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Breathwork For Better Sleep

February 28, 20241 min read

“Most people are aware that getting a really good night's sleep on a consistent basis is critically important, but most people don't know how to do that.” - Andrew Huberman

Introduction:

How are you currently managing the transition from wakefulness to sleep? Tonight, take 30 seconds before you get into bed to slow your mind and body down through one of the following Breathwork techniques.

Science

Before we get into the techniques, a little background on what we're actually changing in our body through the Breathwork.

1. Nasal Breathing To Encourage Rest & Prevent Apnea

Unless you're doing exercise, you should be exclusively breathing through the mouth (see my blog on Nasal Breathing For Snoring for the full explanation on this).

Nasal breathing is especially important for our sleep: mouth breathing, whether caused by allergies/poor facial development/other reasons, can cause obstruction of our airways and lead to sleep apnea and disrupt deep / REM sleep.

2. Slower Exhales For Parasympathetic Activation

When we spend more time exhaling, it brings down our heart beat (More on this phenomenon). All the following breathing techniques will be exhale focused to exploit this.

3. Intero-ception To Calm The Mind

Sometimes we need something to do to wrench our focus out of our planning, worrying mind. These exercises all are somewhat technical at first to make sure we're paying attention to the technique; this offers the byproduct of diverting our concentration away from triggering thoughts about work.

Techniques

Deep Belly Breathing

The Tibetan Healing Sounds

4-7-8 Breathing

sleeppractice
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Alexander Gouyet

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