Want To Fall Asleep Faster? Try This Breathing Exercise Tonight

Written by mindbodygreen

Image by Hannah Schwob / mbg Creative

Why is it that a 30-minute meeting can feel like eons, but the half-hour before your bedtime flies by faster than you can say "just one more episode"?

Perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself all day is to get a good night's rest the night before. That usually requires having some kind of bedtime routine and actually sticking to it—which we get is easier said than done.

"A lot of people aren't able to do this in our 24/7 world," sleep expert Deborah E. Sewitch, Ph.D., tells mbg. "You're either still working or thinking about everything that happened during the day or what's coming up tomorrow—instead, make a contract with yourself that the last half-hour ahead of bedtime is for shutting down from the day." 

Aside from shutting off your devices and unplugging from technology, there are a few things you can do to settle both your body and mind before bed. In the video below, we'll take you through a two-part calming ritual that welcomes a peaceful transition to sleep: First, a deeply hydrating and balancing mask you can whip up in minutes (shout out to our Vitamix® Ascent® Series A3500 blender) to prep your skin for overnight restoration; and second, a breath-focused relaxation exercise proven to help your mind relax and your body initiate sleep.

You can do this breathing exercise sitting up or lying down (pro tip: Try it in the middle of your day the next time you feel stressed, nervous, or anxious), according to Sewitch.

"Take a big breath in, hold it for a couple of seconds, and let it out as slowly as you can," she instructs. "The important part is that the out breath is much slower than the in breath. The more you slow your out breath from the breathing cycle, the more you slow down your heart rate and all of your physiological functions. As you repeat this, let out your breath even slower each time."

Watch the video below and try it for yourself tonight!

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