If you have a hell of a hard time trying to fall asleep at night, you’re in luck – there’s a trick.
You can chuck out counting sheep, having a glass of milk before bed, and using lavender spray on your pillow as your go-to hacks for trying (and failing) to fall asleep quickly.
Enter the ‘4-7-8’ breathing trick – a ‘natural tranquilliser for the nervous system’.
Here’s how it works…
Breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. If you’re not already asleep by the time you finish it the first time, repeat it again.
Dr Andrew Weil, who swears by this method, also recommends placing the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keeping it there through the entire exercise.
The studied combination of numbers has a chemical-like effect on our brains, and consequently, slows our heart rate. So you won’t have a hard time sleeping anymore, apparently.
People who are stressed or anxious actually chronically under-breathe, AOL reports.
So by extending your inhale count to four, you’re forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, which allows that oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling for eight seconds.
Basically, the ‘4-7-8’ slows your heart rate and increases oxygen in your bloodstream, which makes you feel lightheaded, and consequently, tired.
Say goodbye to counting sheep.