Just Breathe: Breathwork Is an Optimal Sleep Biohack

Traditional breathing techniques can bring the body into a state of rest

Illustration of a couple in bed, woman practicing breathwork, man sleeping with mouth tape, dog curled up on the floor.

Table of Contents

Techniques

A Biohacker’s Guide to Breathwork: Techniques and Exercises for Sleep

Scientists and yogis alike have studied and practiced several breathing techniques to bring about a restful state. A consistent, dedicated breathwork routine will help biohackers attain the best possible sleep quality.

Older man with white beard sleeping on his back in bed.

Exercises for Sleep-Focused Breathwork

Several proven breathwork techniques can be used as biohacking tools to improve sleep, lower blood pressure, and more.1 There are over a dozen different styles of breathwork, but pranayama and the 4-7-8 technique are among the most researched, armed with scientific evidence that they work.2

Pranayama

Pranayama is a yogic practice that has been around for thousands of years and has recently become the subject of dozens of studies because of its remarkable effects on health. Pranayama translates to “mastery of life force energy.” It has been found to increase theta waves, which induces sleep.3 Like other breathwork techniques for sleep, pranayama can lower blood pressure, improve breathing, and decrease stress.4 There are over a dozen breathwork practices within pranayama, but one of the most popular for sleep is diaphragm breathing. 

The diaphragm is a skeletal muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. It is interconnected with many of the body’s organs, therefore; strengthening it through breathwork can have various health benefits.5 These benefits include lower blood pressure, improved posture, decreased lower back pain, and improved sleep.

Normal breathing doesn’t fill the lungs to full capacity. On the other hand, diaphragm breathing uses 100% percent of the lung’s capacity, which slows the heart rate and can increase relaxation. This type of breathwork can be done by simply placing a hand on your stomach and taking a deep breath through your nose until your lungs are completely full of oxygen and the abdomen is fully extended. Next, exhale completely and tighten your abdominal muscles until all air is removed from your lungs. Repeat this process 10 or more times to strengthen your diaphragm and decrease your stress levels, making it easier to get a good night’s rest. 

4-7-8 Technique

The 4-7-8 technique is another well-studied breathing technique proven to reduce stress and make falling asleep easier.6 With this one, the instructions are in the name. Start by inhaling through the nose for four slow counts. Then, hold the breath for seven counts. Finally, exhale through the nose for a count of eight. Repeat this cycle five or more times for a calmer state of mind.

There are many breathwork practices that can improve sleep and well-being. Practicing breathwork for just a few minutes a day can drastically improve health and sleep quality. Breathwork can also be combined with a meditation practice to improve mental well-being.7 Be consistent and practice breathwork every day for the best results!

“There is no single more powerful – or more simple – daily practice to further your health and wellbeing than breathwork.”

Dr. Andrew Weil

Integrative Medicine Leader

Row of illustrations showing a woman practicing breathwork, a blue line representing air going in and out her nose or mouth.

Apps

Breathe

Breathe Relax and Focus app icon with blue concentric circles on a teal background.

Relieve stress, enhance focus, and achieve relaxation through various breathing exercises with Breathe. It offers three preset patterns—Equal Breathing for presence, Box Breathing for stress relief, and 4-7-8 Breathing for better sleep. You can also craft custom breathing routines with precise control over inhale, exhale, and hold times.

Bliss

Bliss Visual Breathing app icon with a black infinity symbol on a gradient pink and blue background.

Bliss introduces the concept of “Resonant Frequency” breathing through captivating visuals and soothing audio for a deeply relaxing experience. Research shows that 12 minutes of daily practice can benefit your nervous system, reducing anxiety and depression symptoms, enhancing sleep, and preventing burnout by boosting energy levels.

JustBreathe

JustBreathe revolutionizes mindfulness and meditation, emphasizing simplicity and the power of a breath. The app offers practical tools, including music collaborations, mindfulness techniques, and breathing exercises, while also providing support for sleep, stress, and anxiety. Its mission is to help users discover moments of calm amidst life’s chaos.

Othership

Othership app logo with a white abstract Saturn icon on a black background.

Othership is a music-driven breathwork app that offers quick yet effective sessions led by renowned facilitators. In as little as 60 seconds or up to 60 minutes, you can harness the power of your breath to enhance various aspects of your life, from morning energy boosts to bedtime relaxation. Othership’s guided practices are both enjoyable and transformative.

Lungy

Lungy app icon with lavender illustrated smiley face on a purple background.

Lungy is a revolutionary mindful breathing app that transforms your breath into captivating audiovisual experiences. With over 20 interactive visuals, it promotes happiness, relaxation, and stress reduction based on the latest breathing research. Developed by doctors, Lungy guides you through playful exercises, helping you connect with your surroundings and maximize daily breathing benefits.

Breethe

Breethe offers a diverse range of relaxation methods, including unique features like hypnotherapy. Whether you need a quick break or assistance winding down for bedtime, the app conveniently fits into your schedule. With short tracks, as brief as under 5 minutes, you can address various moments throughout your busy day, from afternoon slumps to late-night worries.

Tools

Airofit

Airofit, the virtual breathing coach, enhances users’ breathing muscles’ strength, speed, and efficiency to elevate endurance and lower exercise perception. With Airofit, individuals can improve sleep through meditative breathing patterns that promote relaxation and recovery, aiding in maintaining lower heart rates during exercise for quicker post-effort recuperation.

Additionally, Airofit employs specific breathing techniques to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, fostering mindfulness and control even in the face of stress. The app provides breathing scores and monitors improvements in accessible lung capacity and strength, ensuring a comprehensive and effective breathing training experience.

