physiological sigh


The physiological sigh is a breathing technique discussed in detail by on the . This technique involves a specific pattern of breathing, consisting of a double inhale followed by a long exhale. Physiological sighs are natural responses of our body that occur spontaneously every five minutes or so, whether we are awake or asleep. They serve the purpose of reopening alveoli in the lungs, which are tiny air sacs that absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This helps to bring in more oxygen and offload carbon dioxide effectively 1.

In addition to its natural occurrence, you can voluntarily perform a physiological sigh to rapidly reduce stress. It is one of the fastest, physiologically supported methods to induce calm and reduce stress levels in real-time. This breathing pattern activates a specific neural circuit involving the brain and the diaphragm, making it highly effective in managing stress, anger, or any acute emotional distress. It has also been found beneficial before engaging in activities that might cause nervousness, like public speaking 2.

Overall, the physiological sigh is a powerful tool for both mental calmness and physiological benefits, making it valuable in various stressful or anxiety-inducing situations.

Impact of Smartphone Reading

Andrew discusses a recent study that found reading on a smartphone negatively impacts comprehension compared to reading on paper. The study also found that physiological sighs, which help bring in more oxygen, were less frequent when reading on a smartphone.

Huberman Lab

Using Play to Rewire & Improve Your Brain | Huberman Lab Podcast #58