The "4-7-8 breathing technique" to fall assleep quickly

The “4-7-8 breathing technique” is the perfect exercise to fall asleep quickly. Harvard graduate Andrew Weil has developed the so-called “4-7-8 breathing technique”, which is intended to make it easier for stressed people to fall asleep. He tells you that if you do the exercise twice a day for six to eight weeks, you will master it sufficiently well to fall asleep within a minute! Hence, you will always be well rested when you need your energy for important tasks the next day.

We show you how it is done step by step:

  1. First, position the tongue so that the tip of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth just above the front teeth. The position of the tongue remains the same for the entire duration of the exercise.
  2. Then you can breathe out fully and audibly through your mouth.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale slowly through your nose. Count to four in your head.
  4. Then hold your breath and count to seven in your head.
  5. Then breathe out fully and audibly through your mouth, counting to eight.
  6. Go through this sequence four times in a row.

The truth is that those who are under stress usually breathe quickly. The air quite often reaches only the upper chest area. Some stressed people even hold their breath for a while, blocking the oxygen supply to the brain.

During this exercise, more oxygen is inhaled in the first step (“4”), in the second step the oxygen has more time to distribute itself in the blood stream (“7”), the third step slows down the heart rate when exhaling and releases a larger amount of carbon dioxide from the lungs (“8”).

“Breathing affects the body and thoughts, including people’s moods. By simply focusing your attention on your breathing and doing nothing to change it, you can get into a state of relaxation, ”writes Andrew Weil on his website. The exercise is created on the basis of yoga breathing techniques. Anyone who has difficulty falling asleep should be able to calm down within a minute using this method, which enriches everyday life fundamentally.

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