Falling asleep has always been a struggle for me. I have a hard time slowing down and shutting off my brain. Fortunately, there are a number of breathing exercises in yoga to help you fall asleep fast. Among my favorites is the Deep Throat Breathing, or Ujjayi Breath. Start by exhaling all of the oxygen out of your lungs, and then inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of four. Relaxing, right?
To help you fall asleep, the following breathing exercise can be done before you get into bed (or while in bed if you’d like). Start by inhaling through the nose for a count of four, and then exhaling for a count of four. Continue by increasing it by two counts with each breath, for as long as you can. Once you found your max breath capacity, begin working backwards, decreasing it by two counts with each breath. If your max breath capacity was 12-counts, do a 10-count inhale and 10-count exhale, all the way down to a four-count. Once you get back down to four, release all of the oxygen from your lungs and return to your normal breathing.
I have tried this before going to bed, and when flying, with great success. This exercise leaves me feeling relaxed and clear headed, and I’m able to fall asleep much quicker than usual. Give it a try!