Do you ever have a moment at night when you are still conscious, but you can tell sleep is coming? I know I am starting to fall asleep when I have a train of thought that I suddenly can’t remember or realize doesn’t make sense. This is the transitional period between sleep and waking called hypnagogia.
Whether you desire to ease the transition to sleep, sleep better overall, or improve your lucid dreaming, breathing exercises can increase oxygen, calming your mind. Increased oxygen before bed can slow your heart rate and other bodily functions, preparing your heartrate for the slower pace of slumber.
One of the most popular breathing techniques is the 4-7-8 breathing method:
Allow your mind to empty. If a thought enters, don’t be frustrated. Once you notice the thought, just let it go and return to focusing on your breath and the feeling of air coming in and out. Breathing with your abdomen (and not your chest) inhale with your nose to a count of four. Hold your breath and count to seven. Exhale through your mouth, making a soft whooshing sound, and count to eight. Repeat this process at least four more times and see the difference it makes.