Clearing your mind enough to fall asleep can be more of challenge on some nights than others. However, Time Magazine has recently shared a technique to help solve that problem, the “4-7-8” exercise.
More than 50 % of adults admitted to stress keeping them awake at least 1 night each month in a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association. Nonetheless, it only takes one night of poor sleep impact your health, attitude, motivation and productivity.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-known supporter of holistic breathing techniques, “Breathing strongly influences physiology and thought processes, including moods. By simply focusing your attention on your breathing, and without doing anything to change it, you can move in the direction of relaxation.”
Give the 4-7-8 technique a try tonight with these 6 easy tips:
- Place your tongue on your gums above your upper front teeth, and remember to keep it there throughout the entire exercise.
- Begin by exhaling through your mouth as you make a “whoosh” sound.
- Next, with your mouth closed, solely inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
- Now, hold your breath as you mentally count to 7.
- Exhale again through your mouth as you make the same sound from step 2, but time keeping it going for a full count to 8.
- Perform these steps at least 3 more times.
While breathing for better sleep may seem all too simple to actually work, there is some science behind it. The count of 4 helps ensure you are taking in more oxygen, the 7-count allows the oxygen to have enough time to get into your bloodstream, and the count of 8 releases a greater amount of carbon dioxide from your lungs and slows your heart rate down.
You need 7-9 of hours of quality sleep, without disruption to truly be the best version of yourself. Give this technique a try to fall asleep faster tonight and let us know what’s been working to improve your sleep lately!