Both sleep disorders insomnia and hypersomnia can lead to reduced productivity, a decreased quality of life, fatigue, and depression.
Insomnia also increases the risk of cognitive dysfunction and accidents, and so does hypersomnia, informs the Sleepopolis site.
While insomnia involves the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and/or fall back to sleep even when given the opportunity. The symptoms of hypersomnia include excessive daytime sleepiness, extended time spent sleeping, the need to nap after sufficient sleep, and a drowsy feeling, despite adequate rest.
Additionally, both these sleep disorders can be exacerbated in the darker months for those who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD which is a recurring depressive disorder with a temporal pattern occurring in the fall and winter and abating in the spring.
Though sleeping pills are usually prescribed to deal with sleep disorders, there is a call for non-drug alternatives from doctors and psychologists as well as people with sleep problems. Also, there seems to be a growing need for such alternatives.
Since 2012, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the worldwide reference for sleep expertise, has designated CBTI (cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia) as the most appropriate therapy for solving long-term sleep problems.
However, in recently updated guidelines, the AASM also recommends breathing exercises as an effective way to manage chronic insomnia in adults.
Slow breathing helps you sleep
According to experts, when you breathe slowly for 20 minutes at bedtime, you fall asleep 15 minutes faster.
When you practice slow breathing, you also tend to wake up at night only half of the time as usual.
Slow breathing reportedly calms the nervous system, reduces stress, and soothes busy thoughts.
Breathing slowly is also supposedly the best natural way to improve sleep and sleep quality.
So, wouldn’t it be great if you are able to control your breathing and relax your mind whenever you want?
When brother and sister Michael Broes (economist) and Stefanie Broes (Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences), noticed more and more friends and family members experiencing stress, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, they decided to do something about it.
Therefore, with the moonbird application launched in 2019, the duo developed a tool that makes it easy to take a break, relax more, and feel better by doing simple breathing exercises.
A recent study conducted by moonbird and LiCalab shows that breathing with moonbird significantly improves sleep quality among those with poor sleep.
Moonbird is the world’s first breathing tool based on scientifically proven principles that fits in your palm.
It guides slow-paced breathing exercises, wherever you are.
It can be used at any moment you need it, to relax your body, soften your mind, regain your focus, and fall asleep faster.
You can also get instant feedback on your heart rate, HRV, and coherence via the app. HRV stands for heart rate variability which is a measure of the variation in time between each of your heartbeats.
Moonbird shows you how your body relaxes, simply by slowing down your breathing.
Moonbird is reportedly co-created and tested with doctors, psychologists, coaches, therapists, pharmacists, academics, and end-users.
According to the moonbird site, the application was developed together with and is being used by psychologists and health care professionals across borders.
The Belgian health tech start-up responsible for the launch of moonbird now wants to make the application of breathing techniques more widely accessible, to improve people’s overall well-being.