Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? This is an issue that millions of other people deal with on a nightly basis as well, making it something that has become more studied in recent years. Fortunately out of this comprehensive look into sleeping patterns has come some interesting solutions. While according to the CDC an astounding 9 million Americans take prescription sleeping pills for their solution, this isn’t the only option. If you’re looking for something to help you nod off in 60 seconds, it could be as simple as changing the way you breathe at bed time.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
This technique is all about changing the way you breathe so your body can relax and you can get to bed quickly. It was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, who is a Harvard-educated wellness practitioner. Not wanting to subscribe to the norm of “just take a medication”, he set out to find an alternative for getting to sleep. Due to the fact that he regularly studies meditation and breathing to help relieve stress and strengthen the body, he quickly discovered a technique that may change the way you fall asleep forever. It’s known as the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique, and here’s how it works:
- Use your nose to breathe in for four seconds.
- Hold this breath for seven seconds total.
- When you’re ready to exhale, do this for eight seconds out of your mouth.
Repeat as many times as it takes until you’re drifting off to dream land! For most people they will fall asleep in 60 seconds, although for others, it may take a little bit longer.
Why is this Effective?
When you do this breathing technique to go to sleep, you’re letting oxygen fill into the lungs. In turn, this helps calm your mind, relax your muscles, and relax the rest of your body so it’s able to get to sleep much more efficiently. If you are tired of lying in bed for countless hours worrying that you’re going to be exhausted the next day, this may very well be what you need to change things.
This is especially useful for individuals who tend to become stressed by overthinking at night. Because stress elevates the heart rate, releases adrenaline, and causes breathing to become rapid and shallow, this can make it even more difficult to get to sleep. Fortunately when this technique is used, it can counteract the effects of adrenaline. The slow breathing causes the heart rate to slow and the entire body to relax.
Will you try the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique? If you have a hard time falling asleep, you’ve got nothing to lose! It doesn’t require special equipment or a prescription, so it’s well worth trying out. Fortunately if you’re like most people, then it should assist you in going to sleepmuch more quickly than you would otherwise. What’s even better is that if you use it regularly, it may only take a few seconds to drift away.
More Tips for Falling Asleep Quickly
In addition to using the technique above, there are many other ways you can boost your body’s ability to fall asleep quickly. Some of the most useful include:
- Go to bed on a schedule. This will create a sleeping pattern that helps your body drift off much more easily.
- Avoid coffee or soda. If you’re thirsty, try drinking a warm chamomile tea or glass of milk.
- Take a bath or shower before you go to sleep. This will warm your body up and prepare you for the sleep ahead.
- Avoid watching television right before you fall asleep. The light can trigger your brain to stay up, which may result in hours of tossing and turning. It’s best to read an old-fashioned bed to help you get relaxed before you try doing the breathing method.
- Cover up any lights that might be causing you to stay awake. If you have open windows, then black-out curtains can be a huge help in keeping your room pitch black. You may also want to cover up alarm clock lights, computer lights, or other power sources.
Your body runs on a schedule and needs dark in order to naturally drift off. By doing the additional sleep helpers listed above, you may find that sleep is no longer the challenge it was before. In fact, you may find that you save a lot of time every night because you’re not spending hours worrying about why you’re not already asleep.