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How Proper Breathing Contributes To Our Wellness
We breathe daily without thinking about it – while we sleep, shower, eat, work, play and more.
Interestingly, breathing can have a positive effect on our health. Whether through simple breathwork techniques or meditation, breathing can help calm our nerves and boost our immune system.
Breathing improves sleep because it helps calm your brain and body and promotes relaxation. It also triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps set up a sleep-promoting environment.
In addition, breathing exercises can improve your ability to fall asleep and keep you asleep longer. These techniques can also increase the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
Many people have trouble falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night. These symptoms can be caused by stress, anxiety, or a medical condition. Sinus problems and symptoms can also cause difficulty sleeping or even severe insomnia. Sinus and allergy problems can cause difficulty sleeping, which can have serious daily consequences. Fortunately, there are recommended sleeping positions and foods for sinus infection if you suffer. These ways could lessen the effects. But, the best way to deal with all these is to consult a professional.
Breathing for wellness is one of the most straightforward, effective, and convenient ways to reduce stress. It doesn’t require you to leave your desk and can be used whenever you need to calm yourself down.
Diaphragmatic breathing, consciously controlling your breath, reduces stress by calming your nervous system and encouraging relaxation. This type of breathing also improves digestion, blood pressure, and overall well-being.
The American Institute of Stress endorses several simple breathing techniques, including the 4-7-8 breathing technique (also known as pranayama), which uses meditation and visualization to help you relax. It takes 5 to 10 minutes daily to start reaping the benefits.
We breathe between 12 and 20 times per minute and 17,000 to 30,000 times a day. It’s a function that we often take for granted, but it can significantly impact your health.
Taking deep breaths improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. It also slows your heart rate and reduces stress hormones like cortisol.
It is especially beneficial if you’re dealing with chronic anxiety or depression, as it can help regulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which enables you to relax and calm down.
But it would be best to practice these breathing techniques regularly, says Lin. It’s a practice that needs to be as consistent as exercise or meditation to get the most benefits.
Breathing is the ultimate stress reliever and is even more critical for chronic pain patients. Chronic pain is the leading cause of doctor visits and has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Moreover, a well-managed breath has been shown to lower blood pressure and regulate heart rate, which can alleviate pain in the short term.
To benefit most from your breathing efforts, consider speaking with a primary care physician, respiratory specialist, or mental health professional to find the best techniques for your situation. Then, you’ll be able to reap all the rewards that come with breathing for wellness.
Strengthens Immune System
Your immune system fights against illness. It’s a complex system of chemicals and proteins that prevents you from being infected by bacteria, viruses or parasites.
Proper breathing strengthens your immunity because it helps oxygenate your blood, which is vital for transporting vitamins and other micronutrients needed to build and maintain healthy cells. Additionally, a routine of deep breathing practices, such as Sudarshan Kriya and Pranayam (rhythmic, controlled breathing), can increase natural killer (NK) cells, which is critical to your body’s ability to fight off diseases like cancer.
Talk to your primary care physician, a respiratory specialist, or a licensed fitness professional to learn more about the benefits of breathing for wellness. They can help you find the right exercises for your needs and guide you through the process.