan:

This technique can get your focus off worry and stress and help get you to sleep. Lie down gently on your back just like the abdominal breathing technique described. Once you begin breathing, start from the top of your head and work to the tip of your toes. You are essentially going to “check-in” with each part of your body. If you notice any tension, focus on that area more. Move from your head to your toes, addressing each part of your body. Feel the way your body sinks into the bed and continue breathing. People often report falling asleep before they even get to their toes.

4-7-8 Technique:

This is slightly more detailed than the other two techniques, but it is just as effective. You can sit or lie down, but keep your back straight. Place your tongue behind your front teeth and maintain that same position throughout. Inhale through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale through your mouth by making a “whooshing” sound for eight seconds. Complete this for four cycles in total and try it twice before bedtime.

Sleep Disorders and Treatment

If you tried each of the breathing techniques above and still have not gotten a good night’s rest, there may be more to your sleep issue. You may have a sleep disorder or some other health issue inhibiting your ability to sleep. People also often have issues with snoring and can wake themselves up at night, which can cause major sleep disruptions. If you suffer from snoring and it’s impacting your sleep, snoring treatment may be right for you.

Sleep Doctor in New York

Issues with sleep can impact your daily life both physically and mentally. If you are struggling with sleep and want to discuss treatment options, contact Sleep Doctor MD. They can provide support and solutions for whatever sleep issue you may be experiencing, including snoring. Dr. Mayan Shukla is a sleep doctor with over fifteen years of experience working with patients who have struggled with sleep. He is focused on getting his patients back to their full potential and getting a good night’s rest. If you are experiencing issues with sleep, schedule an appointment with the best sleep doctor in New York!

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