Andrew Huberman sheds light on how breathing can transform our stress levels. He suggests cyclic sighing might be the quickest way to calm down, according to his research. We put this to the test using the Flowtime app to see if it holds true.

Discovering the Fastest Way to Relax

Cyclic sighing involves a deep nose breath first, then a second quick breath to fill the lungs to the max and then let out a long breath. The long exhale that follows puts you in a calm state, easing stress away. 

The Flowtime app proved to be a helpful tool in our experiment as it can monitor brainwaves and heart rate changes during the session. We tested Huberman’s cyclic signing and saw noticeable effects.

1. In the short 10m practice, there was a 60% Flow Time during the session, which means the user enter into Flow state in about 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, you can also see a high coherence time (95% coherent), which generally means the body becomes more parasympathetic drive. 

3. You can also find an increase in alpha waves in the Rhythms Trend, indicating a state of relaxation. 

4. HRV is an indicator of autonomic nervous system balance and stress resilience. Compared to her averaged HRV around 23 ms, an HRV of 31 ms is much higher than usual.

5. The graphs show high relaxation (73), and medium attention (30). These metrics suggest that the breathing practice had a positive impact on relaxation without overly diminishing alertness.


More Cyclic Sighing Practice


We kept at it, trying more sessions in the following days. Soon, we were slipping into a Flow state in just 5 minutes and staying there over half the time. Our brains were humming with Alpha waves, showing we were relaxed with a high heart rate variability.


Cyclic Sighing Practice after 10-minute Rowing

And here's the cool part – we even tested it after a 10-minute rowing session. Sure, the Flow time dipped to 17%, but it was clear our brains were getting the hang of it, slowly but surely getting into the Flow, leading the body into a state of recovery.

How to Breathe Right with Huberman’s Method


To practice, simply open the Flowtime app, set the Timer, and follow Huberman’s breathing guide on YouTube. The app tracks your coherence, which reflects the rhythm of your sighing breaths – deep inhales raise your heart rate and exhales lower it. Check out the coherence and heart rate patterns we observed during our sessions:


The Might of Breath Bolstered by Tech

Andrew Huberman’s psychological sign breathing technique was more than a mere mental workout. When coupled with the Flowtime headband, it manifested visible changes in brainwave activity, bringing the often vague concept of Flow into an assessable framework. It stands proof of the deeply transformative effects deliberate breathwork can have on the mind, especially when our biological data mirrors such positive developments.


For those dubious about meditation or breathwork's influence on the brain, or for those seeking to uplift cognitive performance and mental well-being, we recommend this combination enough. The tests and the visual biodata speak volumes - your route to reaching and understanding your flow state has never been so well-defined.

June 24, 2024 — Flowtime Team