Anxiety can create insomnia. Picture: IANS
Anxiety can create insomnia. Picture: IANS

This breathing technique can help you with insomnia

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Apr 13, 2020

Share this article:

Covid-19 has been a stressful time for many people, which has led to many emotional and mental problems, including insomnia.

However, there are a number of relaxation therapies and stress reduction methods you may want to try to relax the mind and the body before going to bed to help with insomnia.

One that has been used for many years is breathing techniques.

Dr Andrew Weil believes conscious breathing takes various forms. Each variety can be a useful tool for achieving a desired mental or physical state.

His method includes the 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as “relaxing breath,” which involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.

Weil believes that his 4-7-8 breathing technique can help with the following: reducing anxiety, helping a person get to sleep, managing cravings, controlling or reducing anger responses.

Although you can do the exercise in any position, Weil says it may be best to sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Then place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. 

  • You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
  • Focus on the following breathing pattern:empty the lungs of air
  • Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
  • Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds. You can repeat the cycle up to 4 times

Other tips that can help with insomnia include:

Wake up at the same time each day. It is tempting to sleep late on weekends, especially if you have had poor sleep during the week. However, if you suffer from insomnia you should get up at the same time every day in order to train your body to wake at a consistent time.

Limit naps. While napping seems like a proper way to catch up on missed sleep, it is not always so. It is important to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern and train oneself to associate sleep with cues like darkness and a consistent bedtime. Napping can affect the quality of nighttime sleep.

Do not eat or drink right before going to bed. Eating a late dinner or snacking before going to bed can activate the digestive system and keep you up. If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn.

Share this article:

Related Articles