Airofit PRO 1.0 breathing trainer device in black and red next to smartphone with screen showing feedback app.

Walden

The Moment is an innovative relaxation tool designed to synchronize your heart rate with your breathing pattern, promoting a profound sense of calmness and tranquility. It operates by gently expanding to a predetermined length and then gracefully descends with the gentle force of gravity, all within a precise six-second movement.

Crafted with an elegant and minimalist design, The Moment serves as a tangible reminder to pause, breathe deeply, and find serenity amidst the chaos of modern living.

Two silver Walden The Moment breathing tool devices, one expanded to reveal blue interior.

The Breather

The Breather is a drug-free RMST device with numerous applications, including helping individuals with various medical conditions such as COPD, asthma, and heart disease, as well as athletes, singers, and speech pathology patients.

The Breather offers a range of benefits, such as promoting diaphragmatic breathing, improving vocal function, enhancing athletic performance, and supporting safe swallowing. By activating and strengthening respiratory muscles, it contributes to improved overall health and quality of life.

The Breather device in blue and white for strengthening respiratory muscles, reducing shortness of breath, and promoting safer swallow.

Coaches

Harry the Healer

Join Harry in a 45-minute guided breathwork meditation session called “BREATHE.” This session is designed to help you reset both your body and mind through deliberate, focused breathing techniques. By engaging in this practice, you can learn to discipline an overactive mind and release toxic energy, thoughts, and emotions, fostering a sense of balance and clarity.

Ashley Neese

Black and white headshot of breathwork teacher Ashley Neese.

Experience Regenerative Breathwork™, Ashley’s unique framework for healing. This comprehensive approach blends trauma-informed modalities, drawing from neurobiology and psychology models. It helps with anxiety, exhaustion, boundary setting, emotional regulation, grief, anger, overwhelm, and chronic stress. Find healing and inner peace with Ashley’s guidance.

Jon Paul Crimi

Black and white headshot of breathwork teacher Jon Paul Crimi.

Jon Paul leads transformative breathwork sessions, known for their clarity, calmness, and contentment. With curated music, breathwork oxygenates the body, releasing emotions, reducing stress, and fostering creativity. It sidesteps inner criticism, and has shown promise in alleviating PTSD in veterans. Each session promises a distinctive and transformative experience.

Books

How to Breathe

“How to Breathe” by Ashley Neese is a practical guide to harnessing the power of breath for mindfulness and serenity. The book introduces breathwork’s foundations, its benefits, and its connection to emotions and resilience.

Neese presents 25 customized breathwork practices, each with an introduction, step-by-step instructions, and post-practice notes. The book’s modern design and evocative photography demonstrate how these simple exercises can profoundly impact daily well-being and happiness.

Book cover of How to Breathe by Ashley Neese with light pink text box on palm fronds background.

1. Brandani JZ, Mizuno J, Ciolac EG, Monteiro HL, The hypotensive effect of Yoga’s breathing exercises: A systematic review, Complement Ther Clin Pract., 2017 Aug;28:38-46, doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2017.05.002, Epub 2017 May 9, PMID: 28779935: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28779935/

2. Mustian KM, Sprod LK, Janelsins M, Peppone LJ, Palesh OG, Chandwani K, Reddy PS, Melnik MK, Heckler C, Morrow GR, Multicenter, randomized controlled trial of yoga for sleep quality among cancer survivors, J Clin Oncol., 2013 Sep 10;31(26):3233-41, doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.43.7707, Epub 2013 Aug 12, PMID: 23940231; PMCID: PMC3757292: ​​https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23940231/

3. Jerath R, Edry JW, Barnes VA, Jerath V, Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system, Med Hypotheses, 2006;67(3):566-71, doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.02.042, Epub 2006 Apr 18, PMID: 16624497: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16624497/

4. Jayawardena R, Ranasinghe P, Ranawaka H, Gamage N, Dissanayake D, Misra A, Exploring the Therapeutic Benefits of Pranayama (Yogic Breathing): A Systematic Review, Int J Yoga, 2020 May-Aug;13(2):99-110, doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_37_19, Epub 2020 May 1, PMID: 32669763; PMCID: PMC7336946: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336946/

5. Kocjan J, Adamek M, Gzik-Zroska B, Czyżewski D, Rydel M, Network of breathing. Multifunctional role of the diaphragm: a review, Adv Respir Med., 2017;85(4):224-232, doi: 10.5603/ARM.2017.0037, PMID: 28871591: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28871591/

6. Pandekar PP, Thangavelu PD, Effect of 4-7-8 breathing technique on anxiety and depression in moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, Int J Health Sci Res., 2019; 9(5):209-217: https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.9_Issue.5_May2019/32.pdf

7. Toussaint L, Nguyen QA, Roettger C, Dixon K, Offenbächer M, Kohls N, Hirsch J, Sirois F, Effectiveness of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Deep Breathing, and Guided Imagery in Promoting Psychological and Physiological States of Relaxation, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2021 Jul 2;2021:5924040, doi: 10.1155/2021/5924040, PMID: 34306146; PMCID: PMC8272667: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34306146/

exercises

Step One: Slow It Down — Breathing Rhythmically Helps Biohackers Sleep

Consciously manipulating the breath is a biohacking tool that changes the body’s functioning. Just like rapid and shallow breathing is linked to being stressed and alert— slow, deep breathing allows the body to relax as we wind down for a good night’s rest.

Woman with eyes closed sitting cross-legged on her bed doing breathwork.

