WHETHER it is the tossing and turning for hours in the apprehension of daylight or finding yourself counting endless sheep, a breathing technique could help you fall asleep quickly.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique was developed by doctor Andrew Weil, who refers to it as a “natural tranquilliser for the nervous system” that can be used at any time in the day, especially at night to clear the mind.
If this is done regularly, Dr Weil stated that it could be possible to help people sleep faster if the technique is used consistently.
What is the secret to it?
Breathing techniques can be used to relax the body and bring it into deep relaxation. Holding your breath for long periods of time allows you to recharge oxygen levels.
Techniques like 4-7-8, which can be used from the lungs upwards, are able to give oxygen to your tissues and organs.
The relaxation practices can also bring your body back to balance, and help regulate our fight-or flight response when stressed.
If you suffer from sleeplessness or anxiety, or worry about the future or past events, this is especially helpful. It can be hard to get restful sleep if we are constantly thinking and worrying.
This 4-7-8 method forces your mind and body not to replay the worries you have when you lay down at night, but instead focus on controlling the breath.
The technique is said to calm a racing heart and soothe frazzled nerves by health professionals.
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What to do?
It is easiest to practice breathing 4-7-8 while you are trying to fall asleep. You can practice this technique throughout the day by finding a comfortable, quiet place to sit.
Preparation for practice: Rest your tip of the tongue against your roof. Throughout the exercise, you will want to hold your tongue straight. Some people find it easier to exhale during the 4-7-8 breath.
These steps can all be completed in one continuous breath.
First, let your lips part. You can make a loud sound by exhaling through your mouth.
Then close your mouth and inhale silently. Next count four times in your head.
For seven seconds, then hold your breath.
For eight seconds, exhale again.
Inhaling again will start a new cycle. This pattern can be used for up to four breaths.
One recent study in Health Science Journal identifies some of the potential health benefits of deep breathing techniques, particularly for deep breathing from the diaphragm:
The results of these studies show that pranayamic breathing can have an impact on the heart rate variability and help people sleep better.
With repeated practice and over time, Dr Weil revealed that the 4-7-8 method can improve your immune system. It can also suppress other health issues like high blood pressure and depression.
Publited at Fri, 10 Sep 2021 10:00:00 +0000