Breathslim Blog - Featuring breathing exercises, breathing therapy and proper breathing techniques.

Archive for Insomnia

How to Have Clean Indoor Air this Autumn

How to have clean indoor air in autumn for better breathing and healthy living

With summer wrapping up, you’re going to spending a lot more time indoors. Sweater weather is lovely, but often doesn’t allow laying in the park all day like in the summer. It’s a cozy time, but the increase in airborne pollutants indoors versus outdoors isn’t as appealing. Factors like air circulation and moisture impacts air quality, but there are simple steps you can take to keep your family healthy and breathing clean air through the fall and winter.

Firstly, make sure to clean and replace filters in your air conditioning and heating units. Clean and efficient fans and filters in furnaces, dehumidifiers, and other appliance function optimally and reduce moisture in the home. You should also make sure that air vents between the inside of your home and outdoors is clean for dirt and debris and do an overall autumn cleaning.

Dust collects all over your home and circulates through the air, which you then inhale. Reducing dust that collects can make the air feel fresher, so vacuum the rear grills on your fridge. Be diligent about cleaning drip trays and fixing leaks, as this will prevent mold. Clear out your clothes dryer ducts and vents. Or give yourself a treat and hire some elbow grease.

When temperatures drop and the air becomes dry, invest in a humidifier. In addition to keeping your skin looking good, air with the right amount of moisture is beneficial for the lungs and feels better. This will also help you have a deep sleep with more energized mornings.

This Evening Routine Will Have You Sleeping Sound and Waking Ready

Evening rituals to get a sound sleep and wake up with full energy

It never seems to surprise how tired we feel after work, but still have sleepless nights. It’s a conundrum, but luckily there are methods to help unwind and set your mind to sleep mode at the end of an active day. After all, you need all the sleep you can get to do this all over again tomorrow and the next day, and the next day..

The best road to a good night’s sleep is with a good night ritual. Here are some items that you should put in your evening ritual, organized from first to last in the order to be done before going to sleep, but the order can be scrambled if you choose.

1. Close down digitally

This should be the last time that you engage with electronics for the evening. Check your email, Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social media account, and then turn it on silent and put it away for the evening. If you use this device as an alarm clock, set that now.

2. Journaling

This is a time to check your schedule for tomorrow and review the past day, and then grab a notebook and write down stray thoughts and ideas. We recommend the analog paper and pen method because looking at a screen too close to bedtime actually contributes to sleepless nights, and you’re supposed to be “disconnected” for the rest of the evening, remember?

3. Light snack

Eating shortly before bed sounds a bit counterintuitive, but a light snack like yogurt and berries can actually help you have more energy in the morning.

4. Bathroom

In addition to your nightly bathroom routine, which gets you in the proper state of mind for sleep, a hot bath is the perfect way to loosen up and relax the body before hitting the sheets.

5. Visualization

Visualization exercises are great for focusing on your goals and recommitting yourself to them, but it also serves to disconnect your mind from the realities of day-to-day life, the stressors that can keep you tossing and turning. This is the time to think about your career aspirations, personal goals, or even just picture yourself sleeping – fake it until you make it.

6. Stretching

This is one more opportunity to loosen up the body and fill your lungs and blood with oxygen so you’re better rested and less stiff in the morning.

7. Read

Reading is another way to disconnect from the worries in your mind and the hassles of day-to-day life. Reading a good book distracts you while exercising your mind and providing joy.

Breathing: A Natural Approach to Weight Loss, Asthma, and Insomnia

According to WebMD, at least 40 million Americans suffer from diseases that are related to respiratory issues, like COPD. As the Centers for Disease Control continues, almost 36% of American adults are struggling with obesity, leading directly to further problems with their breathing. Naturally, being unable to breathe, or breathe properly, is extremely dangerous to our health in more than one way.

Perhaps, then, it should not be surprising to find out that many of the problems that reduce our respiratory function can actually be treated by exercising and training our respiratory systems. As the science continues to evolve, it seems that breathing exercises are beneficial to those struggling with weight loss, asthma sufferers, and the millions of Americans who are finding it hard to sleep at night.

Breathing for Weight Loss

According to Harvard Health Publications, breathing for weight loss is becoming an exceptionally popular method for the overweight or obese looking to reach their goals. By looking to oxygenate the body through deep breathing exercises, such as those performed with a lung trainer, our cells become much more active. In effect, oxygen weight loss works by giving our cells the ability to burn more energy in a shorter period of time.

Breathing for Asthma

Statistics from the CDC show that 25 million Americans have asthma. Unfortunately, that number is growing every year. Recent studies have shown that people suffering from asthma actually have a faster resting breath rate than everyone else. The Buteyko breathing method teaches asthmatics to breathe shallowly and slowly through the nose when they are short of breath. However, as healthcentral.com points out, asthmatics would benefit overall by learning how to breathe with their diaphragm all the time, improving their health while cutting healthcare dollars.

Breathing for Insomnia

The National Sleep Foundation finds that 44% of Americans report occasional insomnia, with 22% experiencing sleep difficulties every night. One of the most common ways to fix sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, is by using positive airway ventilation. However, if incorrectly prescribed to patients who have normal blood oxygen levels above 94%, this form of forced oxygen can cause brain damage.

Like weight loss and asthma, insomnia can actually be treated by learning how to improve your breathing. LiveStrong points out that by using the same methods we use for stress relief breathing, we can improve our sleep. Deep breathing exercises release seratonin, a crucial hormone associated with relaxation and restful sleep.

Learning to Breathe for Health

Almost half (45%) of women with sleep-disordered breathing develop mild dementia, versus the 31% among those who sleep normally. This is one reason why, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12.7% of American adults have used breathing for weight loss and other health purposes.

Whether you want to learn about breathing for weight loss, asthma, or insomnia, you should first consult your doctor. Once you have the all clear, you can learn how to breathe by practicing yoga or through the help of a respiratory trainer. Whatever you do, realize that learning to breathe properly may be the key to your health.

Sleep Hygiene