Try this simple relaxation exercise to promote restful sleep


According to Dr Sood, you need to breathe six times a minute for five minutes, three times a day, to sleep better. — AFP

From difficulty falling asleep to night wakings and insomnia, sleep disorders affect a large proportion of the population and can have disastrous consequences on health.

This observation is not unrelated to the multitude of tips being shared on social media to help people sleep more soundly. The latest involves a relaxation technique that's accessible to all, and which – as a bonus – is detailed by a health professional.

Around the world, health authorities have been issuing advice and practical recommendations to help reduce the risk of sleep disorders, from limiting junk food and screen time to adopting relaxing activities before bedtime.

However, the internet too offers a plethora of tips for getting a (more) peaceful night's sleep.

Whether they hail from scientific studies or health professionals on social networks, they all aim to help the average person fall asleep and stay asleep for as long as possible.

Such is the case with a technique outlined by an American physician, Dr Kunal Sood, specialising not in sleep disorders, but in chronic and acute pain.

With a large TikTok community of no less than 2.2 million followers, this American doctor regularly offers health advice, covering everything from menstrual pain to the virtues of apple cider vinegar to sleep disorders.

Just a week ago, sleep was the subject of a post (already) viewed more than 35,000 times.

It details a relaxation technique that could help you sleep better, or at least assist those who need a helping hand to enjoy truly restful, peaceful nights.

Six breaths per minute

According to the health professional, this trick involves adopting the resonance frequency breathing method, based on breathing exercises designed to help your breathing and heart rate synchronise, or become resonance.

To achieve this, you need to breathe six times a minute for five minutes, three times a day.

To reach this frequency, you need to slow down your breathing, counting up to five for each inhalation and exhalation.

When breathing is slowed down "to a rate of about six breaths per minute," explains Dr Sood on TikTok, "it will increase your heart rate variability, and when you improve your heart rate variability this will activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which will help decrease your sleep onset and improve your sleep quality."

It's worth noting that this method is by no means new, having been developed decades ago, but it seems to be becoming increasingly widespread.

It can also be found under another name on social networks – the 3-6-5 method – which uses exactly the same exercise.

The health professional also evokes a study, conducted by researchers in India, which reports reduced anxiety and improved cognitive function with this technique.

From the comments posted under Dr Sood's video, the method seems to be proving popular with TikTok users, who report feeling calmer, falling asleep more easily and sleeping better.

And if that doesn't work, France's national social security organisation recommends limiting the use of stimulants, such as caffeine, at the end of the day, as well as heavy meals and screen time.

It advises regular physical exercise, opting for relaxing activities before bedtime, and avoiding taking hot baths. It's also a good idea to stick to regular times for getting up and going to sleep, even on weekends, so as not to disrupt your sleep pattern. – AFP Relaxnews

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Breathwork , Sleep , Insomnia


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