Approximately 41 percent of the U.S. population is not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, according to a recent Gallup report.
In fact, not getting enough sleep every night can have a negative impact on all aspects of your life, such as your productivity, ability to make decisions, mood, and more.
Sleep deprivation may also have a negative impact on your physical well-being, like your weight. Namely, a study showed that that sleeping less than 6 hours per night for only 7 days led to changes in 7 hundred genes in the body.
Even though the researchers did not fully understand the results of these changes, they concluded that there’s an effect on the immune system, inflammation, and stress response.
You may be sleep deprived because you are not able to fall asleep quickly. Your over-burdened, over-scheduled and over-worked life has you hitting the sheets with a lot on your mind. This may prevent you from falling asleep almost every night.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a teacher and practitioner of integrative medicine, says that it’s easy to clear the clutter from your mind and fall asleep quickly. He adds that a simple breathing exercise may help calm your mind in preparation for sleep.
Here Is How to Practice This Breathing Exercise to Fall Asleep Fast:
- Ensure that your posture does not stop you from taking deep breaths.
- Place the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth. Keep the tongue there during the whole breathing exercise.
- Breathe out completely.
- Then, breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out through the mouth for 8 seconds.
- Also, you need to complete the sequence 3 more times.
With practice, this breathing exercise may become an effective relaxation and sleep aid, even though it might make you feel light-headed in the beginning. Not only is it beneficial before going to bed, it’s also helpful to practice whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressed.
It can help you focus on your breath in the moment, slow your breath, and fill your body with oxygen, allowing your body to relax. It may lower your anxiety and stress when you aren’t able to fall asleep.
When you start worrying about what the sleep deprivation will do to your day, your breathing may go into panic mode as well as it may become more shallow. It may increase your heart rate, moving you further away from the sleep you crave.
Therefore, you need to practice the above mentioned breathing exercise.
Also, there’re many other things you can do to fall asleep more quickly:
- Create a routine. You can honor your sleep if you go to bed at the same time each night as well as wake up before your alarm each morning.
- Create a proper environment for sleep. If you keep your smartphone, television, and work out of your bedroom, you will create an adequate environment for sleep.
- Quiet your bedroom and remove any annoying noise from there. But, in case your partner’s snoring keeps you awake at night, you may want to use noise-lowering ear plugs.
- Write down what’s lingering in your mind before bedtime. It can send a message to your brain that it’s OK to let your thoughts go.
- You need to turn down the thermostat. In a few sleep studies, researchers found that participants slept better when their bedroom was on the cooler side.
In a nutshell, there’s nothing your body needs more than sleep to reenergize you. That’s why you should get adequate and restorative sleep each night. You can do so by practicing the above mentioned breathing exercise and creating a proper environment for sleep.