Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. It’s also something that you can implement anytime, anywhere. Not only is breathwork a powerful tool in lowering stress, but it can also be a major help in promoting deeper sleep (what a dream!). Sleep struggles are often caused by our inability to switch off and relax, which is where breathwork can be so beneficial.
Slow, controlled breathing triggers the body’s natural relaxation response - heart rate slows, muscles relax and the mind begins to slow. When we consciously shift focus to the breath, we have the power to regulate our autonomic nervous system and move into a restful, relaxed state. It’s part of the perfect recipe for better sleep.
During our Remy Sleep Week, we held an Instagram Live led by London based breathwork coach and mental health ambassador, Jamie Clements. Jamie guided us through a 10 minute breathwork exercise to help decompress, down regulate the autonomic nervous system and drift off into a nice peaceful sleep.
Close your eyes, bring your awareness to the breath and feel the moment begin to slow down...
Conscious breathing exercises
The 4-7-8 Technique
It’s a simple 3 step process that you can repeat until you feel the relaxation take over your body.
It’s also one of the most popular breathing techniques as it’s easy to remember and can be used to find your calm whenever you’re feeling particularly anxious.
First, take a 4 second deep inhale through the nose.
Next, pause and hold your breath for 7 seconds.
Then, let your lips part and exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds, slow and controlled.
Repeat this cycle and allow yourself to drift off into a restful state.
Let go of the stress, let in the relaxation.
The 4-6 Method
In a comfortable position, start to breathe into the belly. Slow down the breath and keep your awareness on the breath as you begin to unwind. Start to take deeper breaths.
This cycle is a 2 step process:
- Inhale through the nose for 4 seconds
- Follow with an exhale with the mouth for 6 seconds
Consciously control the exhale as your body moves into deeper rest.
Let your body soften with each exhale.
Continue the cycle for as long as you need.
These simple breathwork techniques are ones that you can implement anytime during the day… at your desk, whenever you’re feeling anxious, before bed, if you wake up during the night and are struggling to fall back to sleep.
What we recommend: Try pairing these breathwork techniques with your weighted blanket for the ultimate relaxation experience. The combination of the Deep Pressure Therapy (from the weighted blanket) plus the power of the breath will be sure to encourage a deep, restorative night's sleep.