Top 3 Breathing Exercises For Deep Sleep

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Breathing Techniques for Sleep

Top 3 Breathing Exercises For Deep Sleep

Sleep is an inbuilt part of our lives and natural to our cells. It is the deepest meditation and the phase where all the magic occurs. No amount of drugs, caffeine or technology can ever replace what natural sleep and rest can do for our body and mind. However, to truly experience the magic that sleep brings, it is important to focus on the quality of it to enable deeper stages of sleep. It is during these stages our body heals, repairs, rejuvenates, detoxes and regains its balance. A light sleep does not allow all of these processes to occur.


While the human body is naturally designed to eventually navigate through all stages of sleep, sometimes it can be tricky especially if you have been stressed, have too many thoughts cropping up, were under the influence of stimulants like coffee, tea, alcohol or were exposed to technology right before bed.


The wisdom of yoga and pranayama teaches us on using the breath as a tool to allow deeper stages of sleep.


Some of the most effective breathing techniques are:

  1. Left nostril breathing or Moon breathing or Chandra Bhedna:

Our left nostril (Chandra Nadi) corresponds to the moon, which is thought to be very soothing and cooling. Left nostril breathing thus helps you relax and cool down, a prerequisite state required for deep sleep.


  • Sit crossed leg on the bed or floor. If this is not comfortable, sit on a chair. Make sure your back is straight, the chin is parallel to the ground, and the shoulders are slightly rolled back.
  • Make a pranayama mudra with your right hand by pressing the index and middle finger of your hand towards the base of your thumb. This is called Vishnu Mudra.
  • Now, use your right thumb to shut the right nostril. (If you are left-handed, then make the pranayama mudra with your left hand and shut the right nostril with index and middle finger of your left hand).
  • Inhale through your left nostril while keeping the right one closed.
  • After a full inhale, close your left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. This comprises one round.
  • Now, close your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril.
  • Practice 10-15-20-25 rounds of this breathing just before sleep.

You can choose to keep your eyes closed for deeper relaxation.


  1. 4-7-8 breathing:

This technique can hugely ease your stress and anxiety.


  • Sit crossed leg on the bed or floor. If this is not comfortable, sit on a chair. Make sure your back is straight, the chin is parallel to the ground, and the shoulders are slightly rolled back.
  • Inhale with both nostrils for 4 seconds or counts.
  • Hold/retain the breath inside for 7 counts.
  • Exhale through the nose for 8 counts.
  • Practice 5 – 7 rounds of this breathing just before sleep.

To reap more benefits, one can take exhalation a step forward by avoiding exhalation through the nostrils. Instead, purse your lips tight and exhale with a “whoosh” sound. Imagine blowing out a candle! Do this while also counting 8 seconds.


You can do this for 5 rounds, to begin with, and then slowly build up to 7 and then 10 rounds. This trains your parasympathetic nervous system, calms down your nervous system, and gets your breath in control. It also helps distribute oxygen equally to all the cells of your body.


  1. Bhramari or Bee Breathing:

Any sound-producing breath is extremely relaxing and calming for the nervous system. They help produce vibrations within the body and brain, which can help you feel calm and soothed.




  • Sit crossed leg on the bed or floor. If this is not comfortable, sit on a chair. Make sure your back is straight, the chin is parallel to the ground, and the shoulders are slightly rolled back.
  • Form Shanmukhi mudra using both hands, i.e. index finger on eyes, middle finger on nose, ring finger on upper lips, little finger on jaw, and thumb on ears.
  • Keep your eyes closed to help turn all your senses inwards.
  • Take a normal inhalation through the nose.
  • While exhaling, create an “mmmmmmmmmmm” humming sound and soak in every vibration that is produced.
  • Practice 5 – 6 rounds of this breathing just before sleeping.
  • You can also make a low-pitched sound, but it is a good idea to make a high-pitched one for better results.


Use these free yet powerful tools, if you are having trouble falling asleep. There are people across the globe, including insomniacs, who have practised this every night with discipline and now experience better-quality sleep. But, remember, none of these suggestions have to be a replacement for your medications. Take it if you have to, but also know that there is a lot more you can adopt beyond your medications.


Also read: Top 15 Holistic Tips to handle Insomnia (Sleep Issues)

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