Sleeping well is essential to having a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Unfortunately, sometimes people tend to lie in bed, thinking about the problems they had during their day or the challenges they will face in the day after.
Today, we’re going to discuss the 4-7-8 breathing technique you can use to make yourself sleepy, and thus fall asleep faster.
What is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise?
Pranayama (literally translated “regulation of breath”) is an old Indian technique to reduce stress and increase relaxation. It is also mostly used in yoga and pilates.
One of the most popular interpretations of this technique is the 4-7-8 breathing method, which is a breathing pattern that is developed and popularised by Dr. Adrew Weil, a Harvard trained medical doctor with a focus on holistic health.
How to do the 4-7-8 breathing exercise?
The 7 simple steps to falling asleep fast using the breathing exercise:
1. Take a comfortable position.
2. Place the tip of your tongue against the backside of your upper teeth.
3. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a ‘shhhhh’ sound.
4. Inhale quietly through your nose for 4 seconds, with your mouth closed.
5. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
6. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a ‘shhhhh’ sound for 8 seconds
7. Repeat this breathing process for around 4 times, making you complete 4 breathing cycles.
In this video Dr. Andrew Weil describes how to do the exercise.
Some people may find it hard to keep their breath in for 7 seconds, and make you feel light-headed. A small note is that you can do this exercise with a smaller amount of counts, within the same ratio.
You could use a 3 – 5 – 6 breathing pattern, or a 2 – 3,5 – 4 for example. This will give you about the same effect.
Small tips when doing this exercise:
- Keep the tongue on your upper teeth while breathing out.
- Breath in with abdominal breathing to optimize oxygen intake.
- Do this exercise around 2 to 3 times a day, to maximize the chances of this technique working.
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