Home Health Breathe In, Lights Out: Breathing Exercises for Better Sleep

Breathe In, Lights Out: Breathing Exercises for Better Sleep


One of the most underrated yet straightforward ways to sleep better is to take a few deep breaths. Sounds easy enough, right? Yet, for some reason, when there is no sleep in sight, the idea of doing some breathing exercises doesn’t come to mind.

Sleeping better with the help of deep breathing, as well as ensuring your bedroom is designed for calm and comfortable rest, is a great way to naturally create a healthy sleep routine and set yourself up for more energetic days. For example, if you’re not sleeping on the most comfortable mattress, you are probably not sleeping as well as you should be.

Before learning about how you can improve your sleep with breathing exercises, take a look around your bedroom and ask yourself if it makes you feel calm and comfortable.

If the answer is no, no matter how much breathing you do, it’s likely you won’t feel the full extent of benefits if your bedroom environment is stressing you out. If your bed isn’t comfy, consider treating yourself with a memory foam mattress. These beds are not only one of the best-rated mattresses on the market (read mattress reviews to find out), but they are also highly supportive and contour to the body, providing relief to pressure points and creating calm.

Once you are sure you have the most comfortable mattress, consider an adjustable bed frame, especially if you sleep with a partner. Adjustable bed bases allow couples to customize their sleep experience, creating less disturbance.

Sleeping cool and feeling calm and sleepy go hand in hand. It’s impossible to practice breathing exercises when you are in a hot and stuffy room. Ensure there is proper air circulation in the bedroom, open a window, or turn on the AC if necessary. Try not to overuse the air conditioning as it can circulate dust. If you tend to sleep hot, a cooling pillow can go a long way in helping to reduce your sleep deprivation.

Okay, so your bedroom is set up for exceptional sleep, now it’s time to learn some simple breathing techniques that can end nights of counting sheep and kick-start unbelievably deep and relaxing sleep.

Count To 10 

This one is simple yet highly effective. Lay on your back and place your palms facing up on your mattress. Close your eyes, take a deep full breath in, and then completely breathe out. Repeat this 10 times. 

Using A Mantra During Breathing 

If you need something more focussed, partnering your breathing exercise with a mantra is helpful. A mantra is a phrase that you repeat. To incorporate a mantra into your breathing exercise, you first need to select a mantra. It is best to choose a phrase that includes 1 – 2 words, that helps you feel calm. Something like ‘breath deeply’ is a simple yet effective mantra.

Sit comfortably or lay down on your mattress. As you inhale deeply, repeat your mantra in your head. Then, as you exhale, repeat the mantra again. The use of a mantra helps to focus the mind during breaths.

Repeat this 10 – 15 times before you sleep.

4-7-8 Breathing Technique 

This is a popular breathing technique developed by Dr Weil. It involves the following steps:

  1. Inhale through your nose to a count of 4
  2. Hold your breath for a count of 7
  3. Exhale for a count of 8

Repeat this cycle three times. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is also helpful during stressful situations. It is said to calm the nervous system and help provide clarity to the mind.

If you are having trouble sleeping and are yet to try focusing on your breathing, any of the above exercises can help you achieve better sleep. But also consider the set up of your bedroom. A few upgrades, such as a memory foam mattress, together with breathing techniques, are a great way to get better sleep naturally.