How to Fall Asleep Fast: Easy Breathing Exercise
This simple breathing exercise, "How to Fall Asleep Fast", was developed and used by over 150 Soviet and Russian doctors. They applied this technique on thousands of patients, with striking success. With this breathing exercise, virtually all patients reported that they could fall asleep way faster than usual (about 5-10 times faster), even though many patients had problems with cold feet and hands, chronic coughing, or a blocked nose.
These Soviet and Russian MDs found the following relationship between automatic (or unconscious) breathing patterns (how you breathe during sleep), the morning results for the body-oxygen test and the quality and natural duration of sleep.
|>26 breaths/min||<10 s||Often >10 hours||Often very poor|
|15-26 breaths/min||10-20 s||Often >9 hours||Often poor|
|12-20 breaths/min||20-40 s||6-8 hours||Insomnia possible|
|7-12 breaths/min||40-80 s||4 hours||Excellent|
|5 breaths/min||2 min||3 hours||Excellent|
|3 breaths/min||3 min||2 hours||Excellent|
The exercise is based on the physiological law that slower and lighter breathing at rest provides more oxygen and CO2 for the brain cells, producing a positive effect on faster natural sleep.
Preliminary requirements, techniques, tips and conditions for how to fall asleep fast
- Go to bed when you are really sleepy and with no food in
- Before and during sleep, breathe only through your nose (if you cannot, learn the "Breathing exercise to unblock the nose").
- Do not sleep on your back (avoid supine sleep) at all. If this is a problem for you, learn the therapy and method “How to prevent sleeping on the back”. (If you are not sure about the negative effects of supine sleep, visit the web page Best sleeping positions medical research summary", with 24 clinical references. It analyzes the best postures to sleep and how to fall asleep fast.)
Steps to follow (How to get to sleep fast)
Relax all your muscles while you are lying in bed on your stomach or left side. Focus on your breathing pattern. Next, instead of taking your usual inhalation, take a slightly smaller inhalation (only about 5-10% less) using the diaphragm and then immediately relax all body muscles, especially the upper chest and all other respiratory muscles. Take another (smaller) inhalation and again completely relax.
With each breath, take a smaller or reduced inhalation (in comparison with your usual breathing) and then completely relax. You will soon experience a light shortage of air or an air hunger. Your goal is to preserve a mild, but comfortable, level of air hunger which helps deal with not being able to fall asleep. Here are the changes from your previous (black line) to your new breathing pattern (blue line):
you are in poor health, your breathing can be frequent during this
reduced breathing and this is ok. This exercise will still help you with
how to fall asleep fast. If you do this exercise correctly,
you will notice the following signs:
- Your arms and feet will get warmer quickly (in about 1-2 minutes) after starting the reduced breathing (this is the main sign)
- Your nasal passages will become moister and the nose colder in about 1 min.
How to fall sleep fast (in 1-2 min) each night
Therefore, if you want to learn how to fall asleep very fast, you should improve your body-O2 content by slowing down your breathing. There are many lifestyle changes that increase body-O2 content and improve your sleep quality. A short summary of these factors is in the Table below.
Warning. Calcium deficiency can make the quality of your sleep much worse. Learn the methods and ways how to check and correct this nutritional deficiency: Major Nutrients Guide for Body Oxygenation.
Video instructions by Dr. Artour Rakhimov: How to fall asleep fast
Why modern people cannot fall asleep fast
The norm for breathing at rest is 6 L/min, while people breathe 2 times more air. Therefore, they have 2 times less for partial O2 pressure in the brain cells.
As a result of heavy breathing, people have low CO2 and low O2 concentrations in the brain. Carbon dioxide is a potent sedative and tranquilizer of the nerve cells (see links to web pages with medical studies below).
