08 Mar Breathing Exercises for Sleep: Relax, Slow Down & Sleep Well
Breathing Exercises for Sleep
Breathe deeply and relax completely with these simple breathing exercises. They’ll help you to slow down, feel calm and fall asleep.
Do you sometimes struggle to fall asleep at night? Or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with your mind racing? Do you spend hours willing yourself to go to sleep, only to do so what feels like minutes before your alarm sounds? Do you wake up tired after a poor night’s sleep?
At the end of a busy day it can be difficult to slow down, quiet your mind and relax enough to fall asleep. And the more you struggle to fall asleep, the more stressed and frustrated you become, until sleep feels almost impossible.
These simple breathing exercises will help you to relax, unwind and drift in to a deep sleep. You’ll activate your parasympathetic nervous system to move in to a state of deep rest and relaxation. After just a few minutes you’ll feel calm, tranquil and ready to sleep soundly.
You can do these breathing exercises for sleep lying down in bed last thing in the evening when you’re ready to go to sleep. You can also do them if you wake up in the night to help you get back to sleep.
Breathing Exercises for Sleep
Deep Belly Breathing
- Lie on your back and rest your hands on your belly so that the tips of your middle fingers just meet.
- As you take a deep breath in through your nose focus on breathing deeply in to your belly, expanding it like a balloon. Your hands will move up and out so your fingers are no longer touching.
- Take a deep breath out through your nose and feel your belly relax back down so the tips of your middle fingers meet again.
- Focus on the tips of your middle fingers as you breathe. Feeling the sensation of them connecting as you breathe out and become aware of the space between them as you breathe in.
- Take 8 breaths like this.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose.
- Breathe out through your mouth with a big sigh. You can make a HAAAAAAA sound if that feels good.
- With your sighing exhale release and let go of any stresses, worries or repetitive thoughts from your day that you’ve been holding on to.
- Repeat 8 times.
Left Nostril Breathing
- Use one finger, or your thumb, to block your right nostril.
- Breathe in and out as deeply as you can through just your left nostril.
- If your left nostril is blocked remove your finger from your right nostril and just visualise your breath travelling in and out through the left nostril.
- Take 8 deep breaths like this.
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4.
- Hold your breath at the top of your inhale for a count of 7. (If it doesn’t feel good to hold your breath skip this step)
- Breathe out through your mouth with a soft sighing haaaaa sound for a count of 8.
- Repeat 4 times.
If you’re still awake after completing one round you can always start again and complete another round or 2 of these breathing techniques. I recommend trying these every evening for a week. This will give you time to learn them all, so you’ll always be able to remember and return to them whenever you need.
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Did these breathing breathing exercises for sleep help you? Leave a quick comment in the comments box below and let me know.