Slow Breathing Is a Key To Deep Sleep

Breathwork has many health benefits that arise through the act of consciously controlling the breath. Breathing slowly is one of the easiest ways to practice breathwork. All you have to do is take slower breaths. Slow breathing can be done anywhere, anytime to decrease stress and improve sleep.1 

Respiration (breathing) is often influenced by our emotions.2 Stress, anger, or worry can increase breath rate, negatively affecting the body. This also works the other way around— learning to control the breath and slow it down can have positive effects on health and sleep quality by lowering stress levels.

Leave the stress where it came from. Before you go to bed, slowly inhale peace, and in the morning, exhale happiness.

Biohackers Can Consciously Change Their Breathing

Breathing slower improves heart rate variability and activates the parasympathetic nervous system,3 which can decrease anxiety and stress, making it easier to fall asleep. Breathing slower at any time during the day can help improve health, but it’s particularly useful at night. Slow breathing increases alpha brain waves, which are associated with sleep.4 So, practicing slow breathing right before bed may be the key to falling and staying asleep.

Count Your Breath As You Biohack Your Way To Sleep

Slow breathing is defined as less than ten breaths per minute. However, approximately 6 breaths per minute is best for optimal results. This can easily be achieved by inhaling for five counts, exhaling for another five, and then repeating. Do this throughout the day to help manage stress or while in bed to calm the mind and fall into a deep sleep.5

“A wave comes up on the beach, on the shore, and then it recedes. There is a rhythm to it, and so it goes with the breathing. Breathe in fully and then let it go.”

Wim Hof

extreme athlete & AUthor

Banner with outlines of faces indicating breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Apps

Oxygen Advantage

The Oxygen Advantage® app serves as your virtual breathing instructor, offering customizable daily plans with exercises, meditations, and mindfulness coaching. It promotes better physical and mental well-being through functional nasal breathing, improving exercise performance, sleep quality, anxiety reduction, and more.

Paced Breathing Trainer

Paced Breathing Trainer app icon with white illustrated figure in seated meditation on blue background.

Elevate your well-being with the Paced Breathing Trainer! Enhance your breath with tailored sessions and multisensory cues for yoga, meditation, and exercise. Enjoy benefits like improved cardiovascular health, relaxation, reduced stress response, enhanced mood, and increased attention.

Steady

Steady Breathing Meditation app icon with olive green and beige circles on white background.

Discover a stress-relief meditation app with guided breathing exercises, including box breathing and the 4-7-8 pattern for better sleep. Let the app’s timer and audio cues lead your breath for relaxation. Experience the benefits of breathwork, from immune system support to stress reduction, in just a minute of rhythmic practice.

Breathwrk

Breathwrk app icon with a simple black wind icon on a white background.

Breathwrk is a versatile app for personalized breathing experiences. It offers customizable sensory cues, reminders, and recommended programs for users to build healthy breathing habits with proven benefits, including stress reduction and enhanced well-being. Suitable for all, it’s a tool for optimizing health through breath control.

BreathNow

BreathNow app icon with white heart rate line over blue heart on a light blue background.

Elevate heart health, reduce blood pressure, and ease anxiety with BreathNow, an Apple Watch-compatible app featuring breathing exercises, meditations, stress tracking, and a University of Cambridge-endorsed cardio fitness test. Boost heart health, heart rate variability (HRV), and VO2max with BreathNow.

Prana Breath

Prana Breath app icon with illustrated woman in seated meditation and lotus flower on a purple background.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork and meditation with techniques rooted in ancient traditions, supported by modern science, and beloved by millions of users. In just 7-15 minutes a day, regardless of your lifestyle, experience the profound benefits of enhanced mindfulness and a better life.

Tools

The Breath Belt

The Breath Belt diaphragmatic breath training tool.

Discover the Breath Belt, a diaphragmatic breath training tool. Activate gluteal muscles with continuous tactile cues, releasing muscle tension and abdominal restriction. Psoas and Quadratus Lumborum muscles function with greater freedom. Trusted by athletes, pro teams, and clients for corrective movement, rehab, strength training. Forge the vital connection between diaphragmatic breath and optimal glute firing. An athlete and coach’s essential link for peak performance.

PowerLung

PowerLung AireStream breathing trainer device in orange.

The AireStream offers quick, effective exercises for enhanced daily activities and improved breathing. Just five minutes of use twice a day can boost your activity level and breathing technique. It’s suitable for non-athletes looking to breathe better, aiding in quitting smoking and weight loss. Performing artists, including students, can benefit from this model to enhance their breathing technique and overall performance.

Halsa

Halsa Black Breathing Tool necklace with cable chain.

This necklace promotes conscious deep breathing by inhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and exhaling through the pendant for 8 to 10 seconds, reducing stress and anxiety. It serves as a stylish reminder to breathe intentionally throughout the day, crafted from durable, safe, and washable 304 stainless steel. Suitable for both men and women, it’s versatile for different settings, from work to yoga and meditation sessions.

Infinity Breathing Board

Wooden Infinity Breathing Board by Exhale Yoga Wellness Center.

The Infinity Breathing Board is a purposeful tool to practice breathing techniques. It encourages inhaling as they trace the left side and exhaling as they move to the right. Ideal for people dealing with anxiety or overwhelm, it aids in mindfulness and relaxation. This interactive board makes the practice of controlled breathing engaging and effective for anyone, promoting emotional well-being.

Box Breathing Necklace

Square, silver Box Breathing Necklace by Jaclyn Nicole Design.

