Woman on Yoga Mat doing breathing exercise

With everything going on in the world today, it can be tough to get a good night’s sleep, especially if you already have difficulty drifting off to bed. While some people taking Ubiquinol may notice an improvement in the overall amount of energy they feel during the day, these effects should not affect your ability to sleep. Still, it’s a good idea to know about some simple ways to help you sleep. One proven method for addressing insomnia is self-regulating your breathing. Breathing deeply, when done correctly, can help create melatonin in the body, a natural hormone that helps cue your body to sleep. Having breathing exercises on hand for nights when you can’t get some shut-eye is a good idea.

Read more: Stress and Sleep

Breathing Exercises To Calm Down & Promote Sleep

Here are some basic breathing exercises that you can try if you’re having a tough time falling asleep.

Box Breathing

One of the easiest methods of regulated breathing to learn is called “box breathing.” This is famously a breathing exercise that Navy SEALs are trained to use in stressful situations. In box breathing, you envision the shape of a box, and you breathe in for a four count. Then, following along the next edge of the shape of the box, you breathe out for the next count of four. Repeat this process until you’ve traced the box as many times as necessary. In this breathing method, focusing on a visual aid helps provide a distraction from your stress and your sleeplessness.

Triangle Breathing

Similar to box breathing, “triangle breathing” asks you to focus on the visual image of a triangle. But unlike in box breathing, instead of breathing in and then out for a specific count per side of the box, triangle breathing asks you to perform a different breathing process per side of the triangle. You’ll spend three seconds on each side. For the first side, you’ll breathe in for three counts. On the second side, you’ll hold your breath for three counts. Then on the final side, you’ll breathe slowly out for three counts. Breathing in this way can help physically slow your heart rate, so you can relax more easily.

4-7-8 Breathing

In 4-7-8 breathing, the goal is mental as much as it is physical. Each move in the breathing sequence is meant to help you breathe out the negative energy of the day and breathe in the calmness of night. First, part your lips, then forcefully exhale with an audible whooshing sound. You’ll want to make sure all of your lungs are empty of air. Then, inhale through your nose for four seconds. Follow that by exhaling slowly and steadily for seven seconds. Then you’ll want to hold your breath for a full eight seconds. Repeat, if you can. This breathing exercise can also help you build up lung capacity and stamina over time.

Related: Building a Nighttime Routine

These are just a few ways that deep breathing exercises can help you relax as part of your nighttime routine. Make a goal to practice one each weeknight for the next week, and then on Friday, choose the exercise that worked best for you. There are plenty of other breathing exercises out there to learn, too.

Risa Schulman

Ph.D

Risa Schulman, Ph.D. took her lifelong love of science, people and the fulfillment of potential to create a multifaceted career in R&D, business, health and wellness, and empowering individuals. 

This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice.  Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition.  Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.