According to the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million US adults suffer from sleep disorders and around 30% of adults are reported to suffer from short term insomnia. Here in the UK we also have a big problem with 16 million adults reported to have sleepless nights and also 30% suffering from insomnia. This makes insomnia the most common sleep disorder.
Now if you are wondering, what is insomnia? According to physicians, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep even if you are tired and stay dissatisfied by lack of sleep, then you might be suffering from Insomnia. You might also face symptoms like – low energy levels in the morning, mood fluctuations, difficulty in concentrating on studies or work, and fatigue.
Do you experience something similar? If you experience difficulty in sleeping before an exam or in stressful conditions, then it might be acute insomnia which can be resolved without any treatment. But, if you are facing difficulty at least 3 days every week and the same continues for about 3 months, then it might be chronic insomnia.
Now, you must be thinking how to cure insomnia, right? Relieving insomnia without medication is important so that you get a permanent cure for it. One of the best ways to cure insomnia in a natural way and without any medications is by doing breathing exercises.
7 Breathing Exercises Are Enlisted Below:
The Meditation Breathing Exercise
It is also known as a “Relaxing Breathing Exercise.”It promotes better sleep. It is based on an ancient Indian practice known as “pranayama”, which means, “Regulation of Breath.” Weil, a huge advocate of holistic breathing, describes this exercise of breathing as “a natural tranquiliser for the nervous system.”
This exercise gives calmness and relaxation to the body. And as we continue, our body sinks into a state of deep relaxation and eventually, our body sleeps. It is also said that it helps in faster and efficient removal of carbon dioxide from the body, which helps in maintaining a proper pH balance of the body because of which these breathing exercises are always recommended.
- Sit down with folded knees or legs crossed, and keep the spine straight.
- Start taking deep breaths.
- While taking breaths, count 1-2 and while exhaling double count i.e. 1-2-3-4. So, the exhalation time should be double the inhalation time and more.
Keep increasing the duration of breaths with the progression of sleep and sink into deep breathing.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique:
It is another way of fully relaxing your body so that you can go to better sleep.
- Sit down with folded knees, and keep the back straight.
- Place the tongues tip behind your upper front teeth and try exhaling through the mouth. Make a whooshing sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your mouth and count your breath till 4.
- Hold it in your mouth till the count.
- Now exhale through your mouth in the same way as before.
Repeat this cycle for 4-6 times before going to sleep and once during day-time. Repeat for 2-3 months to get best results.
Alternating Nose Breathing:
It is known as Nadi Shodhana Prayanama in Sanskrit. It is very helpful to release the negative energy from your body, and you can have a pleasant sleep.
1.Put your thumb on one nostril and middle finger of the same hand on another nostril.
2.Close one nostril and inhale from other, now close the nostril you inhaled from and exhale from another nostril.
Repeat it 7 times.
This is best for balancing your chakras or energies.
- Humming Bee Breath:
It is known as Bhramari Pranayama. It involves the creation of buzzing sound during this breathing exercise.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
- Exhale slowly, using your throat to make a humming sound as you exhale.
- For increasing the effect, you can close your ears with the help of your index fingers.
- Concentrate fully on the buzz sound.
This will clear your mind fully and makes you have a sound sleep.
Body Scanning/ Visualising breath exercise:
This exercise helps you visualize your body through your imagination.
- Imagine that the breath you are taking in traveling through the nose to your entire body freely.
- Starting from your fingers of the hand to toes and all the body around.
- Also, try to visualise your body from toes to the top of your head, lying comfortably on a bed or floor.
This exercise helps you to activate your parasympathetic system, which helps to lower your blood pressure and makes your body calm down and thereby induces sleep.
It involves deeply through the abdomen rather than breathing only through the chest.
- Lie down on your back, keeping your straight legs. Face upwards and let your body relax.
- Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach to observe your breathing.
- Start taking deep inhales.
- Focus on filling up your stomach with air and fully exhale to relax your body.
This exercise makes your body relax and drifts you to sleep.
Once you have mastered abdominal breathing exercise, you can add a mantra while you breathe to help induce relaxation.
- Lie down comfortably.
- Breathe in slowly and out through abdomen.
- While exhaling, say simple mantras like ‘OM.’
By using this method, you can fall asleep in 15-20 mins.
So, try using these exercises and recover from insomnia, and have a sound sleep!
Written by Jennifer D'Souza
How to sleep better - https://madebycoopers.com/blogs/news/7-tips-on-how-to-sleep-better
Natural remedies to put an end to sleep disorders - https://madebycoopers.com/blogs/news/natural-remedies-to-put-an-end-to-sleep-insomnia