Can Breathing Necklaces Improve Your Sleep?

Anxiety can hinder sleep, and breathing necklaces are a trending solution. These necklaces, resembling slim whistles, help slow breathing and promote mindfulness, easing anxiety and improving sleep quality. Made of various materials, they come in different sizes. Effective use involves specific breathing techniques, and they should complement other anxiety management strategies.

Have you ever laid in bed at night with your heart racing, staring at the ceiling as you try desperately to calm your spiraling thoughts—but no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to fall asleep?

Anxiety can make it difficult to get quality sleep. More and more products are popping up that are intended to help ease feelings of anxiety and send you off to a peaceful dreamland.

One example of a product that’s trending right now is the breathing necklace: a slim necklace that resembles a whistle but is actually used to help you take slow, deep breaths to calm a racing mind.

Do breathing necklaces work for anxiety and sleep? Let’s explore everything you need to know about mindful breathing necklaces and whether they’re worth the investment.

What is a breathing necklace?

A breathing necklace is a slender tube or pendant that’s worn on a chain around your neck. This portable mindfulness tool is designed to help alleviate anxiety and stress.

When you’re feeling anxious, pick up the necklace (which stays with you as a 24/7 reminder to take a moment for yourself) and use it to take a few deep, long breaths.

Ideally, you’ll then feel less tense and will be able to continue with your day.

A breathing necklace is a slender tube or pendant that’s worn on a chain around your neck. This portable mindfulness tool is designed to help alleviate anxiety and stress.

Do breathing necklaces work?

According to Brie Scolaro, licensed clinical social worker and director of Aspire Psychotherapy, the science behind breathing necklaces is twofold. First, a breathing necklace can help slow down your breathing pattern.

“When we are experiencing anxiety, our body is in fight or flight mode,” explains Scolaro. “This feels like an increased heart rate, tense muscles, clammy palms, and a complete shutdown of doing anything besides dealing with the threat. Your breathing pattern looks very quick and shallow.”

A breathing necklace forces you to slow down your breathing rate—which signals safety to your body, countering that fight or flight response. Soon, you’ll notice relaxation and ease washing over your body.

The second way you can use a breathing necklace for anxiety is through mindfulness, which Scolaro calls “a powerful tool for distracting the mind during an anxiety attack.”

By focusing on the act of breathing through the necklace, they say, you’re practicing being aware of the present moment rather than continuing your mental downward spiral.

“Taken together, both breathwork and mindfulness will increase sleep quality, make sleep more likely, and can lead to more nights without interrupted sleep,” adds Scolaro.

How to choose a breathing necklace

Breathing necklaces can be made of metal, wood, or stainless steel. Look for a necklace that fits your personal style—and consider the different sizes available too.

The majority of breathing necklace pendants are two inches long with a 24” chain. A tube with a narrower interior diameter will slow your breathing more.

You can find many breathing necklaces available on Amazon.

How to use a breathing necklace

To use a breathing necklace, place the end of the tube inside your mouth. Inhale through your nose for four seconds; hold your breath for five seconds; and exhale through your mouth for eight to 10 seconds, if possible.

Repeat this sequence three to four times. (The necklace remains silent when in use — your breath won’t make a sound. If you do hear a whistle, you’re blowing too hard.)

If you’re struggling with anxiety affecting your sleep, then try using your breathing necklace before bed or even when you’re in bed before going to sleep.

“I would also recommend using a breathing necklace if you wake up during the night and you can’t return to bed or in the aftermath of a nightmare,” Scolaro says.

Scolaro also adds that a breathing necklace shouldn’t be the only item you rely on for anxiety and sleep, especially if you’re in a panic state.

Use breathing necklaces in combination with a “toolbox” of other anxiety and sleep management strategies.

“You want to have multiple tools ready for different moments because sometimes some skills work better than others,” they explain.


What is the science behind breathing necklaces?

Breathing necklaces slow down your breathing, signaling to your body that it’s OK to come out of fight or flight mode. They also promote mindfulness by bringing you into the present moment.

Are breathing necklaces worth it?

While breathing necklaces will likely have different results for different people, they can help calm down the nervous system in ways similar to how relaxation training and biofeedback work.

Do weighted blankets work for anxiety? Next, learn about the benefits of weighted blankets for your mind and sleep.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

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