The average American gets less than 6 hours of sleep every day. There could be lots of reasons. However, one way to combat it with a breathing technique. Here is what you do before going to bed – Of course, no TV or distractions.
1) Sit with your back straight (really) and supported. Lengthen your back purposefully.
2) Close your eyes and slowly start to observe your breathing. Follow the breath way in and way out.
3) As you do the above, slightly increase the breathing noise or breathe more purposefully.
4) Now, you will soon get tired of this unless you do one thing i.e., not to get attached to any thought. Let them come and let them pass. Make an effort to stay focused on observing and hearing the breathing.
5) About 2-3 mins is a good start. You want to do this for about 5 minutes or more until you feel you are ready to sleep.
The above clears your mind and helps it relax. This form of breathing is called Ujjayi or Victorious breathing – you achieve victory over your breath and you conquer the mind. Many people go to great lengths to get to sleep including medication and what not. I have personally used this technique to also prepare for the next day successfully. Thought I will share.