In addition to causing some serious medical problems, including obesity, diabetes and a shorter life expectancy, a lack of sleep each night also results in dull, unhealthy skin. However, with all the technology that we are likely to have in our bedroom, plus the stresses of everyday modern life, turning our minds off each night to go to sleep can often be difficult. Rather than tossing and turning for hours each night, or even turning to medication, OROGOLD brings you some breathing tricks to try, that will have you fast asleep in no time at all.
The 4-7-8 Technique
The 4-7-8 technique is a relaxing breathing exercise that is based on the ancient Indian practice, Pranayama. In addition to helping you fall asleep, you will notice other great changes in your body if you practice the technique every day, such as a decrease in anger and food cravings, improved digestion and lower stress levels. To begin with, press the tip of your tongue onto the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth, closing your mouth but maintaining that position with your tongue. Inhale slowly and quietly through your nose for 4 mental counts, and then hold your breath for 7 counts. Then, exhale completely from the mouth, around your tongue, for 8 counts. This counts as one breath. Repeat this 3 more times, so that you have done 4 cycles in total, and you should then notice a more relaxed state of mind. This form of slow, voluntary breathing has been proven to help to reset the nervous system, and also helps to clear the mind, being, in a way, another version of counting sheep.
If you find that the main reason you find it difficult to fall asleep each night is because your mind just can’t seem to slow down, it may be time to take a few tips from meditation techniques. When it comes to clearing your mind for meditation, connecting with the rise and fall of each breath, and feeling where each breath flows in the body, is essential. Try this in bed at night, fully focussing on each breath, as this will relax any tense muscles, as well as help you to let go with any negative thoughts or stresses as you focus on exhaling each breath. Try to do this for 8 to 10 minutes each night in order to fully benefit from it.
Breathe Through Your Nose
Many people find it more comfortable to breathe through their mouths at night, but this does not lead to the best sleep. Breathing through your mouth sends subconscious signals to your brain that your body is in distress, meaning that your mind will not be able to fully relax. However, breathing through your nose sends signals of homeostasis and relaxation to your brain, ideal for helping you to fall asleep much faster.
OROGOLD highly recommends taking the time to solve any sleep problems, as sleep deprivation can have severe consequences. Breathing and yoga exercises have been proven to relax the body and mind, and by practicing them on a regular basis, you will not only solve your sleep problems, but will also be able to reduce the overall stress levels in your body.