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My Home Sleep Clinic

The motto “know thyself” was a maxim inscribed at the temple of Apollo at Delphi.


Whether you’re an aspiring yogi, a sniper, or a sleeper, these breathing tips can help you reach a state of calm.


I go along with the Delphic oracle, and I’ve been studying my sleep and dreaming using a biofeedback device called Muse. You wear it to bed, and it tracks your brainwaves, position and heart rate over night.


I wear a bio-tracking headband around my head - très chic! ;) The Muse app on My iPad tracks my brain waves overnight. To be honest, I notice little difference between a supposedly good night’s sleep and a mediocre one, according to the app. One thing I find interesting is that I am immobile for most of the night, while I feel I am quite restless, tossing and turning. But anyway, it provides some useful feedback.


I'm interested to see how long I'm spending in REM, Rapid Eye Movement periods. During REM sleep, our brain is almost as active as it is when we are awake. It is commonly associated with dreaming. The report also monitors my heart rate over night (not shown) and indicates the lowest rate. My average heart rate is about 70 beats per minutes, with a low of about 63 beats per minute.


I also note how much deep sleep I'm getting. The graph shows my brain’s delta wave activity between 1 Hz and 4 Hz. Delta wave activity is expected to be greater during deep sleep compared to any other sleep stage. It's useful to monitor my average points or night-by-night point change (ie. increase or decrease) over multiple sleep sessions, and see how shifts in the pre-sleep routine, general sleep hygiene, or other changes affect those points.


I make a note in the morning when I wake up of how I feel, whether refreshed or not. You can make a note in your dream journal how your sleep was, and see how any changes in your sleep routine might change things over time, even without a biofeedback device.







Cherry Juice

This night’s report was a good one. I scored a good 87% out of 100% sleep score. The evening before, I took a shot of pure NZ cherry juice. Pure Cherry juice is reputed to provide natural chemical precursors, tryptophan and anthocyanins, which aid the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone released by the pineal gland at night and has long been associated with control of the sleep–wake cycle.*

It suggests that the Cherry juice was indeed supportive of my sleep cycle.




Breathing to Relax

I’ve been studying various tips to help sleep. For example, deep breathing is a great way to get back to sleep at night. Breathing to the 4-7-8 pattern lowers our heart rate, which helps us to fall asleep.


Here are the instructions:

  1. First, let your lips part. Make a slight whooshing sound, exhaling through your relaxed mouth.

  2. Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.

  3. Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath.

  4. Make another exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.





If that feels too long, you can do “box breathing”, which is breathing in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four, and hold your exhalation for four.


If you don’t believe me, there are accounts from military personnel who use variations of this breathing to slow their hearts and keep calm in action, for example snipers who need to fire between breaths to keep their aim steady**


For millennia, Yoga practitioners have used pranayama, or breath control, to facilitate meditation.

Whether you’re an aspiring yogi, a sniper, or a sleeper, these breathing tips can help you reach a state of calm.


* https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-tart-cherry-juice-benefits


** https://time.com/4316151/breathing-technique-navy-seal-calm-focused/



I’m working on my course “Making friends with your dreams”, which includes a section on sleep hygiene - what we can do to naturally enhance our sleeping and dreaming. It includes these and other tips. I’m looking forward to bringing that to you soon. :)


To discuss your sleep routine, contact me at joann@dreamlifenz.com




Delphi, Greece

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