By: Yvonne Bull, Certified Health Coach on June 15th, 2021
2 Breathing Exercises to Help You Fall Asleep
When you're feeling stressed, you are not able to get into your parasympathetic nervous system, which is rest and digest. You're actually activating your sympathetic nervous system, which is trying to protect you, so it's taking all of that energy that would go to help you calm down and go to sleep and keeping you in a state of fight or flight.
One thing you can do is take yourself into breathing exercises to make sure you really are in a calm position. In this video, I'll walk you through two breathing exercises you can do to quiet your mind as you try to fall asleep. Watch below and scroll down for a description.
Breathing Exercise No. 1
Let your breath just fall naturally, in and out, coming in through your nose, into your lungs, just kind of follow that breath for a little while, and feel yourself relax into your bed.
You should feel your shoulders relax. Make sure you're comfortable. Everything is relaxed. Your legs, your feet, wiggle your toes a little bit, hands and fingers a little bit, and then just fall into the relaxation of your breath and follow your breath a little bit where you feel it go into your nose, into your lungs, and then letting it come out.
And then we're going to have an inhale for four, three, two, one. Hold the breath for four, three, two, one, and then release that breath, four, three, two, one.
Stay there. Four, three, two, one and start again. Inhaling again, four, three, two, one. Hold the breath, four, three, two, one.
Release the breath. Four, three, two, one. Stay there, hold, four, three, two, one. Continue this, inhale. Four, three, fill your lungs, two, one. Hold it, four, three, two, one. Release, four, three, two, one, and stay with that a moment. Four, three, two, one.
Breathing Exercise No. 2
Another one I'll give you is called 18. So you start relaxed, in your nice relaxed position, laying in your bed and you say in your mind, not out loud, inhale, 18, exhale, 18, inhale, 17, exhale, 17. And as you inhale, you're picturing that number 16, exhale, 16, and take yourself all the way down to zero.
And if you do lose track, start over again with 18 and it really does work. All of this is going to help settle your mind, get you into that parasympathetic nervous system. Let your body rest and digest. Improve its immunity. Help you be stronger and healthier by getting a good night's sleep.
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