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3 Sleep Tricks to Try in Bed

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3 Sleep Tricks to Try in Bed

By Shannon Sexton, Yoga+

The following exercises will help you fall asleep and stay asleep by facilitating physical, mental, and emotional cleansing and activating the body’s relaxation response. Try them and see for yourself.

2:1 Breathing
Have you ever noticed that when your nervous system is jacked up, your inhalations are longer than your exhalations? Short exhalations make us vulnerable to anxiety and depression, cause toxins to accumulate, and create an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system, all of which make sleeping difficult. The antidote? Make your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation.

To begin, lie in shavasana. Place one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest. Tune into your breath. (If your chest is moving, relax your rib cage and focus on breathing solely into your abdomen.) Let the inhalation and exhalation be approximately equal in length.

Gradually deepen the breath and slow it down: On your next exhalation, gently engage your abdominal muscles and push a little extra air out of the lungs. Allow your abdomen to rise slightly higher as you inhale. Then begin to count your in- and out-breaths in even ratios starting, perhaps, with 3:3, then moving up to 6:6 whatever is within your comfortable capacity.

Let your breath flow quietly and smoothly through the nostrils, and when you are ready, let the next inhalation be a little shorter than the last. Gradually adjust your breathing to achieve a 2:1 ratio, exhaling for four counts and inhaling for two, for example. Focus on creating a smooth transition between your in- and out-breath, and back off a bit if you feel any urge to gasp for air.

If you sustain this breathing pattern for a few minutes, your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, and your muscles begin to relax. When practiced correctly, 2:1 breathing eliminates wastes from the lungs while calming and nurturing the nervous system. You can do this practice for as long as it is comfortable.

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Megan, selected from Yoga+ Magazine

Yoga International is an award-winning, independent magazine that contemplates the deeper dimensions of spiritual life--exploring the power of yoga practice and philosophy to not only transform our bodies and minds, but inspire meaningful engagement in our society, environment, and the global community.

505 comments

+ add your own
1:37AM PST on Nov 10, 2014

Very interesting method. Thanks.

10:12PM PST on Nov 4, 2014

Thank you :)

9:08PM PST on Nov 4, 2014

thanks for sharing..)

1:53AM PST on Nov 4, 2014

thank you.

12:04AM PST on Nov 4, 2014

Thank you for some scientific/meditative/sexual thinking

11:09PM PST on Nov 3, 2014

thanks for info::)

4:12AM PST on Nov 3, 2014

thanks for share this..

3:46AM PST on Nov 3, 2014

thanks for help.

12:08AM PST on Nov 3, 2014

thanks for info.

12:03AM PST on Nov 3, 2014

thankas.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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