The 4-7-8 method to fall asleep in less than a minute

There is nothing worse than spending the night awake in bed, trying to fall asleep and wishing you could rest because a long day’s work awaits you the next day. Not being able to sleep at night will affect your performance throughout the next day and is detrimental not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional well-being.

There are many tips for ending insomnia that I have heard throughout my life that I don’t know if they work for others, but to me they don’t help. A glass of hot water before going to bed, an infusion of lime, counting the sheep … nothing at all.

However, it seems that the solution is to learn to breathe. Today we are going to talk about the 4-7-8 method to fall asleep in less than a minute.

What is the 4-7-8 method

The 4-7-8 method is one of the most powerful and effective relaxation techniques that can be practiced anywhere or anytime when feeling stressed or anxious. This technique is part of the breathing practice of Yoga (Pranayama) and was popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil (director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona). In fact, the psychological benefits of yoga are numerous, you can find out in our article: “The 6 psychological benefits of yoga”

this method it is easy and simple to apply, It takes little time to notice the effects, no equipment is needed to achieve it and can be practiced anywhere, not only in bed to combat insomnia, but also to relax, for example, when there is an important job interview or a decisive review moment.

According to Dr. Weil, the 4-7-8 breathing technique helps people fall asleep in just 60 seconds by acting as a natural nervous system tranquilizer, Which reduces stress and tension in the body.

How to breathe 4-7-8

Be able to use this method to fall asleep quickly, Follow this sequence of steps:

  • Get into a comfortable position: if it’s to fight insomnia, you can do it from your own bed. If you want to relax, you can use a posture to meditate when you decide to breathe. If you do not know how to meditate, we invite you to read our article: “How to learn to meditate, in 7 simple steps”.
  • Press the tip of the tongue just above the front teeth, in the tissue area of ​​the oral cavity. Keep it here during breathing cycles.
  • Breathe deeply through your nose for 4 seconds.
  • You should hold your breath for 7 seconds while controlling the diaphragm.
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. As you breathe out, imagine the air coming out through the tip of the tongue, which remains squeezed into the area of ​​tissue behind the front teeth.
  • Repeat the steps as many times as needed. In general, it is not necessary to do more than 10 cycles in a row. If you are feeling dizzy, it is okay to start practicing these types of techniques. This will go away as you become more familiar with the method.

How it helps you fall asleep quickly

This technique allows you introduce more oxygen into your body, Which relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system and slows your heart rate, promoting a state of calm. In this way, it rebalances the nervous system which can become overstimulated during times of stress.

At bedtime, insomnia can fuel anxiety and stress because seeing that you can’t sleep makes you breathe faster and you can’t relax. Without a doubt, this technique is effective for there to be a connection between the body, the breath and the mind, and it helps you to be more focused, away from those everyday thoughts that keep us awake.

In addition, deep breathing and breathing retention increases intra-abdominal pressure, thereby stimulating the vagus nerve, which sends signals to the brain for the body to reduce its state of alertness and “fight or flight” characteristic of situations. stressful.

You can learn more about how this technique works in the audiovisual content presented below:

Some tips for better sleep

This technique can be useful to relax at a certain time and thus be able to find yourself in a better condition so that you can fall asleep. However, insomnia is caused by a number of bad habits that adversely affect our health both physically and psychologically.

If you are in a situation where you are having difficulty sleeping and have been doing so for several weeks, you may need to see a professional who will help you deal with the issues causing your insomnia. However, to sleep better, there are a number of habits that you can try that will come in handy. They are as follows:

1. Take care of your food

The way we eat and what we eat can affect our sleep. A balanced diet, do not eat large dinners before bed or maintain a more or less stable meal schedule promotes good sleep.

2. Take care of your environment

Environmental conditions influence the quality of sleep. Be in a room where you feel comfortable, with the TV off or sleep on a comfortable mattress with a suitable pillow they make a difference.

3. Don’t take a nap

Taking a nap can be beneficial, for example, to be more efficient and more productive. However, no need to take a nap, the ideal is half an hour.

4. Get some physical exercise

Exercise is healthy and, in addition, reduces stress and helps you fall asleep because you will be more tired after exercising.

  • You can explore these tips and more in our article: “Fighting insomnia: 10 solutions for better sleep”

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