If you’re a business owner like me, it takes you between 30 minutes and an hour to fall asleep at night. But I recently learned a breathing technique that allows you to fall asleep in just a few minutes and sometimes in less than a minute. Professor Weil of the prestigious Harvard University developed this technique, called “4-7-8”.
Of course, this breathing technique will not immediately knock you out on the first try as if you were anaesthetized. It requires regular training so that your body starts to develop a powerful sedative reaction. But don’t panic, even beginners can use this technique to reduce stress and fall asleep faster. The advantage of this method is that it’s swift. You only need 30 seconds to put it into practice. Look at this:
How to do it:
1. Touch your palate with the tip of your tongue, just behind the upper incisors. And hold this position throughout the exercise.
2. Breathe out loud through your mouth (making a noise) all the air in your lungs.
3. Close your mouth and breathe in slowly through your nostrils, counting to four in your head.
4. Hold your breath, counting to seven.
5. Breathe out completely through your mouth, counting to 8. Make the same noise as in step two.
6. You have just completed a complete cycle: repeat the exercise three times, for a total of four cycles.
Attention: it is essential to breathe in through your nostrils and breathe out through your mouth.
It does not matter how fast you breathe in and out. The important thing is to respect the “4-7-8” ratio.
The 4-7-8 method explained in only three steps
1. Inhale by counting to four.
2. Hold your breath by counting to seven.
3. Exhale to the count of eight.
You can now fall asleep peacefully.
Why it works
This method is based on holistic breathing that combats stress and anxiety.
Indeed, breathing has an influence on our organism and our thinking mechanisms:
– The four-second inhalation allows you to bring more oxygen into your lungs.
– Holding your breath for seven seconds allows the oxygen to be absorbed and enter your bloodstream.
– Exhaling for eight seconds slows your heart rate and expels even more carbon dioxide from your lungs.
The idea is straightforward: By focusing all your attention on your breathing, you think of nothing else but your breath. It prevents you from believing and thinking about the worries of the day. As a result, your body and mind are quickly relaxed. This method prevents shortness of breath, which is one of the side effects of stress. Indeed, stressed people have a bad habit of not breathing deeply enough. In fact, highly stressed people are known to hold their breath unconsciously and suffer from apnea during sleep.
A very effective relaxation method
The “4-7-8” method is particularly effective for people who have difficulty falling asleep. But it can also have positive effects if you practice it during the day. Indeed, you can also use this technique to reduce stress, anxiety and even compulsive needs such as smoking a cigarette, eating sweets, etc. The next time you feel stressed, try practising the method to relax. It’s extremely simple: Just do four complete cycles to manage a stressful or anxious situation. You will be amazed at how quickly you will regain your calm and clarity of mind. Like all good habits, the “4-7-8” method requires a little willpower and practice. Try to dedicate one minute a day to practice this method: you will soon notice the positive effect it has on your emotional state. To take full advantage of the benefits of this method, it is advisable to do it twice a day for eight weeks. In particular once in the morning when you get up and once in the evening when you go to bed. It also works if you wake up in the middle of the night. You can do this exercise in any position, but if you sit down, keep your back straight and your feet on the floor. Good breathing!
Now it’s your turn…
Do you know other easy tips for falling asleep or relaxing? Share them with us in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you! Do you like this tip? Share it with your friends on Facebook.