How to Fall Asleep (without help)

How to fall asleep
Every once in a while, everyone has trouble falling asleep. Maybe it's stress. Maybe it's caffeine. Maybe their sick. Who knows. But you lie in bed - and you don't fall asleep.

Fortunatley for us, human beings have been around and been not able to fall asleep for a long time. Tens of thousands of years (in one evolved state or another). So the problem of "How to Fall Asleep" is not new.

Thank Goodness, neither is the solution.

The ancient Indians called it pranayama - or breathing regulation. Although you can go into a lot more detail, suffice it to say that regulating your breathing can affect you mentally, physically, and psychologically. And the Indians aren't the only culture that discovered it, you can find these techniques in Yoga and throughout other ancient cultures.

We all know that rapid breathing can be a sign of fear or anxiety and is accompanied by a very alert state. But did you know that when you choose to breathe rapidly (like for a minute) - it will put you in that state? Maybe not afraid, but perhaps a little anxious and definately alert.

I'll wait for you to try it, because I can tell your going to. When you're done and say "Wow, he's right. That worked." You can keep reading.
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So the opposite is true as well. Those clever Ancients also discovered that slowing your breathing can make you calm, relaxed and more prone to fall asleep. Recently a Modern Doctor claimed he "invented" this ancient technique.

Ummm. No.

Here it is in its simplest form.
  1. Exhale through your mouth. (In most breathing exercises you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Just so you know.)
  2. Inhale slowly for about 4-5 seconds.
  3. Now hold your breath for about 5-7 seconds.
  4. Then Exhale slowly (through your mouth) for 8-10 seconds.
  5. Finally, breath normally for about 10 seconds to "reset" yourself.
Then repeat 2 or 3 times. Most likely by the third time, you'll be too relaxed to bother trying it a fourth time. But try to do it 4 to 5 times if you still feel like it.

Don't beat yourself up if you can't repeat it 4 times. It's supposed to relax you and help you sleep. If you feel like falling asleep after the third time, you've won!

When I first heard about this, I gave it a whirl. I only repeated it twice before falling asleep. Winner! Do me a favor and share this before you fall asleep. You probably won't remember in the morning.

Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Indi Samarajiva