Top 5 Best Breathing Techniques for Sleep
Bhramari Pranayama Breathing
Bhramari Pranayama is a breathing exercise based on the pranayama breathing technique used in yoga. It involves covering the eyes and ears while making a vibrating or humming noise. The steps for this breathing exercise are as follows:
- Inhale slowly through the nostrils, counting to four after each exhalation.
- Hold the breath for an additional count of four.
- Exhale slowly through the mouth, counting to four.
- Hold the breath for one more count of four after exhaling.
- Repeat this breathing rhythm if necessary.
4-7-8 breathing, also known as calming breath, is a deep rhythmic breathing technique. It incorporates inhaling, holding the breath, and exhaling to reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep. Follow these steps to try this breathing exercise:
- Separate the lips and exhale loudly through the mouth to empty the lungs completely.
- Inhale silently through the nose, counting to four, with the mouth closed.
- Hold the breath for seven counts.
- Exhale slowly through the mouth, counting to eight.
- Repeat this cycle around six times before returning to regular breathing.
Kapalbhati breathing is believed to help clear the sinuses and improve focus. It is an ancient form of breathing that should be practiced after becoming proficient in other techniques like Bhramari pranayama.
Buteyko Breathing Technique
The Buteyko breathing technique involves exercises that include breath-holding. It is recommended to seek guidance from qualified instructors to benefit the most from this technique.
A Buteyko exercise called relaxed breathing can be practiced as follows:
- Sit comfortably with legs stretched and back straight, either with eyes closed or a modest upward gaze.
- Place hands on the top and bottom of the chest and inhale quietly through the nose.
- Pay attention to the movement caused by breathing in different parts of the body, particularly the lower chest.
- After a while, allow the upper hand to rest on the lap.
- Gradually relax the face, jaw, shoulders, neck, abdomen, hips, and legs.
Box breathing is a technique that combines visualization and breathing exercises. It involves imagining a box with four sides to guide the rhythm and duration of each breath.