To fall asleep quickly and get a good night’s rest, everyone has their own method. Some listen to white noise, others read or count sheep. A breathing method, trendy on social networks, could be added to the list: “moon breathing”. This relaxation technique, often associated with yoga and meditation, is said to promote falling asleep by harmonizing breathing with the lunar phases.
The French sleep on average 1h30 less than fifty years ago, announced the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in 2017. An observation which has worsened since the Covid-19 pandemic, according to numerous studies. An adult aged 18-64 should sleep between seven and nine hours a night, but a survey published last March revealed that 28% of French people are satisfied with six hours of sleep and that a third only sleep between four and five hours maximum.
To fall asleep without tossing and turning for several minutes, or even hours, in your bed, there are several methods and tips – more or less effective – that can be found in particular on social networks. The latest trend is “moon breathing”, a technique inspired by yoga which consists of regulating your breathing and heart rate to help you fall asleep. This “moon breathing” is very simple to perform. Simply block your right nostril with a finger of your right hand and breathe deeply and lengthen the exhalation through your left nostril. Performed for five to ten minutes, comfortably seated, before going to bed, this technique allows you to relax and release emotions linked to stress, such as your worries of the day or the mountain of work that waits on your desk at work the day after.
According to Sita Sunar, a yoga teacher in Amsterdam, “moon breathing” helps balance the nadis, the energy channels. “We are crossed by thousands of nadis, the main ones being Ida (to the left of the spinal column), Pingla (to the right) and Sushumna (along the spinal cord, in the center)”, she explains to Vogue India. Depending on the time of day, these nadis circulate with more or less force in our body. “Your left side, or Ida (connected to the right hemisphere of the brain, or Yin) is more feminine, introverted, centered on the moon and stronger in the evening”, explains the article.
“We can practice lunar breathing at any time, day or night. Simply find a quiet corner, sit or lie down and inhale and exhale through each nostril for five times”, said Sita Sunar. “Let yourself be guided by your natural breathing, free yourself from the hyperactivity of life and concentrate. This will help soothe your nerves, calm your mind and balance the body’s energies“.
Failing to have demonstrated its effectiveness in the context of a real scientific study, this method is devoid of side effects. So you have no reason not to try it!