Updated: Aug 23, 2021
When we’re talking fitness, there are a couple of components that play a crucial role for the end results achieved.
As we all know, physical fitness is about the right stimulation, followed by a period of recovery, through which the body rejuvenates and prepares for more.
And though training stimulation in the company of good nutrition is important, sleep seems to be one of the essential factors.
Whether we’re talking about physical or mental performance, getting a good night’s sleep is essential.
As a matter of fact, science does not really know everything about sleep and its functions, but we know one thing for sure and that is namely the fact that poor sleep is soul destroying.
So how can you improve your sleep, really? Well, first off, before engaging in any practices like the breath work we’ll talk about shortly, you have to realize that the body and all of its inner chemistry is tuned to the day and night cycle of our planet.
We humans tend to be more active throughout the day and rest and recover during the darkest hours.
Once the sunlight hits your eyes in the morning, this is a signal that it is time to wake up.
The brain secretes serotonin and other compounds that make you feel more alert and awake, and transitions into brain waves of higher frequency.
There are four main types of brainwaves - Beta, alpha, theta and delta
During deep sleep, the brain works in delta mode and once it’s time to wake up, you transition back into theta, alpha and finally beta.
Think of beta as an awakened state of alertness.
This state, we maintain for most of the day, until dawn sets in and the brain starts naturally going back to alpha, theta and delta when we’re falling into deep sleep.
Now, the thing is that the fast-paced, modern-day lifestyle can often cause psychological stress, which makes the brain work when its supposed to rest.
This can often lead to restlessness and a loss of the ability to fall asleep easily.
And though this may be frustrating, there are ways to counter this, as it’s all about sending the right signal.
Breath work appears to be one of the best tools to calm the body down and put it to sleep seamlessly.
The reason why it works is because your breath can send powerful relaxation signals to both the heart and the brain, kicking your mind into calm brainwave frequencies.
Try this breath work practice next time you’re having trouble falling asleep
Step 1 - Lay down in your bed comfortably and close your eyes. Pay attention to how your body feels and release any tension from your musculature.
Step 2 - Once your body is relaxed, place your hands on your heart center and take a deep, slow breath for 3-4 seconds.
Step 3 - Exhale slowly for another 3-4 seconds and repeat, while observing your thoughts.
Avoid latching onto any thoughts and making a story out of them, especially if those are negative thoughts.
Swipe the thoughts away and focus on your heartbeat and your breathing.
Again, if intrusive thoughts try to step in, simply swipe them away and don’t create similar thoughts.
Now think about it - You would ONLY breathe like this in a calm, safe environment. And your brain knows that.
Remember that sleep is pretty much automatic and you don’t really “do” it… You just give the brain a premise to induce it!
What are YOUR best ways to fall asleep with ease? Comment down below.