Breathing Yourself To Sleep – Breathing for Insomnia


The following very simple breathing technique is useful if you are suffering from disturbed sleep or insomnia– whether you have trouble switching off and going to sleep or perhaps you need to get up in the night to a baby or to go to the toilet or you may be a light sleeper.   This breath – ‘Extending the Outbreath’ puts the brakes on your nervous system and takes you into relaxation response.   Remember to practice it during the day so that you will remember to use it in the night.

  1. Lie comfortably on your back or side.
  2. Become aware of the breath flowing in and out of your nostrils
  3. Notice how the breath flows in to your nostrils and meets at the eyebrow centre and then flows from the eyebrow centre back down and out of the nostrils- in a triangular shape.
  4. Breathe in up the triangle to a count of 4. Breathe out back down the nostrils to a count of 5 or 6. Keep going like this making your outbreath a little longer than your inbreath. The breath should be long and slow and deep.
  5. If you lose track and your mind wanders, when you realise that just come back to the breathing and counting.

For insomnia, remember to have a time away from electronic devices prior to sleep. This helps send a message to your brain that you are preparing to sleep.   It is best not to have a TV or mobile phone in your room. Go to bed before 10 as often as you can. This sleep between 9.30 and 2pm is the most restorative.   Sweet Dreams!