Elevating Your Mental Wellness

March 26, 2023
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Fall Asleep - Method 2: Breathing Techniques to Calm the Mind and Body


Welcome to the second installment in our series on falling asleep easier. In this blog post, we'll explore the power of breathing techniques to help calm your mind and body, leading to a faster and more restful sleep. Proper breathing can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and overthinking, common factors that contribute to difficulty falling asleep. By incorporating these techniques into your bedtime routine, you can enjoy a more peaceful slumber.

The Importance of Breathing for Sleep

Breathing plays a crucial role in your overall well-being and your ability to fall asleep. When you breathe deeply and rhythmically, it:

  • Activates your parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation
  • Reduces stress hormones like cortisol
  • Increases the flow of oxygen to your brain
  • Helps stabilize blood pressure and heart rate

With these benefits in mind, let's dive into some effective breathing techniques that you can use to calm your mind and body before bed.

Breathing Technique 1: The 4-7-8 Method

The 4-7-8 method, also known as "relaxing breath," is a simple yet powerful technique that can help you fall asleep faster.

How to do it:

  1. Find a comfortable position and close your eyes.
  2. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  4. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
  5. Repeat this cycle 4 times.

By focusing on your breath and the counting, you'll calm your mind and relax your body, preparing yourself for sleep.

Breathing Technique 2: Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as "deep breathing," engages your diaphragm, allowing for more efficient oxygen exchange and promoting relaxation.

How to do it:

  1. Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  2. Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs with air.
  3. Exhale slowly through your mouth or nose, letting your abdomen fall.
  4. Repeat this process for a few minutes, focusing on the movement of your abdomen and the sensation of your breath.

By practicing diaphragmatic breathing, you can help reduce muscle tension, lower your heart rate, and create a sense of calm before bedtime.

Breathing Technique 3: Box Breathing

Box breathing, also known as "square breathing" or "four-count breathing," is a technique often used by athletes, military personnel, and first responders to manage stress and maintain focus. It's also helpful for promoting relaxation and sleep.

How to do it:

  1. Find a comfortable position and close your eyes.
  2. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
  4. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
  5. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
  6. Repeat this cycle for a few minutes.

Box breathing can help you regain control over your thoughts and emotions, allowing you to relax and drift off to sleep.

Breathing Technique 4: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate nostril breathing, or "Nadi Shodhana" in Sanskrit, is a yogic breathing technique that can help balance your nervous system and promote relaxation.

How to do it:

  1. Find a comfortable seated position.
  2. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, and inhale through your left nostril.
  3. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger, and hold your breath for a moment.
  4. Release your right thumb, and exhale through your right nostril.
  5. Inhale through your right nostril, then close it with your thumb.
  6. Release your ring finger, and exhale through your left nostril.
  7. This completes one cycle. Repeat for 5-10 cycles.

This technique helps calm the mind and balance the two hemispheres of the brain, creating a sense of tranquility that is conducive to sleep.

Incorporating Breathing Techniques into Your Bedtime Routine

To get the most out of these breathing techniques, it's essential to incorporate them into your nightly routine. Set aside 5-10 minutes before bed to practice your chosen technique, and be consistent in your efforts. Over time, you'll likely find that these practices help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a more restful sleep.

Additional Tips for a Restful Sleep

While incorporating breathing techniques into your bedtime routine can significantly improve your ability to fall asleep, it's essential to consider other factors that contribute to a restful night. Here are some additional tips to enhance your sleep quality:

  • Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule
  • Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment
  • Limit Exposure to Stimulants
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Manage Stress and Anxiety


Breathing techniques are a powerful tool to help calm your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. By incorporating methods like the 4-7-8 method and diaphragmatic breathing into your bedtime routine and following the additional tips outlined above, you can improve your sleep quality and enjoy a more restful night. Sweet dreams!


Achieve harmony in your life.


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