Mind is a busy place, often quite too busy, sometimes even in places and times where it better
slow down, and that is one of the reasons so many people fail to get to a natural sleep. Deep
breathing exercises help significantly under such circumstances, serving multiple purposes. On
their own, these calms down central nervous system effectively, acting as superb meditation
and when done in combination with other relaxation techniques, their efficacy is doubled.
1. Normal Breathing
What most of us consider normal breathing is not actually proper breathing. Proper normal
breathing entails you lying down on your back with one hand resting on your belly and the
other lying over your chest. Now breathe normally, feeling your lungs and stomach expand and contract with every single breath. It is better if you try expanding your stomach only at first and then try expanding your chest only, all the while focusing on how your lungs feel every single breath of yours.
2. Nose Breathing
There are many people who use their mouths for breathing while asleep, but properly
breathing through your nose is a great help falling asleep naturally. Unless a person is
congested, the best practice is to breath deeply using your nose while inhaling and using your
mouth while exhaling. Experts believe that parasympathetic nervous system of a person is
stimulated while breathing deeply using nose, which induces relaxation. Nose breathing also
filters and moisturizes your breath before letting it through to your lungs.
3. Breathing and Relaxing
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) refers to a technique whereby you contract and relax
different muscle groups of your body, starting from toes and moving all the way up to your
head. The best way to perform PMR is by lying on your back, however, you can lie sideways if
feeling congested or uncomfortable. Start with your toes, squeezing them while inhaling deeply through your nostrils, holding your breath for three seconds. Then exhale via your mouth, also releasing your toes. Now do the same while flexing your feet and continue your way up through calves, thighs and so forth.