Having trouble falling asleep is the worst. You lay there unable to sleep, unable to think about anything other than the fact that you can’t sleep. It’s a vicious cycle that robs you of precious minutes, or even hours, of shut eye. Luckily though, when you find yourself in this stressful situation, there’s a new trick you can try that can, believe it or not, put you to sleep in just about a minute.
It’s called the 4-7-8 breathing technique and it was pioneered by wellness guru Dr. Andrew Weil. The simple technique, which can be done anywhere and anytime, was actually inspired by yoga. And according to Dr. Weil, it can help people fall asleep in just about 60 seconds.
How To Do It:
Here’s what you do. First, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth (just above your teeth). You’ll want to keep your tongue there throughout the course of this exercise. Next, exhale completely through your mouth. This should be forceful enough that you make a “whoosh” sound.
Then, close your mouth and inhale softly through your nose for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Then, exhale completely through your mouth (making that same “whoosh” sound”) for a count of 8. Repeat this cycle, starting with the inhale, for a total of 4 breaths. Make sure your inhales are quiet and through the nose and your exhales are loud and through the mouth.
Why It Works:
There are a couple of reasons why this technique works so well. Firstly, it helps to rebalance and relax your nervous system, promoting a state of calmness. Also, focusing on breathing in this way helps to distract you from other thoughts that are keeping you from sleeping. The technique basically acts as a “natural tranquilizer,” helping to calm down the body, reduce stress, and get you ready for some shut eye.
What do you think? Have you tried this method yet? Has it worked for you?