Explore the transformative power of Box Breathing through this Breathwork necklace. By simply tracing its lines and following the breathing pattern, you can find moments of calm, balance, and mindfulness whenever needed. This piece of inspirational jewelry is a daily reminder of the peace and focus within your reach through consistent practice. Embrace the beauty of mindfulness and invest in your well-being today.

Health and Yoga

Health and Yoga BreathFull Breathing Exerciser.

This specialized breathing exerciser is designed to address disruptions or declines in normal breathing patterns due to illness, surgery, frailty, or aging. It aids in preparing the lungs for Yoga pranayama practice by facilitating deep breathing, improving lung expansion, and aiding mucus removal from the alveoli, ultimately preventing fluid buildup and benefiting various conditions associated with improper breathing.

Classes

Frequency Breathwork

Frequency sees breath as the key to unlocking one’s potential, helping individuals lead purposeful, compassionate lives. They believe that inner healing translates into positive change in the world, fostering a ripple effect of transformation.

Soul Dimension

Soul Dimension logo in white with six-pointed star over concentric circles.

Discover the powerful fusion of ancient yogic techniques and modern science in the Soul Dimension Breathing online program. Experience the benefits of improved well-being, inner peace, and vibrant health through this transformative breathwork practice.

Alchemy of Breath

Alchemy of Breath logo with two overlapping white circles and a wood-grain pattern filling where they overlap.

The Alchemy of Breath Program is a comprehensive and transformative breathwork training, empowering individuals to become leaders in their lives. It offers a path to personal growth, self-discovery, and compassionate leadership skills for various situations.

1. Jerath R, Beveridge C, Barnes VA, Self-Regulation of Breathing as an Adjunctive Treatment of Insomnia, Front Psychiatry, 2019 Jan 29;9:780, doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00780, PMID: 30761030; PMCID: PMC6361823: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30761030/

2. Homma I, Masaoka Y, Breathing rhythms and emotions, Exp Physiol., 2008 Sep;93(9):1011-21, doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2008.042424, Epub 2008 May 16, PMID: 18487316: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18487316/

3. Laborde S, Allen MS, Borges U, Dosseville F, Hosang TJ, Iskra M, Mosley E, Salvotti C, Spolverato L, Zammit N, Javelle F, Effects of voluntary slow breathing on heart rate and heart rate variability: A systematic review and a meta-analysis, Neurosci Biobehav Rev., 2022 Jul;138:104711, doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104711, Epub 2022 May 24, PMID: 35623448: https://pure.solent.ac.uk/en/publications/effects-of-voluntary-slow-breathing-on-heart-rate-and-heart-rate-

4. Zaccaro A, Piarulli A, Laurino M, Garbella E, Menicucci D, Neri B, Gemignani A, How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing, Front Hum Neurosci., 2018 Sep 7;12:353, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00353, PMID: 30245619; PMCID: PMC6137615: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30245619/

5. Naik GS, Gaur GS, Pal GK, Effect of Modified Slow Breathing Exercise on Perceived Stress and Basal Cardiovascular Parameters, Int J Yoga, 2018 Jan-Apr;11(1):53-58, doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_41_16, PMID: 29343931; PMCID: PMC5769199: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29343931/

oxygen

Shut Your Mouth! Mouth Taping Is a Biohacker’s Best Sleep Tool

Taping your mouth shut is a powerful tool for a good night’s rest. Research shows that mouth taping, which forces you to breathe through your nose, dramatically improves sleeping problems like snoring and sleep apnea.

Illustration of a woman sleeping in bed with a vertical piece of mouth tape over her lips.

Nostril Breathing Is Proven To Help You Sleep

As weird as it may sound, mouth taping is a proven technique known to drastically improve sleep and overall health. Taping the mouth shut at night forces nose breathing, which is much healthier than breathing through the mouth.1 It’s a simple tool, proven to decrease sleep disturbances, snoring, and sleep apnea.2 

Don’t Be a Mouth Breather — Biohackers Keep It Taped

Mouth breathing can be detrimental to your health, especially at night.3 Excessive mouth breathing can actually cause constricted airways — increasing your chances of snoring and suffering from sleep apnea.4 For those struggling with these issues, forcing nose breathing at night may help improve sleep.5 

Stanford Professor and Breath Expert Dr. James Nestor did a study on mouth taping and found that it helps decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep disturbances.6 Using mouth taping as a biohacking technique can facilitate staying asleep at night and lead to an overall better quality of life.7 

A Simple Process That Benefits Everyone

Mouth taping can be done by simply placing a piece of medical-grade tape over the lips before going to bed, making nose breathing your only option. Not only is this technique beneficial for the person doing it, but it’s also a positive experience for anyone sleeping nearby. Yes, this biohacking tool is proven to reduce snoring, making it easier for the people in your household to sleep!

“If we want to have a deep sleep – waking up feeling alert – we need to be breathing in and out through the nose.”

Patrick McKeown

Breathing Expert & Author

Banner of different colored icons of various styles of mouth tape.

Mouth Tape

SomniFix

Singular strip of SomniFix mouth tape.

Experience improved breathing through SomniFix® Mouth Strips. Designed by a physician and former snoring champion, these patented sleep strips gently encourage nasal breathing by keeping lips closed. Sleep quality is enhanced, snoring is reduced, and CPAP compliance for nasal mask and nasal pillow users is supported.

Myotape

Bag of MyoTape mouth tape strips.

MyoTape is the brainchild of individuals passionate about the health benefits of nasal breathing. Their experience at Oxygen Advantage and Buteyko Clinic International inspired the creation of MyoTape, aiming to address common problems linked to mouth breathing and improve overall sleep quality.

