Thanks for all of your feedback on the 6-second repeat breathing technique. Here is a full description of the best method of utilising this very latest scientifically evaluated relaxation technique.
Set a timer to beep at 6 second intervals for a period of two minutes. The timer that I use in my presentations/workshops is called "Interval Timer Tibetan Bowl" which is available free in the App store.
At the first beep, keep breathing in through your nose until you hear the next beep at 6 seconds. If you have breathed fully and stopped before the beep then you are breathing too fast. Breathe out for 6 seconds ensuring that you reach the end of your deflation breath just as the beep sounds. Repeat this for 2 minutes, ensuring your timing is as close to 6 seconds as possible. Do this exercise twice a day.
Here's how it works - by regulating your breathing to the exact timings, neuroscience shows that this will put you into an 'Alpha' state which is at the base of your conscious awareness and is the gateway to your subconscious mind, the point at which we reach as we just go to sleep.
You should notice nothing else but your breathing and your brain will slow considerably to the point where there are no 'real' thoughts.
This works for both adults and for children. However, with children we are finding that if they are quite anxious at bedtime then this particular breathing technique relaxes them so much that it puts them to sleep much faster than the other techniques because they have to concentrate on their counting with the other techniques, thus keeping their brains working rather than relaxing.
Our recent feedback indicates that 2 minutes is the longest it has taken for the child to go to sleep (4-year old) and the shortest is just 4 breaths (12-year old). Both of these children had trouble sleeping.