Sleep better with breath: Want more zZzZzZZ?
Anecdotal yes, but still impactful: we conducted an extremely (cue the heavily sarcastic eye roll) scientific sleep study here at Komuso HQ and had a really positive result we wanted to share with you.
[disclaimer: this is not an advertisement for Oura Ring. Komuso has no relationship with the company or technology. We simply love testing this kind of thing to support our mission and improve how we breathe].
Am I just a bad sleeper? Or a light sleeper?
Have you asked yourself this question? My partner had been asking herself this question for years. Never being a great sleeper, she had resigned herself to poor sleep, especially since becoming a parent.
She would lie awake at night having a hard time going to sleep. See me come in and zonk out easy as can be. And then stress even more about how bad she was at sleeping.
Even worse, she had started waking up at night and struggling to get back to bed as catastrophic thinking took over.
Our sleep better solutions:
Breathing infrequently helped, but not with sleep.
My partner would use her Shift infrequently: before a flight, before a doctor’s appointment, during a period of increased stress. While she experienced the benefits of breathing better, she hadn’t yet formed a habit. And it wasn’t helping her sleep better.
Then she invested in the Oura Ring, and has since gone down the rabbit hole of all things sleep. She wasn’t getting great sleep scores, which was adding more stress to her bedtime routine and impacting her mood and stress levels the next day.
She wanted to improve her sleep, especially because we had just watched Limitless with Chris Hemsworth (highly recommend, more on that in another post). With Limitless and the sleep education from Oura, we were learning a ton about all the benefits that accompany good sleep.
But she still wasn’t sleeping better. Not yet anyway.
All she really wanted was a way to feel better when bedtime came around. And, she wanted a way to overcome the 3AM catastrophic thinking that was keeping her up.
So she started breathing before bed with the Shift.
And overnight, her sleep scores improved.
She had tried everything the Oura Ring app and all her research was telling her to do:
- Exercise more
- Exercise harder
- Be consistent about bedtime
- Go to bed earlier
- Don’t eat a heavy meal close to bedtime
- Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime
She made all of these changes, but without much impact to the quality of her sleep or her Oura Sleep Score.
Then, one night of breathing, and voila, breathing habit.
Now, instead of lying awake in bed watching me snooze with little effort, she is crushing sleep and I’m the one lying awake thinking about how I can improve my sleep score. Let’s just say the sleep better competition is in full swing.
It happened that quickly. And while we can assume this isn’t the typical result, there is a direct correlation to quality of sleep and maintaining the habit of breathing before bed, paired with the recommendations above. If she takes a day or night off, sleep quality decreases. If she follows these steps, sleep quality improves.
So while we can’t say that you should expect the same results, trying some of these ideas, most especially breathing before bed, might help you sleep better.
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