If you’re someone who struggles to fall asleep, you aren’t alone.
Thousands of people all over the world are dealing with the same thing every night. With our busy modern lives, excessive hours of screen time, and new-age stressors, it’s no wonder it can be hard to get a bit of carefree shut eye. But sleep remains ever important for our health and wellbeing, so you can hardly avoid it.
That’s why we wanted to share an apparent breakthrough when it comes to falling asleep that might just help you get on top of your fatigue.
1. The 4-7-8 Method
Dr. Andrew Weil is a celebrated author and world-renowned leader in an innovative field of medicine called integrative medicine. He says that one of the things adults struggle with the most is that our overburdened lives make it difficult to calm our minds, making sleep a real challenge. He recommends a relaxing breathing exercise, such as one called the 4-7-8 Method.
According to Dr. Weil the method will teach you how to fall asleep easier, acting as a ‘natural tranquilliser’ for your body. And if you think it’s going to be complicated, think again. There are just seven steps!
How To Do The 4-7-8 Method
- Lie on your bed in a posture that allows you to take a full breath i.e. not on your side or stomach.
- Put the tip of your tongue on the top of your mouth, behind your front teeth, and make a point to keep it there.
- Empty all the air from your lungs with a large exhale.
- Inhale through the nose for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth for eight seconds.
- Repeat three times.
According to Dr. Weil repeating this a few times (or not at all!) will see you drift off into an easy and effortless sleep!
Why does it work?
Weil explains that the reason the 4-7-8 Method is so effective is that you’re forced to focus on your breath as you count out the seconds. This, along with the deep breathing itself, allows the body to fully relax for a moment, removing all external stressors, and encouraging drowsiness and sleep.
It’s certainly a helpful method to remember and makes sense when you consider the facts. When we can’t sleep, we tend to experience higher stress and anxiety, which in turn makes it harder to sleep. The more stressed and anxious we get, the shallower our breathing becomes and the more elevated our heart rate gets — both of which stop us from getting to sleep. So in a way, the 4-7-8 Method is a kind of ‘reset’ button on the body that allows you to move away from stress, and into sleep.