Dryft Sleep

Bag of Dryft Sleep mouth tape strips.

Experience peaceful nights with Dryft Mouth Tape. Silence noise, embrace calm sleep. Stop mouth breathing, drooling, snoring. Benefits: Supports nasal breathing for tranquility. Reduces snoring, drooling. Medical-grade, latex-free for sensitive skin. Odorless, non-irritating, comfortable.

Nasal Products

Mute

Trial pack box of Mute Nasal Dilators for better breathing and snoring reduction.

Mute Nasal Dilators offer a clinically tested solution to improve airflow and reduce snoring. With three sizes and adjustable stents for a custom fit, these comfortable dilators discreetly enhance breathing and sleep quality. Each device can be reused up to 10 times.

Stickys

Pink package of Stickys nasal breathing strips.

Stickys nasal strips provide a stylish and comfortable solution to enhance your breathing experience. With their sweat-resistant design, they offer a modern twist on traditional nasal strips, ensuring you can breathe freely and comfortably throughout your day.

Turbine

Three-pack box of Turbine nasal dilators for increased airflow.

The Turbine comfortably fits inside your nose, gently opening each nostril for increased airflow during physical activities or focused breathing. Clinically proven to boost nasal airflow, it’s trusted by elite athletes. This advanced technology surpasses nasal strips.

Technology

Resmed

The ResMed AirFit™ N20 Nasal Cushion Mask is a top favorite among customers for its exceptional comfort and non-intrusive design in the CPAP mask market. Its popularity is largely attributed to the InfinitySeal™ cushion, which fits snugly over the nose and creates an air pocket for efficient airflow, offering users a natural therapy experience.

ResMed AirFit N20 Nasal Cushion CPAP Mask and connective tubing.

SnoreRx

SnoreRx Plus, the advanced anti-snoring device, offers a custom fit and adjustable design to move your jaw forward and keep your airway open, preventing snoring while allowing vertical jaw movement. It includes a fitting handle for convenience. Made with proprietary Thermal Matrix® material, SnoreRx Plus ensures a secure and comfortable fit, allowing you to sleep peacefully without snoring.

SnoreRx Plus anti-snoring mouthguard.

Transcend

The Transcend Micro is an ultra-portable CPAP device, weighing under 0.5 lbs and measuring less than 4 inches wide. It works with all CPAP masks, offers multiple power options, features GentleRise for gradual pressure adjustment, and includes AirRelief for reduced exhalation pressure. It also has a drying mode to remove moisture from your mask and tubing while you sleep, ensuring a dry mask when you wake up.

Transcend Micro Auto CPAP device next to smartphone with screen showing feedback app.

Books

The Oxygen Advantage

Book cover of The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown with a silhouette of a person jogging on blue background.

Explore “The Oxygen Advantage” by Patrick McKeown, a guide to efficient breathing techniques for better health and athletic performance. Learn from a seasoned coach, test your breathing efficiency with the Body Oxygen Level Test (BOLT), and enhance your cardio-fitness. Improve weight management, sleep, energy, and focus while boosting respiratory health and reducing asthma symptoms. Elevate your well-being with this revolutionary approach.

Wim Hof Method

Book cover of The Wim Hof Method by Wim Hof showing a portrait of him with snow on his face.

In “The Wim Hof Method” book, Wim Hof reveals a practical approach to unlock human potential. He outlines the method’s development, supported by research, focusing on Cold exposure, specialized Breathing techniques, and Mindset training. This method, accessible to all, empowers individuals to enhance strength, well-being, and happiness. Beyond physical benefits, it offers a means to reconnect with your spiritual essence, guiding you toward self-discovery and the ability to shape your destiny.

The Breathing Cure

Book cover of The Breathing Cure by Patrick McKeown with an illustration of lungs on a blue background.

Embark on a transformative journey to optimal health with “The Breathing Cure,” a comprehensive guide by renowned expert Patrick McKeown. Discover 26 adaptable exercises suitable for all ages, promising improved well-being and quality of life. Dive into expert techniques for enhanced wellness and vitality, backed by research and essential for overcoming health challenges, elevating fitness, and enhancing performance.

1. Bordoni B, Purgol S, Bizzarri A, Modica M, Morabito B, The Influence of Breathing on the Central Nervous System, Cureus, 2018 June 1;10(6):e2724, doi: 10.7759/cureus.2724, PMID: 30083485; PMCID: PMC6070065: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30083485/

2. Young T, Finn L, Kim H, Nasal obstruction as a risk factor for sleep-disordered breathing, The University of Wisconsin Sleep and Respiratory Research Group, J Allergy Clin Immunol., 1997 Feb;99(2):S757-62, doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(97)70124-6, PMID: 9042068: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9042068/

3. Blakley BW, Mahowald MW, Nasal resistance and sleep apnea, Laryngoscope, 1987 Jun;97(6):752-4, doi: 10.1288/00005537-198706000-00023, PMID: 3586822: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3586822/

4. Jefferson Y, Mouth breathing: adverse effects on facial growth, health, academics, and behavior, Gen Dent., 2010 Jan-Feb;58(1):18-25; quiz 26-7, 79-80, PMID: 20129889: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20129889/

5. Pevernagie DA, De Meyer MM, Claeys S, Sleep, breathing and the nose, Sleep Med Rev., 2005 Dec;9(6):437-51, doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2005.02.002, Epub 2005 Oct 19, PMID: 16242364: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16242364/

6. Nestor, J, Breath: The new science of a lost art, 2021, Penguin Life. https://www.mrjamesnestor.com/breath-book.

7. Balban MY, Neri E, Kogon MM, Weed L, Nouriani B, Jo B, Holl G, Zeitzer JM, Spiegel D, Huberman AD, Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal, Cell Rep Med., 2023 Jan 17;4(1):100895, doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100895, Epub 2023 Jan 10, PMID: 36630953; PMCID: PMC9873947: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36630953/

Technology

Sleep Into the Future With Apps & Technology to Biohack Breathwork

Many people, especially those who experience a lot of stress in their daily lives, find developing a sleep-focused breathwork routine challenging. Thankfully, there are plenty of free apps and technology that can help.

