You lie awake knowing that it’s getting later and later. And whatever you do, you simply don’t feel tired.
Most people have had nights like this and most of us have tried various tricks to float off into dreamland.
But if you’ve tried everthing to fall asleep and you don’t even look at your phone or tablet before bed, what else can you do?
Well, I’m glad to report that I recently found out about something called the “4-7-8 Breath.”
The technique worked like a charm for me and I hope that it can help more others fall asleep quickly, too!
It’s actually quite simple.
Just breathe in through your nose quietly for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for eight seconds making a sound. That’s all there is to it. Then, just repeat it three more times.
This way of breathing has a chemical effect on the brain that lowers the heart rate and makes people fall asleep in an instant.
For me, it worked on my first try. And I was so tired that I could barely count to eight on the exhale.
Breathing techniques like this one, which come from yoga and mindfulness, have been practiced in Asia for centuries, but they’ve never been popular in the West. One of the biggest proponents of this method, however, is Harvard-educated researcher Dr. Andrew Weil.
In his study on the method, Dr. Weil writes that people who are stressed and/or nervous breathe don’t breathe properly. In fact, they breathe quite shallowly, and sometimes even hold their breath without being aware of it.
Inhaling for four seconds forces your brain to take in more oxygen. Holding your breath for seven seconds allows oxygen to be brought into the body and affects blood flow. And exhaling for eight seconds excretes carbon dioxide from the lungs.
This technique effectively lowers your heart rate and increases the oxygen in your bloodstream. It can even make you feel a bit more energetic, which is part of the calming effect.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, people should practice this technique twice a day, but of course it is difficult to control.
Anyway, it worked for me, which is why I wanted to share it with you. Please share this technique with everyone you know who you know want to fall asleep faster!