Bumblebee Breathing Trick
If sleep anxiety is keeping you up at night, our sleep expert Anandi is here to help.
Getting in to bed in the evening should feel like the most relaxing part of your day - but for many of us struggling with sleep anxiety, it just doesn’t happen that way.
What is sleep anxiety?
Sleep anxiety is the feeling of unease or nervousness associated with regular anxiety that occurs right before, or during, sleep. The more you worry about not sleeping, the less you sleep; and the less you sleep, the more you worry - and the more your head fills with racing thoughts! This unfortunate cycle fuels your biological ‘fight or flight’ response releasing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which aren't exactly the ideal conditions for a great night’s sleep.
How to stop your racing minds from keeping you up at night
If you think you’ve tried everything to stop racing thoughts from keeping you awake, our holistic sleep expert, Anandi, has a trick up her sleeve that you probably haven’t tried yet. “It’s absolutely fundamental to have time to wind down in the evening. More importantly, to help ease sleep anxiety you have to quieten the mind. My bumblebee sleep aid breathing technique (explained in this video) works by lengthening and deepening the breath”.
It might sound difficult at first, but practice makes perfect with this breathing technique. Find a comfortable and quiet position, turn down the lights then all you do is inhale through the nose with the mouth closed, and then exhale making the sound of a bumblebee.
First of all this lengthens the exhale - the exhale is connected to the part of the nervous system that calms you down, meaning the more you lengthen the breath, the calmer you become.
Secondly, the vibration of the bumblebee is a part of a very ancient mantra ‘Om’. This vibration is the last part of the Om that transports you to stillness. So, just set your timer for 15 minutes and practise the technique continuously - your mind will become exquisitely still.
If you are regularly struggling to get a good night’s sleep and find yourself lying awake and not being able to drift off, join Utmost Me Sleep Club - our private Facebook group - or visit the Utmost Me sleep blog for more advice and techniques from our Wellbeing Board.