This 5 minute sleep technique is being hailed a 'natural tranquilizer for the nervous system'
Always got a million thoughts and worries spinning around in your head as bedtime approaches?
You are not alone.
More and more of us are struggling to fall alseep when we go to bed, resulting not only in restless sleep, but also in tiredness and exhaustion the next day.
If this sounds all sorts of familiar, you need to try the 4-7-8 technique, which experts are calling a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system."
Adopted from the yogic practice of pranayama, meaning “regulation of breath,” American celebrity doctor and guru of alternative medicine, Dr Andrew Weil, has since developed the 4-7-8 technique as a way to lull the body into a state of deep relaxation.
According to Weil himself, the method is meant to diminish stress and bring balance to the body, all the while giving your organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost.
Here is how Weil himself describes the method:
The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
That’s one breath.
Repeat a cycle of breaths three more times, totaling four breathes.
According to Dr. Weil, the most important part of this practice is holding your breath, because it’ll allow the oxygen to really circulate throughout your body, and that’s what relaxes you.
And look – having tried it, you might have to try it for a few nights before you sort of get the hang it it. But as far as calming your mind and relaxing you – it really, really worked for me!