Is a restless mind preventing you from getting quality shut-eye? You need to try the latest sleep technique that’s trending on TikTok. The “finger breathing method” has received 5.2 million views on the platform, with users sharing how to execute the technique that quickly lulls the body and mind into sleep.
So what, exactly, is finger breathing? A simple breathwork technique – involving the hands and six fingers – it triggers the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our rest, digest and relaxation mode. While other types of breathwork also require a focus on the breath, the finger breathing method involves additional senses – namely, sight and touch – as you watch and feel your fingers moving in tandem with the inhale and exhale.
This multi-sensory effect helps increase mindfulness and is especially good to ease the brain into a deep state of relaxation and boost endorphin production.
Great for alleviating stress, anxiety and physical pain, as well as promoting healing and sleep, finger breathing can be performed anywhere, at any time, and at any age. It is also great for children. Studies have shown that harnessing the power of the breath also helps the body naturally produce the sleep hormone melatonin, making it a good – and free – option to try if you’re struggling with your slumber.
How to do the finger breathing method
For a step-by-step guide, see below.
Enlist the help of your hands
You’ll need both hands for this technique: one will be your “base” hand (which won’t move), and the other to trace the fingers on your base hand. It doesn’t matter which hand you use for which. Spread your fingers on your base hand and hold it out in front of you.
Beginning where the thumb meets the wrist on your base hand, and slowly trace the index finger on your other hand up to the tip of the thumb. As you do, take a slow breath in. Once you’ve reached the top, trace your index finger down the other side of the thumb, exhaling as you go.
Move on to the rest of your hand
Slowly trace your index finger over the base hand’s index finger, and then move on to the other fingers. As you go, inhale and exhale deeply as before, and allow yourself to relax and let go.
Move in the other direction
Once you’ve traced every finger and ended at the bottom of the pinky finger, reverse the tracing motion, moving back to the thumb you started on. Continue to inhale and exhale as before.
Continue until you fall asleep
Repeat the technique until you feel relaxed enough to drop off – but pay close attention to the calm induced by the method