Table. Summary of How to Sleep Better (Good Sleep Hygiene Guide)
during the day
|Time spent outdoors||Up to 2-5 hours daily||Less than 1 hour|
|Physical exercise with strictly nasal breathing||Up to 1-3 hours daily||Less than 1 hour|
|What to do before sleep||Walk for 15-20 min outdoors or even light jogging: 15-20 min breathing exercises; have a meal earlier; cold shower; correct posture||Watching TV, playing games or working on a computer, overheating or having a late meal, overeating, slouching in an armchair, on a couch or sofa|
|When to go to sleep||When really sleepy||By time|
|Type of materials that are in touch with skin during sleep||Natural (cotton, hemp, wool, ...)||Synthetic (polyester, acrylic, nylon, ...)|
|Air quality in the bedroom||Excellent||Poor|
If your current CP<20 s, feel normal or little warm during sleep
If your CP>20 s, feel little on the cold side during sleep
|Too warm blankets, too warm room|
|Surface of the bed||Hard (the same as when 2 thin blanket layers are lying on a hard surface)||Soft|
|Sleep positions||Sitting, prone, left side||On one's back, right side|
|What to do to fall asleep||Buteyko reduced breathing exercise||Worry about life problems tomorrow and poor health now|
|What to do, if no sleep for more than 10 min||Get out of the bed, go for a walk outdoors or do a breathing session||Continue to suffer|
|What to do in the morning||Measure the CP and get out of the bed||Continue to lie horizontally|
|What to do during the day in case of mild sleep deprivation or over 40 s CP||Get a short nap (e.g., 5-20 min) sitting (e.g., in an armchair)||No nap or napping in a horizontal position|
|What to do during the day in case of severe sleep deprivation||Try to sleep sitting, if possible for as long as the body needs with all correct rules||Get upset by sleepless night and try to sleep without sleep hygiene care|
Reference pages: Breathing norms and medical facts:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- 6 breathing myths: Myths and superstitions about breathing and body oxygenation (prevalence: over 90%)
- Hyperventilation: Definitions of hyperventilation: their advantages and weak points
- Hyperventilation syndrome: Western scientific evidence about prevalence of chronic hyperventilation in patients with chronic conditions (37 medical studies)
- Normal minute ventilation: Small and slow breathing at rest is enjoyed by healthy subjects (14 studies)
- Hyperventilation prevalence: Present in over 90% of normal people (24 medical studies)
- HV and hypoxia: How and why deep breathing reduces oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
- Body oxygen in healthy: Results for the body-oxygen test for healthy people (27 medical studies)
- Body oxygen in sick : Results for the body-oxygen test for sick people (14 medical studies)
- Buteyko Table of Health Zones: Clinical description and ranges for breathing zones: from the critically ill (severely sick) up to super healthy people with maximum possible body oxygenation
- Morning hyperventilation: Why people feel worse and critically ill people are most likely to die during early morning hours
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in tissues
- Cell oxygen levels: How alveolar CO2 influences oxygen transport
- Oxygen transport: O2 transport is controlled by vasoconstriction-vasodilation and the Bohr effects, both of which rely on CO2
- Free radical generation: Reactive oxygen species are produced within cells due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by cell hypoxia
- Inflammatory response: Chronic inflammation in fueled by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1, while normal breathing reduces and eliminates inflammation
- Nerve stabilization: People remain calm due to calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide in neurons or nerve cells
- Muscle relaxation: Relaxation of muscle cells is normal at high CO2, while hypocapnia causes muscular tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence
- Bronchodilation: Dilation of airways (bronchi and bronchioles) is caused by carbon dioxide, and their constriction by hypocapnia (low CO2)
- Blood pH: Regulation of blood pH due to breathing and regulation of other bodily fluids
- CO2: lung damage: Elevated carbon dioxide prevents lung injury and promotes healing of lung tissues
- CO2: Topical carbon dioxide can heal skin and tissues
- Synthesis of glutamine in the brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical reactions
- Deep breathing myth: Ignorant and naive people promote the idea that deep breathing and breathing more air at rest is beneficial for health
- Breathing control: How is our breathing regulated? Why hypocapnia makes breathing uneven, irregular and erratic.
Or go back to Hyperventilation symptoms
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