Saturday, February 21, 2015

In the news: 6 Breathing Tricks To Help You Fall Asleep Faster Tonight

1) Take it slow.      We know, we know, you already tried that! But not so fast -- many of us don't actually know what if feels like to recruit the diaphragm, abdominals and lungs to take in a full breath, hold onto it for a moment and then gradually let it go.  With slow breathing, you'll feel the rib cage expand to let the lungs fill completely, and then fall back into its natural position as you exhale. Lie down in bed on your back and try breathing slowly for 10 minutes before nodding off.

2) Try the 4-7-8 technique.
To relieve your anxious mind, sit up in bed with your back straight, and press the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth. Maintaining that position, close your mouth and inhale through your nose for four counts, hold that breath for seven counts, and then exhale through your mouth around your tongue for eight counts. Repeat this pattern until you have completed four full breaths.

3) Use a traditional meditative breath.
If you find that a busy, anxious mind is your primary sleep destroyer, it may be time to finally give meditation a try. Through her research, neuroscientist and meditation expert Catherine Kerr has found that focusing on the breath is the very first component required in a mindfulness meditation practice. Connecting with the rise and fall of the breath, and noticing where you feel that breath move within the body, can help you begin the process of relaxing tense muscles. This physical change also helps you let any negative or stressful thoughts and emotions come and go as you remain tied to the breath and your body. Complete this breathing exercise for eight to 10 minutes to reap the full benefits each night.

4) Channel your yoga skills.
 Try it out by sitting in a kneeling position with your back straight and hands resting on your knees. Take a breath in through your nose and exhale powerfully through your mouth by contracting your abdominal muscles in short, measured bursts.

5) Alternate nostrils!
Alternate Nostrils!
  By alternating between each nostril for the inhale and exhale components of the breath, the body and mind are said to achieve a sense of balance and neutrality. While mouth breathing subconsciously tells the brain that the body is stressed, breathing through the nose sends signals of relaxation and homeostasis. When performing this breathing exercise at night before bed, start with the right nostril. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight, and close off the left nostril with the right ring finger to inhale. Then close off the right nostril with the right thumb to exhale. Keep your eyes closed throughout the exercise.

6) Double down on the exhale.
One more for the yogis out there! Many pranayamic breathing techniques rely on an exhale that is double the length of the previous inhale to inspire calming and restorative benefits. A 2006 study found that this form of voluntary, slow breathing has the ability to help reset the body's autonomic nervous system by synchronizing neural elements in the heart, lungs and brain. . To test it out, lie down in bed on your back, inhale for three seconds, exhale for six seconds and repeat until you've fallen asleep.


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next