27/01/2015 07:30 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Fall Asleep Quicker By Making This One Simple And Easy Change

Getting a good night's sleep can feel almost impossible when you struggle with nodding off. You lie in bed for hours, your mind racing, hoping that any minute you're going to fall asleep - but it just doesn't happen.

MORE: Can't sleep? Try this easy exercise

Sounds familiar? You should probably try this writer's trick for getting a decent kip.

Refinery 29 features writer Kelsey Miller says the secret to falling asleep quickly is all down to breathing.

"Breath regulation, while utterly simple, has an impact on every system in your body," she writes.

"By breathing in subtly different ways, you can effect blood pressure, heart rate, emotional stability, and even hormones. Anyone who's ever had a panic attack knows that the most effective way to quell that horrible moment of mental and physical distress is with slow, regulated breathing."

Her nighttime breathing technique goes as follows:

1. Lie down in your preferred sleep position. You can also start on your back and roll into it when you start to drop off.

2. Breathe in through your nose on a count of three seconds.

3. Breathe out through your nose on a count of six seconds.

4. Repeat until you fall asleep.

It's simple, isn't it?

Miller explains this method works because you are forced to focus on your breathing rather than other things you might be pre-occupied with. The impact of a shorter inhale and longer exhale also relaxes muscles, slows the heart rate and calms the mind.

So, next time you resort to counting sheep? Try counting your breath instead.

Source: Refinery 29