When we’re talking fitness, a couple of components play a crucial role in the results achieved.
As we all know, physical fitness is about the proper stimulation, followed by a period of recovery, through which the body rejuvenates and prepares for more.
And though training stimulation in the company of good nutrition is essential, sleep seems to be one of the critical factors.
Whether we’re talking about physical or mental performance, getting a good night’s sleep is essential.
Science does not know everything about sleep and its functions, but we know one thing for sure: poor sleep is soul-destroying.
So how can you improve your sleep?
Well, first off, before engaging in any practices like the breathwork we’ll talk about shortly, you have to realise that the body and all of its inner chemistry is tuned to the day and night cycle of our planet.
Humans tend to be more active throughout the day and rest and recover during the darkest hours.
Once the sunlight hits your eyes in the morning, this signals that it is time to wake up.
The brain secretes serotonin and other compounds that make you feel more alert and awake and transition into higher frequency brain waves.
There are four main types of brainwaves - Beta, alpha, theta and delta
During deep sleep, the brain works in delta mode, and once it’s time to wake up, you transition back into theta, alpha and finally beta.
Think of beta as an awakened state of alertness.
This state we maintain for most of the day until dawn sets in, and the brain start naturally going back to alpha, theta and delta when we’re falling into a deep sleep.
Now, the thing is that the fast-paced, modern-day lifestyle can often cause psychological stress, making the brain work when it's supposed to rest.
This can often lead to restlessness and a loss of the ability to fall asleep quickly.
And though this may be frustrating, there are ways to counter this, as it’s all about sending the proper signal.
Breathwork appears to be one of the best tools to calm the body down and put it to sleep seamlessly.
The reason why it works is that your breath can send powerful relaxation signals to both the heart and the brain, kicking your mind into calm brainwave frequencies.
Try this breathwork practise next time you’re having trouble falling asleep.
Step 1 - Lay down in your bed comfortably and close your eyes. Pay attention to how your body feels and release any tension from your body.
Step 2 - Once your body is relaxed, place your hands on your heart centre and take deep, slow breaths for 3-4 seconds.
Step 3 - Exhale slowly for another 3-4 seconds and repeat while observing your thoughts.
Avoid latching onto any thoughts and making a story out of them, especially if those are negative thoughts.
Swipe the thoughts away and focus on your breathing.
Again, if intrusive thoughts try to step in, swipe them away and try not to create similar thoughts.
Now think about it - You would ONLY breathe like this in a calm, safe environment. And your brain knows that.
Remember that sleep is pretty much automatic, and you don’t really “do” it… You give the brain that space to induce it!
What are YOUR best ways to fall asleep with ease? Comment down below.