I used to have a lot of trouble falling asleep.
It wasn’t even in a terrible way, I just had a very excitable and busy mind that would race around endlessly from thought to thought stopping me from falling asleep.
I’d always been a casual meditation practitioner enjoying mindfulness breathing techniques and exercises so I knew of a lot of the benefits, but I wanted to find out if there was a way I could use it to settle my mind and help me fall asleep.
That’s when I discovered the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
It’s a surprisingly simple breathing exercise that can help you fall asleep in under 60 seconds. So I was of course intrigued but dubious, so I tried it out that night, I was in bed for about 10 minutes then tried it and voilà, I was out like a light.
I’ve used it since and I seem to have a success rate of about 25% for falling asleep straight away. Which is pretty good for a breathing exercise! But even if I don’t fall asleep it helps me calm down so I can fall asleep normally.
How does it work I hear you ask?
Well I’ve made an infographic showing you exactly how to use it. Check it out below!
It was first published on my own site as part of a (bigger guide on natural sleep aids) which you can check if you need more help falling asleep.
Quick summary, you place the tip of your tongue behind the teeth, breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, then blow air, quite forcefully,out through the mouth for 8 seconds.
Repeat that 4 times then breathe normally.
It’s also good for quickly relaxing you and helping to deal with anxiety throughout the day, if you’re feeling overwhelmed you can use it to de-stress and come back to the present.
I highly recommend trying if there is ever a time when you can’t sleep, you might end up as surprised as I was!
About The Author: Kieran is the resident sleep expert at The Dozy Owl, he sometimes gets so excited about a new sleep experiment he ends up not being able to sleep!