Mindful breathing for sleep

Your breath

Focusing on your breathing increases your self-awareness. Our breath is most frequently unconsciously controlled. Stress can cause us to breathe incorrectly, taking shallow and ineffective breaths. Ineffective, shallow breathing can affect your melatonin levels.

Your thoughts

During this technique, you will probably find that thoughts will try to distract you.

Just acknowledge them and move your focus back to your breath. You are separate from your thoughts.

See them as bright floating objects in your mind. It is not necessary to try to clear your mind, simply let it be and bring your attention back to your breath. 

The 5 Cycles of Mindful Breathing Technique

  • Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
  • Place your hand on your abdomen.
  • Breathe in through your nose while counting to 10. Feel your stomach rise under your hand, and then expand your chest.
  • Pause.
  • Breathe out through your mouth while counting to 5. Feel your chest contract, and then your abdomen contract.
  • If you notice any thoughts in your mind, acknowledge them and let them pass while you bring your attention back to counting.
  • After the breathing cycle notice how your body feels. Then repeat this breathing cycle five times.
Article written by Dr Aleesha Dhillon
Disclaimer: This article is solely for information purposes. It is not to replace a consultation with a qualified health professional. It should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. The article is based on the opinions of the author who retains copyright. You are advised to make your own health decisions based on your research and alongside a qualified health professional. Please consult a doctor if you have any health concerns.

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