There are a few lucky people out there who have absolutely no trouble falling asleep at night. The minute their head hits the pillow, they’re out. The rest of us lie in bed staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning, counting sheep or minutes, or snore, waiting for the mercy of blessed sleep to come.
Lack of sufficient, good quality sleep takes a toll on nearly every aspect of our lives, everything from health, to mood, to safety, to job performance. The good news is…all is not lost. With a bit of knowledge, a bit of planning and a bit of patience, we can learn to fall asleep fast!
The major causer of this problem is stress. Continuous stress can cause a plethora of negative ramifications on the body, including muscle fatique, elevated levels of anxiety and impairment.
How to Perform This Breathing Technique
Start this tecnique by inhaling through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then start exhaling through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds. You can repeat this cycle as many times as you need until you fall asleep.
Maybe you will want to speed your breathing, but the key is to maintain the 4-7-8 brething pattern as long as possible in order for this technique to work. This slows down your heart rate and will have you dozing off in seconds.
Why it Works
According to some studies, stress and anxiety have a great impact on how our bodies function. For example, people who are anxious and stressed, they may be chronically under-breathing, taking qucik, shallow breaths, when they actually need to take slow, deep breaths in order to feel relaxed.
That’s why this 4-7-8 pattern is very good, since when you are inhaling for 4 seconds, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen; by holding your breath for 7 seconds, you are allowing the oxygen to spread throughout your bloodstream and finaly, by exhaling for eight seconds, you are expelling carbon dioxide steadily from your lungs.
With this technique, your body is able to relax more fully, because it slows your heart rate while increasing the levels of oxygen in your blood stream.
Making it Work For You
This amazing tecnique is spread from mouth to mouth by anxious bridesmaids in the United States. However, Dr. Andrew Weil, educated in Harward, is one of the foremost proponents of the 4-7-8 breathing tecnique.
Dr. Weil doesn’t promise that this breathing tecnique will work for everyone. However, the next time you are having a sleepless night, you can try this free, all-natural and completely healthy way to put yourself to sleep. Try to avoid the over-the-counter pills and use some simple breathing exercises and you will see the difference that the 4-7-8 breathing method makes.