Breathing Exercises for Restful Sleep

Breathing and Sleep Center of Colorado Springs
One of the fallouts from everyone in Colorado Springs having such busy lives is that sleep may become difficult at night. Very often, when you go to bed focusing on some troubling issue, it’s hard to fall asleep because your body can’t ignore that nagging issue. You hear a lot about sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing, but the most common sleep issue is still insomnia. If you think you have a sleep disorder, you should contact your doctor to find out. There are many sleep doctors in the country who can confirm or deny your issue. In the meantime, there are some breathing exercises you can try which may prove very helpful in gaining more restful sleep each night.

The three-part breathing exercise 

This exercise calls for you to begin by taking a long, deep inhale. Then, slowly exhale that air out, constantly focusing on all the sensations and feelings you’re aware of during that exhalation. After the first few exhales, slow the process down so that you’re exhaling for twice the amount of time that you’re inhaling. This is a very simple, yet effective way of relaxing and shedding tensions.

Diaphragm breathing exercises 

Begin by lying on your back, and propping up your knees with a pillow. Then place one hand on your stomach, and the other one flat on your chest. Now, take slow, deliberate breaths, keeping both hands in place. As your stomach rises and falls in unison with your breathing, while your chest hand remains still. Now, try and breathe through pressed lips. Your aim here is to achieve comfortable breathing, without any noticeable chest movement.

Papworth breathing 

To breathe more naturally, this exercise relies on diaphragmatic breathing. Sit up straight, and take deep breaths, counting up to 4 with each inhale. All exhaling should be done through the nose, although inhales can be nose or mouth. Focus on your abdomen, which should be rising and falling with your breaths, and listen for the sounds made when your stomach participates in breathing.

Box breathing 
Box breathing calls for you to place all your attention on breathing in and exhaling out. While sitting straight, breathe in and then expel all the air in your lungs. Then inhale to a count of 4, gradually taking in more oxygen with each number. Hold your breath while counting to 4 in this manner, and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Try to expel all the air in your lungs, so each inhale brings in the air you need. This is a commonly used form of meditation that has helped many patients achieve greater mindfulness, and to sleep much better as well.


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