Why does 2breathe work? (the scientific version)

The normal falling-asleep process involves progressive disconnection from our surroundings. Our minds turn inward as we drowse into sleep, and our control over mental activity and awareness of sensory stimuli diminishes. During this process, sympathetic neural activity is decreased with resulting mental and muscle tone relaxation.

Typically, it’s our racing mind that interferes with the natural process. Anxious thoughts keep popping up not allowing our body to fall asleep, and frequently prevent us from reaching deep sleep, causing wake ups during the night.  

2breathe induces sleep by captivating the racing mind, keeping it focused on breathing via its guiding tones.  As the tones gradually prolong exhalation and slow breathing, the neural sympathetic activity, is reduced allowing the mind & body to relax into sleep.

2breathe takes methods of ‘mindfulness meditation’  which have been demonstrated to reduce insomnia [1] to the next level. With 2breathe, the whole breathing synchronization and prolonging the exhalation process happens subliminally in a way you can’t do on your own. The guiding tones affect the emotional, and not the cognitive part of the brain, as other methods such as counting or “thinking about it” tend to do.    

Furthermore, 2breathe’s core patented technology composes the guiding tones in real-time, in a way that continuously adapts to the user’s ability to be guided. Such interactive guidance creates an optimal and personalized breathing exercise shown to play a prominent role in the beneficial effect far beyond pre-recorded relaxing tones used by most breathing apps [2-4].

  1. David S. Black, PhD, MPH et al. Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances; JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):494-501. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8081
  2. Schein MH, Gavish B, Herz M, Rosner-Kahana D, Naveh P, Knishkowy B, Zlotnikov E, Ben-Zvi N, Melmed RN. Treating hypertension with a device that slows and regularises breathing: a randomised, double-blind controlled study. J Hum Hypertens. 2001;15:271-278.
  3. Ekman I, Kjellström B, Falk K, Norman J, Swedberg K. Impact of device-guided slow breathing on symptoms of chronic heart failure: a randomized, controlled feasibility study. Eur J Heart Fail. 2011;13:1000-1005.

Oneda B, Ortega KC, Gusmão JL, Araújo TG, Mion D Jr. Sympathetic nerve activity is decreased during device-guided slow breathing. Hypertens Res. 2010 Jul;33(7):708-712.