Insomnia, stress, lack of tiredness at bedtime… Falling asleep when you should is not easy for everyone. It is considered that more than 12 million French people are insomniacs. Lack of sleep has serious consequences for our bodies; it can cause chronic fatigue, lack of concentration during the day and even involuntary sleepiness.
Are there techniques to fall asleep quickly? How can you clear your mind before going to bed? We present to you 4 methods of preparing for sleep, based on breath control to sleep well.
Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 method for falling asleep quickly
Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 method is a yoga breathing method for sleep. It helps to regulate the breath to fall asleep faster. How do you do it? It is very simple:
- Before going to bed, stand with your back straight and your feet on the floor
- Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, behind your upper teeth
- Exhale the air from your lungs through your mouth
- Breathe in slowly counting to 4
- Hold your breath counting to 7
- Breathe out slowly through your mouth counting to 8
Repeat this exercise three times in a row, two to three times a day. After a few days, this method will allow you to enjoy all the benefits of your sleep. You will fall asleep more quickly, your nights will be more peaceful and your sleep will be of better quality.
Cardiac coherence: a technique to get a good night’s sleep
Cardiac coherence is another sleep technique. This tool for managing emotions and stress allows you to slow down your heart rate by controlling your breathing. How can you slow down your heart rate with your breathing? There is nothing too complicated:
- Close your mouth and breathe in gently through your nose counting to 5.
- Exhale all the air in your lungs through your mouth counting to 5. Imagine you are blowing through a straw: this will help you to achieve a good exhalation.
Your goal is to achieve a breathing rate of 6 breaths per minute. This breathing rate allows melatonin (the sleep hormone) to be well synthesized. This second breathing exercise for sleep is also known as the 3-6-5 method. To be effective, it must be done 3 times a day, with 6 breathing cycles per minute for 5 minutes.
How to fall asleep quickly with moon breathing
Our third breathing method is a sophrology exercise for sleeping. Moon breathing is a technique to fall asleep in one minute. The moon breath allows you to evacuate the pressure accumulated during the day to fall asleep calmed and find a deep sleep more easily. Here are the steps to follow:
- Get into bed at bedtime
- Block your right nostril with your thumb;
- Breathe in gently through your left nostril;
- Breathe out through the right nostril, closing the left nostril with your thumb;
- Repeat the exercise several times.
Your muscles will gradually relax until you fall asleep. Alternate breathing in and out from the left nostril to the right nostril to relax and fall asleep more easily. You can also do this exercise during the day, which will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
Solar plexus breathing
The solar plexus is located between the navel and the sternum. It is a very sensitive area, widely used in sophrology. The following breathing technique combines breathing and visualisation to achieve maximum relaxation before sleep. It allows you to concentrate on your body and less on the thoughts that sometimes prevent you from falling asleep. Here are its different steps:
- Place your fingers on your solar plexus (your fingernails should touch)
- Gradually press your fingers in until you feel resistance (the area should feel sensitive)
- Stay on this resistance for a few seconds
- Breathe and let your belly swell under your fingers
- Pull the area as if you were trying to spread the edges
- Stop pulling when you feel resistance while holding your fingers in place
- Release the pressure when you feel the resistance dissipating
You now know an additional tool to fight insomnia. This technique can be done sitting, standing, before going to bed and even during the day.
Do you want to get back to a good night’s sleep? We advise you to try all the techniques mentioned in this article. That way you can find the one that suits you best. In any case, you should be aware that they are effective in the long term: only the repetition of these natural breathing methods to sleep well will allow you to regain quality sleep.