Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for optimal health.
Unfortunately, many people struggle with insomnia, especially in stressful situations, which can have a plethora of negative consequences on the body, including cognitive impairment, muscle fatigue, and elevated anxiety levels.
Fortunately, there’s one technique that is sure to work on even the most sleepless of insomniacs. It’s called 4-7-8 breathing technique.
How to perform this breathing technique
This method was developed by a wellness practitioner, Harvard-educated Dr. Andrew Weil, who studies meditation, breathing, and how it can be used to counteract stress. It’s easy to do.
Inhale through your nose for a count of 4 seconds, hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds. Repeat this cycle four times as needed until you fall asleep.
The key to successfully performing the exercise is to NOT speed up your breathing, as you’ll want to do, but to maintain the 4-7-8 breathing pattern for as long as possible. This slows down your heart rate and will have you dozing off in seconds.
Why it works?
By inhaling for a count of 4, you are pushing yourself to take in more oxygen. By holding your breath for a count of 7, you are enabling the oxygen to flow throughout your bloodstream. And lastly, by exhaling for 8 seconds, you are expelling carbon dioxide steadily from your lungs.
This technique slows your heart rate while increasing the levels of oxygen in your bloodstream, allowing your body to relax more fully.
This technique is a free, all-natural, and completely healthy way to put yourself to sleep. So, next time you’re having a sleepless night, try this simple breathing exercises and see the difference the 4-7-8 breathing method makes.