Man lying on his back in bed with arms behind his head wearing a virtual reality headset practicing breathwork.

Breathwork Technology Helps You Find Rest

There’s a lot of help out there for anyone looking to start or improve their breathwork practice. Some basic techniques are outlined in the other sections on breathwork, but for more advanced techniques, apps and technology are here to help.1 

Apps

First up, there are dozens of great apps with guided breathwork recordings.2 This is a great way to learn the specifics of certain techniques or learn new ones. There are dozens of different techniques out there, most of which have similar effects on the body. That said, some may be more stimulating than relaxing and are therefore best used in the morning to help increase energy. 3

Virtual Reality Technology

Virtual reality is the next technological step in the biohacking space. The programs offered through VR headsets include guided breathwork sessions, often with incredible life-like visuals designed to increase relaxation.4 The immersive nature of VR makes it almost impossible not to become completely mesmerized by the experience of breathwork and meditation.

Bedside Tech

Bedside tech also offers some interesting tools to help improve breath for better sleep. Several products use vibrations or movement to slow down the breath without having to consciously control it. These tools take the mind out of mindfulness, increasing relaxation and sleep quality with very little effort.5

Breathwork doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. Using apps, VR programs, and bedside tech takes a lot of the guesswork out of breathwork for better sleep.6 Breathing properly can drastically improve your sleep naturally, so reach for some help and make the most of your breath!

“Respiration is, at its core, reciprocation. Respiration, I’m hoping, can also lead to restoration.”

James Nestor

Science Journalist & Author

Illustrated row of breathwork VR technologies including headsets and smartphone apps.

Sound Machines

Emaginea

White hexagonal Emagine A Breathsync Sleep Light and Sound Machine.

Enhance sleep with Breathsync Sleep, a natural sleep aid using sound and light to guide deep breathing for relaxation and better rest. Choose from 5 soothing sounds and sync your breath with gentle ceiling waves. This multi-sensory approach promotes relaxation and is perfect for improving sleep quality.

DreamEgg

Dreamegg D1 Sound Machine in blue color for better sleep.

The Dreamegg D1 White Noise Machine provides soothing sounds for a peaceful night’s sleep. This life-changing sleep therapy device helps you and your family sleep peacefully in an egg-shaped design with calming sounds and adjustable settings. It’s an essential addition to your sleep routine for a refreshed start to your day.

Pure Enrichment

Pure Enrichment DOZE sound machine and sleep therapy light in white.

Enhance sleep naturally with the DOZE™ Sound Machine and Sleep Therapy Light from Pure Enrichment. This 2-in-1 solution offers white noise to block distractions and an optional ceiling-projected sleep therapy light. Use both or separately for better sleep and relaxation during bedtime, studying, or work.

Virtual Reality

Flowborne

Goggle outline containing a scene from Flowborne VR breathing meditation program.

Flowborne combines biofeedback and virtual reality to guide breath mastery for meditation, stress reduction, and sleep. Whether using the phone app or immersive VR, this non-profit platform offers a meditative VR game where your breath shapes serene landscapes. Flowborne helps you find tranquility and transform through breath.

Flowly

Flowly’s 12-week Healing from Pain Program takes a comprehensive approach to chronic pain management. It comprises three phases: “Foundation,” “Brain-Body Regulation,” and “Enduring Practice.” Participants get a VR headset and coaching in the first week, then progress through various training sessions for emotional pain control

BreatheVR

BreatheVR app logo with an illustration of white flowers in green grass.

BreatheVR, available on GearVR, combines deep breathing with virtual reality to promote relaxation. Synchronized breath with visual rewards guides users to a state of calmness, providing an immersive experience for mindfulness and relaxation. Enhance your well-being with a few minutes of deep breathing using BreatheVR.

Deep VR

Deep VR logo with four yellow balloon shapes rising from a blue and white base.

Deep invites you to explore a serene underwater world guided by slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing for relaxation and anxiety relief. Developed by researchers at Radboud University, Deep has shown efficacy as an anxiety-regulating tool and is being explored for trauma, PTSD, and other therapeutic applications.

Guided Lights

Catnap

Catnap Breathing Night Light with white mountain shape enclosed in a glass dome.

Breathing Night Light is a beautiful glass bedside lamp with warm dimming functionality. It offers 3 modes, including 2 for general lighting and 1 pulsing light mode, making it ideal for a soothing, rhythmic night light to aid sleep. With a USB charger included, there’s no need to worry about battery replacements.

Dodow

White saucer-shaped Dodow sleep aid device next to its box.

Dodow is a natural sleep aid using a metronome and light system to help you fall asleep without medication. Its 8 and 20-minute sessions automatically turn off, reducing the time it takes to fall asleep from 60 to 25 minutes. Over 1 million users, including those with sleep difficulties, stress, and insomnia, have benefited from Dodow.

Rainlax

RainLax Visual Meditation Light in a teddy bear shape with blue light glowing.

