For years I used to have trouble falling asleep at night. I would lie awake in bed, tired, yet incapable of drifting off into slumber. This would wreak havoc on my mornings, I'd have a hard time getting out of bed, and was consistently late for work.
I confided this to my friend, and she asked me whether I'd ever tried the “4-7-8” method, which she claimed was helping her fall asleep in no time at all. I tried this method, and it has been consistently working ever since. I now get a full night’s sleep, I’m never late for my job, and best of all – I feel refreshed.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Harvard-educated Dr. Andrew Weil developed the 4-7-8 method to calm both the mind and the body, and help you fall asleep in under 60 seconds. Other benefits of this technique include stress-reduction, slower heart rate, improved concentration, and more.
The technique is very straightforward and easy:
• You take a deep breath through your nose for four seconds.
• You hold your breath in for 7 seconds.
• You then forcefully exhale through your mouth for eight seconds.
• Repeat the process 4-6 times.
I usually pass out by the third or fourth repetition. What happens is that the way you breathe forces your heart rate to slow, which immediately puts you in a calmer and more sleep-oriented mental state.