I never thought of myself as having insomnia, but by definition …I do.
Chances are, you do too, Adults need 7 to 9 hours of solid sleep each night. Less than that means that you have insomnia, and that should be addressed.
Here are some tricks for treating insomnia and falling asleep,
* go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
* relax at least 1 hour before bed, for example, take a bath. read a book, try journaling or meditation
* make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet – use curtains, blinds, an eye mask or ear plugs if needed
* exercise regularly during the day
* make sure your mattress, pillows and covers are comfortable
* do not smoke or drink alcohol, tea or coffee at least 6 hours before going to bed
* do not eat a big meal late at night
* do not exercise at least 4 hours before bed
* do not watch television or use devices, like smartphones, right before going to bed, because the bright light makes you more awake
* do not nap during the day
* do not drive when you feel sleepy
Yet another “trick” to help you fall asleep quickly is called the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
Here’s how: “The following steps should all be carried out in the cycle of one breath:
1. First, let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth.
2. Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.
3. Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath. 4. Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.
When you inhale again, you initiate a new cycle of breath. Practice this pattern for four full breaths.”
While practicing this 4-7-8 technique be aware that you’re not shallow breathing at the top of the chest on the inhalation, but taking a full deep breath into the belly. Also, if holding the breath for seven seconds feels strained at all then hold the breath for less time so it feels comfortable but keep the exhalation at the full eight seconds. The long slow exhalation helps to stimulate the Vagus Nerve which helps regulate the parasympathetic side of the autonomic nervous system, the “rest and digest” side which helps keep us relaxed. You could also try humming the breath out instead of the whooshing sound. Humming also stimulates the Vagus Nerve.
The benefits of deep breathing are impressive. Research has found that slow, conscious breathing exercises, like the 4-7-8 technique, can greatly enhance emotional control and psychological well-being.
Try this for yourself. And please let me know how it works for you.