The CDC estimates that about 70 million Americans and countless more around the world have some sort of trouble sleeping. If you’re one of those people who struggles to fall asleep, Harvard professor Dr. Andrew Weil invented a breathing technique, called the 4-7-8 technique, that can have you knocked out in less than a minute. It’s easy to do but takes practice to get fully comfortable with it.
Take a comfortable position, be it sitting or laying down. Make sure your back is straight. Put the tip of your tongue on your upper front teeth. Breathe in through your mouth, then hold your breath and count to 7. Exhale through your mouth, then count to 8 before you inhale again. Repeat the cycle four times and you should be asleep before your final repetition.
Okay, so how does it work?
Day to day stress and anxiety add adrenaline to your bloodstream. This makes your heart beat faster and your breaths shorter and faster. This exercise prolongs your breathing, meaning you inhale more oxygen and slow down your heart a bit. This naturally helps relax your body.