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Top 3 Breathing Exercises To Get Better Sleep

Through their company, The Whole Health Project, Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley offer online Trauma Aware Teacher Trainings in Breathwork, Meditation, Yin Yoga and Trauma Aware Facilitation.

 
Executive Contributor Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley

Sleep is the cornerstone of our well-being, the time when our bodies and minds replenish and rejuvenate. Yet, in today's fast-paced world, a good night's sleep can often feel like an elusive dream.

 

Woman sleeping on bed under blankets

The benefits of quality sleep includes improved mood and cognitive function to enhance immune function and overall health. However, the repercussions of sleep deprivation can be dire – increasing stress and irritability, impaired memory and concentration. The effects of sleep deprivation ripple through our daily lives, not only robbing us of vitality and joy and it literally makes us think differently.

 

But fear not, for there is hope on the horizon. By harnessing the power of your breath, you can unlock the secrets to better sleep and reclaim your nights of restful slumber.

 

In this blog, we'll explore three simple yet powerful breathing exercises designed to help you drift off into the land of dreams and awaken feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

 

Yawning

Yawning – it's not just a sign of boredom or fatigue; it's also a natural mechanism that helps regulate our breathing and induce relaxation. Embracing the yawn can be a surprisingly effective way to prepare your body and mind for sleep.

 

How to do it: Begin by finding a comfortable seated or lying position in bed. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose, allowing your belly to rise with each inhale. Now, allow yourself to yawn deeply, opening your mouth wide and exhaling fully. Feel the gentle stretch and release of tension in your jaw and facial muscles as you yawn.

 

Repeat this process several times, allowing each yawn to deepen the sense of relaxation in your body. Before you know it, you'll be drifting off into a peaceful slumber.

 

Extended exhales

Longer exhales than inhales indicate to the body that it's safe, triggering the relaxation response and preparing you for sleep.


How to do it: Begin by lying down in a comfortable position, with your hands resting gently on your belly. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to rise as you fill your lungs with air. Now, exhale slowly and completely through your nose or mouth, making the exhale twice as long as your inhale.

 

Feel the tension melting away from your body with each exhale, as you sink deeper into a state of relaxation. Repeat this process for several minutes, allowing your breath to lull you into a restful slumber.

 

Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

Alternate nostril breathing is a powerful technique that helps balance the flow of energy in the body and calm the mind, making it an excellent practice to incorporate into your bedtime routine.

 

How to do it: Begin by finding a comfortable seated position, with your spine tall and your shoulders relaxed. Use your right thumb to block your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Now, use your right ring finger to block your left nostril and exhale completely through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril, then switch fingers to block the right nostril and exhale through the left. Continue this pattern, alternating nostrils with each breath, for several minutes, allowing your breath to guide you into a state of deep relaxation.

 

Find yourself walking in the night? You can do any of these practices in the middle of the night if you find yourself struggling to go back to sleep. The more you do them the more your body also associates the practices with sleep.

 

By incorporating these simple breathing exercises into your bedtime routine, you can help the body to switch from being awake and alert to relaxed and ready to sleep.


Remember, the power to sleep peacefully lies within you – all you need to do is breathe.

 

If you're ready to dive deeper into the world of breathwork and unlock the full potential of your breath, we invite you to join our Online Trauma Aware Breath Coach Training. With over 20 different breath practices and a foundation of functional breathing and Trauma Aware Facilitation, you'll learn how to harness the power of your breath to transform your life and the lives of others. Don't wait – start your journey to better sleep today.

 

Click here to find out more.


 

Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley, Trauma Aware Teacher Trainer and Coach

Through their company, The Whole Health Project, Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley offer online Trauma Aware Teacher Trainings in Breathwork, Meditation, Yin Yoga and Trauma Aware Facilitation. After their sell out retreats in Bali were forced to close during the pandemic, Rachel and Lucy used to their extensive experience of teaching across the world to help other coaches and teachers to harness and teach accessible healing practices of Breathwork, Meditation and Yin Yoga, with an emphasis on understanding how Trauma Aware Facilitation can be the key to helping clients reach their goals.

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