SKY Breathing & Sleep Quality: How You Could Benefit
We spend approximately a third of our lives either sleeping or trying to nod off - and, as we can all no doubt agree, this is one of the very best things about being alive! There’s certainly nothing better than waking up after an amazing night’s sleep, fully refreshed and ready to attack the day.
But, sadly, all too often proper rest proves elusive and we’re left feeling grumpy, frustrated and irritable as a result, which can have a huge knock-on effect in all sorts of areas, affecting productivity at work, interpersonal relationships, energy levels in general, concentration and lots more.
Sleep has an essential role to play in maintaining good health and wellbeing, but it’s all about getting the right sleep at the right times.
It’s not just about the amount of sleep we get - quality of rest is just as important, and making this a priority can help protect you against all sorts of chronic health problems in the future, as well as protecting you in the more immediate term, as well.
Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done to ensure that you get good quality sleep consistently and we face lots of disruptions these days, what with smartphones and other screened devices, the anxiety-inducing pandemic, climate change, work pressures, family life, social life… we burden ourselves with a lot and this can really take its toll sleep-wise if we’re not careful.
But there are ways in which we can mitigate the impact of the 21st century on sleep quality and quantity - and meditation is a really wonderful tool to have in your arsenal to help you improve your nightly rest, as well as making you more resilient in your waking hours, as well.
SKY Breathing & Sleep Quality
If you’re new to the practice of meditation, the SKY Breath breathing technique would be a great place to begin - especially if you do have sleep concerns and want to address the issues you’re dealing with.
There are all sorts of benefits associated with this type of meditation, helping you to flush out stress and negative emotions you might be experiencing and quieting your mind - all by using the breath and the breath alone. The mind remains completely free and disengaged, which can help you achieve a greater sense of inner peace.
A recent study from the Sri Sri Institute for Advanced Research looked into how the advanced yogic breathing technique could be used as an intervention on sleep quality, assessing both the immediate and prolonged effects, as well as the link between frequency of practice and sleep quality.
It was found that quality of sleep improved with practice across the study participants. Interestingly, women reported experiencing inferior sleep quality at the start of the pilot, but saw greater improvements after practice, when compared to men. Younger people seemed to benefit over the longer term, while the older participants saw immediate improvements in sleep quality, although they were unable to sustain this.
Sleep quality was also found to see significant improvements among those who chose to practise the breathing technique each day, which suggests that there is a link between frequency of practice and efficiencies in improving quality of sleep.
Clear your sleep debt
Over time, sleep loss can really add up and you can be left with a rather sizable sleep debt - and chronic sleep debt can lead to long-term mood disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder and depression.
If you’re worried that you’ve not been getting enough sleep or that the sleep you are getting is disturbed and not leaving you feeling rested, it could certainly be worth trying to see if SKY breathing can help make a difference.
The technique itself is easy to practise and works uniquely, establishing an automatic quieting of the mind by making use of your innate ability to breath. This means you’re able to enter into a deeper experience of meditation, even if you’ve never done it before or if you’ve been practising for years.
If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with The Mindful Therapist today. I offer online therapy and this is just one of the different breathing techniques I use to help clients overcome anxiety, stress, depression and trauma symptoms.