One simple breathing exercise could be all you need to enjoy a good night's sleep
The doctor backed hack just might cut through all the hype.
For many of us, those elusive zzz’s keep getting harder and harder to catch. Hence why everywhere you look there seem to be new “hacks” for getting a good night's sleep—especially on TikTok, where “sleepy girl mocktails” currently reign supreme.
But unlike most viral elixir recipes, this trick for falling asleep fast is actually doctor approved.Dr. Kunal Sood, who is a TikTok celebrity in his own right with 2.2 millions followers, revealed that finally getting some long awaited shuteye might come down to a super simple breathing exercise.
In a clip posted to his page, Dr. Sood breaks down what’s known as resonance frequency breathing, which involves slowing your breathing down to around 3-7 breaths per minute.
This type of breathing is accomplished by “inhaling and exhaling for a count of five,” Dr. Sood explains, adding that this activity “activates the parasympathetic nervous system,” which helps us relax enough to fall asleep.
The doctor also stated that “there is even research which shows that practicing resonance frequency breathing can reduce your anxiety and improve your cognitive performance,”a claim upheld by The National Institutes of Health which states: “Self-training in resonance breathing lowers stress, blood pressure and improves mood.”
@doctorsood Have you tried this to help you sleep? 😴 #sleep #sleeptips ♬ original sound - DoctorSood, M.D.
Resonance frequency breathing is very similar to the popular 4-7-8 breathing technique, where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Both seem to uphold the concept that breath can be the key to our relaxation, thanks to the physiological processes it conjures up.
Research has shown that different emotional states are linked with different forms of breathing, and that following the breathing patterns associated with those emotions causes you to actually feel the corresponding emotion. Breathing in a relaxed way therefore sends a signal to the brain saying that it’s time to relax. Though you could you either resonance breathing as described by Dr. Sood, or 4-7-8 breathing, or some other variation, a good rule of thumb is to lengthen your exhales, as that’s when your heart rate slows down.
Breathing can be a helpful tool in a variety of anxiety inducing situations.
We all know that getting good sleep is vital for our wellbeing, and while it might seem like we need to go to extremes or buy whatever’s trending on the subject, it’s nice to know that oftentimes our body is already well equipped to help us. Sometimes, it really is as easy as taking a breath.