One of the most important things you need for a healthy life is a good night sleep.

This being said there are actually many people who deal with insomnia daily. The main reason for poor sleep is stress. Constant stresses can cause a plethora of negative ramification on the body, including fatigue, high levels of anxiety and impairment.

Greatly, a technique has been proven numerous times to help with sleeplessness and insomnia.

It’s called the “4-7-8” breathing trick.

Photo credit: Brynn Tweeddale

How to Perform This Breathing Technique

Start this technique by inhaling through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then start exhaling through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds. You can repeat this cycle as many times as you need until you fall asleep.

You might want to speed up your breathing, but the main key is to maintain the 4-7-8 breathing pattern as long as you can until you fall asleep. This slows down your heart rate and will have you dozing off in seconds.

Why it Works

According to a few studies, stress and anxiety have a great impact on how the body functions. For example, people who are anxious are stress might be chronically under- breathing, breathing quickly, shallow breaths. What they should be doing to relax is to slow done their breathing and take deeper breaths.

That’s why this 4-7-8 pattern works very well for sleeping, since when you are inhaling for 4 seconds, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen; by holding your breath for 7 seconds, you are allowing the oxygen to spread throughout your bloodstream and finally, by exhaling for eight seconds, you are expelling carbon dioxide steadily from your lungs.

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Making it Work For You

This amazing technique is spread from mouth to mouth by anxious bridesmaids in the United States. However, Dr. Andrew Weil, educated in Harvard, is one of the foremost proponents of the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

Dr. Weil doesn’t promise that this breathing technique will work for everyone. However, the next time you are having a sleepless night, you can try this free, all-natural and completely healthy way to put yourself to sleep. Try avoiding the over-the-counter pills and use some simple breathing exercises and you will see the difference that the 4-7-8 breathing method makes.

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