Rainlax offers the ultimate 3-in-1 solution for mindful breathing. This versatile meditation accessory combines a breathing light, night light, and noise machine in one sleek design. With just a few minutes of daily use, Rainlax can help reduce stress, enhance focus, improve productivity, and ensure a restful night’s sleep.

Humidifiers

Miro

Miro NR08M humidifier in white with purple LED light on.

The MIRO NR08M humidifier boasts a washable, waterproof design, including the water tank, mist-maker, and fan, for easy cleaning. It features touch controls and colorful LEDs for nightlight use. It includes two Vapor Caps and can be upgraded with the MIROT Connectivity chip for remote app-control and smart-home integration.

Canopy

Canopy Bedside Humidifier in white for healthy skin and cold and flu relief.

Transform your space with this multifunctional humidifier, promoting healthy skin, easing cold and flu symptoms, and enhancing sleep. It covers up to 500 sq. ft., offers 36 hrs. of runtime from its 2.5-liter tank, and features sensors for day-and-night moisture control while inhibiting mold.

Vitruvi

Vitruvi Cloud Cool Mist Humidifier in white.

The Cloud Humidifier naturally adds moisture to the air in your home, resulting in benefits like dewy skin, silky hair, and enhanced immunity. In indoor spaces with low humidity, the skin’s moisture barrier can suffer, leading to discomfort such as inflammation, itching, and dryness. Using a humidifier can effectively alleviate these issues by providing the skin with soothing hydration.

Carepod

Carepod Cube X50 stainless steel warm plus cold mist humidifer.

The Carepod Cube is a powerful and versatile humidifier designed for larger indoor spaces, offering ultrasonic cool or warm mist options, three mist settings, and a built-in timer. It can effectively hydrate areas up to 700 square feet and boasts a remarkable 99.9% sterilization rate against bacteria, exceeding leading brands.

1. Balban MY, Neri E, Kogon MM, Weed L, Nouriani B, Jo B, Holl G, Zeitzer JM, Spiegel D, Huberman AD, Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal, Cell Rep Med., 2023 Jan 17;4(1):100895, doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100895, Epub 2023 Jan 10, PMID: 36630953; PMCID: PMC9873947: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33298117/

2. O’Donnell KT, Dunbar M, Speelman DL. Effectiveness of using a meditation app in reducing anxiety and improving well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2020 Dec 9;21(1):1006. doi: 10.1186/s13063-020-04935-6. PMID: 33298117; PMCID: PMC7724449. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33298117/

3. Jerath R, Edry JW, Barnes VA, Jerath V, Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system, Med Hypotheses, 2006;67(3):566-71, doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.02.042, Epub 2006 Apr 18, PMID: 16624497: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16624497/

4. Jerath R, Edry JW, Barnes VA, Jerath V, Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system, Med Hypotheses, 2006;67(3):566-71, doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.02.042, Epub 2006 Apr 18, PMID: 16624497: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16624497/

5. Mustian KM, Sprod LK, Janelsins M, Peppone LJ, Palesh OG, Chandwani K, Reddy PS, Melnik MK, Heckler C, Morrow GR, Multicenter, randomized controlled trial of yoga for sleep quality among cancer survivors, J Clin Oncol., 2013 Sep 10;31(26):3233-41, doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.43.7707, Epub 2013 Aug 12, PMID: 23940231; PMCID: PMC3757292: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23940231/

6. Balban MY, Neri E, Kogon MM, Weed L, Nouriani B, Jo B, Holl G, Zeitzer JM, Spiegel D, Huberman AD, Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal, Cell Rep Med., 2023 Jan 17;4(1):100895, doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100895, Epub 2023 Jan 10, PMID: 36630953; PMCID: PMC9873947: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36630953/

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Biohacking Sleep Pioneers

Sleep Experts

Broaden your understanding of sleep science by tracking the latest findings from these accomplished specialists.

Dr. Michael Breus

Black and white photo of biohacker Dr. Michael Breus on a brown background.

Dr. Michael Breus is a renowned psychologist and author who advocates for high-quality sleep to improve overall performance and productivity. Known as “The Sleep Doctor,” this biohacker holds the distinction of being a diplomate and fellow of the American Board of Sleep Medicine. He has leveraged his knowledge to launch The Sleep Doctor, a website that helps people optimize their health by improving their sleep. Through his work, he has also shed light on the impact of sleep on fat burn, metabolism, cravings, and appetite.

In recognition of his contributions, Reader’s Digest named him the “Best Sleep Specialist in California” in 2021, and he was also among the 10 most influential people in Sleep in 2018. Dr. Breus has made numerous media appearances, including CNN, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Insider Business, and Oprah. Moreover, he actively engages with his audience on his YouTube and Instagram channels as well as through appearances on various podcasts.

Dr. Satchin Panda

Black and white photo of biohacker Dr. Satchin Panda on blue background.

Dr. Satchin Panda is an Indian professor, author, and researcher whose work focuses on the biological clock. His studies at Panda’s Lab offer insights into how daily rhythms can be leveraged to improve health through biohacking.

Dr. Panda’s most notable discovery is the identification of retinal blue-light sensitive cells involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. His research has been published in top-tier journals, including Nature Chemical Biology and Cell Reports Medicine. He also developed “My Circadian Clock,” a tool that tracks societal circadian rhythms and their impact on health.

Beyond presenting at TED Talks and symposia, Dr. Panda has been featured in the media, including The Verge, CBS News, and The New York Times. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the 2014 Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research.

