Skip to main content
Dryad

Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal

Cite this dataset

Yilmaz Balban, Melis et al. (2023). Brief structured respiration practices enhance mood and reduce physiological arousal [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mpg4f4r0v

Abstract

Controlled Breathwork practices have emerged as potential tools for stress management and well-being. Here we report a remote, randomized, controlled study (NCT05304000) of three different daily five-minute Breathwork exercises in comparison to an equivalent period of Mindfulness Meditation, over one month. The breathing conditions are 1) Cyclic Sighing, which emphasizes prolonged exhalations, 2) Box Breathing, which is equal duration of inhalations, breath retentions and exhalations, and 3) Cyclic Hyperventilation with Retention, with longer inhalations and shorter exhalations. The primary endpoints are improvement in mood and anxiety as well as reduced physiological arousal (respiratory rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability). Using a mixed-effects model, we show that Breathwork, especially the exhale-focused Cyclic Sighing produces greater improvement in mood (p < 0.05) and reduction in respiratory rate (p < 0.05) compared to Mindfulness Meditation. Daily 5-minute Cyclic Sighing has promise as an effective stress management exercise. 

Methods

This data was collected remotely with a wearable WHOOP tracker and daily surveys and contains physiological and subjective measures of mood and wellbeing. 

Funding

Victor and Winnie Koo and Tianren Culture

Stanford University, Award: Discovery Innovation Award