Struggling to sleep? Try this ‘finger breathing’ sleep hack to fall asleep in seconds

The experts say it works!

man sleeping in bed
(Image credit: LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS / Adobe Stock)

Between the cost of living crisis reportedly affecting 8 out of 10 UK citizens’ mental health, and 1 in 3 reportedly suffering from insomnia, many people are finding it hard to stop worrying thoughts from taking over their much-needed sleep. Recently, viral sleep hacks such as the ‘open eye’ technique and the 10-3-2-1-0 are being shared around the insomniac community. There’s always a differing response as to whether they work or not, but this time, we’ve been given one straight from the experts.  

With the nation's well-being in mind, we spoke to the sleep experts at Mattress Online who have compiled tips on the meditative practice known as ‘finger breathing’ -  a quick and easy self-hypnosis method that can calm your nerves and help you reclaim sleep. Keep reading to find out more. 

Oh just before we begin, have a look at our 2023 list of the best mattresses!

What is finger breathing?

Finger breathing is a form of self-hypnosis that can be used to bring you back into a calmer and more rational state of mind during times of anxiety or restlessness. It involves a combination of touch and controlled breathing, cycling through a series of finger holds and hand movements whilst focusing on inhaling and exhaling deeply.

Studies have shown that effectively controlling your breathing can not only help you relax mentally, it also promotes the release of melatonin, the hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain that is responsible for regulating your body’s circadian rhythm and managing your natural sleep cycle.

How does it work?

Step 1:

Start by laying or sitting down in a comfortable position. Relax your breathing by inhaling more deeply  and slower than you would normally.

Step 2:

Bring the fingers and thumb of one hand together in a relaxed pinched position. Using your other hand, cup and loosely rest your bunched fingertips in your palm. Count five relaxed breaths while keeping your hands in this position

Step 3:

Swap hands and count five breaths again.

Step 4:

Next, make a thumbs up with one hand and then wrap the fingers of the other hand around the opposing thumb. Loosely hold your thumb while you count 5 relaxed breaths. Then swap hands and count five breaths again.

Step 5.

Repeat this process on the rest of your fingers, i.e. wrap the fingers of one hand around your opposing index finger and hold for 5 relaxed breaths, before switching hands and repeating the process.

Interested in more? Try this doctor-approved sleep hack as well!

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.