One of the biggest obstacles to getting to sleep is effectively shutting our minds down for the day. If your mind is racing and you are having difficulty falling asleep, a few minutes of simple but effective breathing exercises can help calm your nervous system on a chemical level and help you achieve deep and restful sleep. The awareness and control of breath has been a central component of yoga for thousands of years. This practice of breath control is called pranayama.
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Once you are in bed, clear your thoughts and focus on Pranayama. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, first by pushing out your abdomen, thus allowing your diaphragm to move down and your chest to expand. As you exhale through your nose, allow your diaphragm to relax, by gently pulling in your abdomen and emptying the base of your lungs, then allow the rest of your chest to deflate. Doing this simple exercise for a few minutes after getting in bed will greatly relax your mind and help you sleep sound.
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