Dr. Panda has also been a guest on many podcasts and actively engages with his audience on Twitter and Instagram

Biohacking Sleep FAQs

Biohacking Sleep with Your Breath

Harnessing the power of your breath for a good night’s sleep: Simple, effective, and cost-free.

  • How can slow breathing contribute to biohacking sleep with breathwork?

    Slow breathing is a powerful technique for biohacking sleep with breathwork. By consciously slowing down the breath, specifically extending the exhales, we activate the body’s relaxation response, reduce stress, and promote a sense of calmness, making it easier to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.

  • What are some effective breathwork techniques and exercises for enhancing sleep?

    everal breathwork techniques can enhance sleep quality. One example is the 4-7-8 technique, where you inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for 7, and exhale for 8. This pattern helps regulate the nervous system and induce relaxation. Other techniques, such as alternate nostril breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, can also support biohacking sleep.

  • How does practicing pranayama contribute to biohacking sleep with breathwork?

    Pranayama, a yogic practice involving breath control, can significantly contribute to biohacking sleep. Techniques like Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) or Sama Vritti (equal ratio breathing) can balance the nervous system, reduce stress, and promote a state of relaxation that supports better sleep.

  • What are biohacker views on mouth taping for biohacking sleep with breathwork?

    Biohackers acknowledge the potential benefits of mouth taping for biohacking sleep. Mouth taping involves placing a gentle adhesive tape over the mouth during sleep, promoting nasal breathing and preventing mouth breathing. This technique helps optimize airflow, reduce snoring, and enhance sleep quality.

  • Can biohacking sleep with breathwork involve utilizing apps or technology?

    Yes, there are apps and technology available to assist with biohacking sleep through breathwork. Breathing exercise apps provide guided sessions and visual cues to help individuals practice specific breathwork techniques. Additionally, wearable devices with biofeedback features can track respiratory patterns and provide real-time feedback, supporting breathwork practices for better sleep.

  • How does deep abdominal breathing contribute to biohacking sleep with breathwork?

    Deep abdominal breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, engages the diaphragm and promotes relaxation by activating the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. By taking slow, deep breaths that expand the abdomen rather than shallow chest breathing, we can reduce stress, lower heart rate, and prepare the body for restful sleep.

  • Can biohacking sleep with breathwork involve incorporating guided meditation?

    Yes, incorporating guided meditation into breathwork can enhance sleep quality. Guided sleep meditations often incorporate specific breathing techniques to promote relaxation and prepare the mind and body for sleep. Listening to guided meditations focused on breath awareness or relaxation can support biohacking sleep through breathwork.

  • What are some effective breathing exercises to relax the body and mind before sleep?

    Before sleep, practicing relaxation-inducing breathing exercises can be beneficial. One example is the 4-7-8 technique, where you inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, and exhale for 8 counts. Another technique is the 4-4-8 breath, inhaling for 4 counts, holding for 4 counts, and exhaling for 8 counts. These exercises promote relaxation and can facilitate a peaceful transition into sleep.

  • Can biohacking sleep with breathwork involve incorporating aromatherapy?

    Yes, incorporating aromatherapy with breathwork can enhance sleep quality. Certain essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, have relaxing properties that complement breathwork practices. Inhalation of these oils can promote a calm state of mind and support biohacking sleep through breathwork.

  • How can breathwork reduce racing thoughts and mental chatter?

    Breathwork techniques, such as focused deep breathing or counting breaths, can redirect attention away from racing thoughts and mental chatter, promoting relaxation and calmness. By shifting the focus to the breath, we cultivate present-moment awareness and create a mental space conducive to peaceful sleep.

Biohacking Sleep Videos

Breathwork Practices for Better Sleep

Enhance sleep with biohacking breathwork techniques that promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

How to Breathe Correctly for Optimal Health, Mood, Learning & Performance

Breathwork for Deep and Restful Sleep

Best Pranayama for Better Sleep at Night

4-7-8 Breathing – The Sleeping Breath Tutorial

Biohacking Sleep Resources

Additional Biohacking Sleep Breathwork Insight

Discover podcasts, YouTube channels, websites, apps, and more to enhance your knowledge and empower your biohacking journey.

Oxygen Advantage

The Oxygen Advantage® is a breathwork training program created by Patrick McKeown, aiming to enhance health, well-being, and performance through optimal breathing techniques.

By incorporating the Oxygen Advantage® principles into your daily routine, you can experience a range of benefits such as improved sleep, increased energy levels, reduced breathlessness, and enhanced overall well-being. This biohack taps into the transformative power of the breath, offering practical tools to optimize your sleep quality and unlock your full potential during waking hours.

Whether you’re an athlete, a busy professional, or simply seeking better sleep, the Oxygen Advantage® provides a comprehensive approach to harnessing the power of breath for better sleep and overall health.

OxygenAdvantage.com

Take a Deep Breath logo of pink lungs with the bronchi system in white.

Take a Deep Breath

Take a Deep Breath is a YouTube channel led by Mike Maher, an Oxygen Advantage Master Instructor, breathwork instructor, podcaster, and breath researcher.

The channel offers a diverse range of breathing exercises aimed at enhancing sleep, health, relaxation, and motivation. It also features clips from the Breathcast, a dedicated breathwork podcast where renowned breath and health experts are interviewed.

Through conscious manipulation of breathing patterns, breathwork can help individuals improve their sleep quality, relax the mind and body, and promote a calm state for a restful night’s sleep.

Take a Deep Breath provides valuable tools for incorporating breathwork into your sleep routine and optimizing your sleep experience.

@TakeADeepBreath