Many people have trouble falling asleep at night. This is a common problem, and I even struggle with it. I find that I cannot get my mind to slow down and relax. Sometimes it can take me up to two hours to get to sleep at night.
Sleep deprivation is bad not only for one’s health but also for work and personal life. Being tired all the time kills productivity and can cause serious health issues.
According to WebMD, chronic sleep loss can put a person at risk for the following:
- Heart Disease
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Irregular Heartbeat
- High Blood Pressure
It is in our best interest to get the sleep we need. However, how? The “4-7-8” breathing technique, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, may be the answer.
Dr. Weil is a Harvard-educated wellness practitioner who studies meditation, breathing, and how both can be used to counteract stress.
The technique is easy to learn and use. One only has to breathe in through the nose for four seconds, hold the breath for seven seconds, exhale for eight seconds, and then repeat three more times. This exercise will slow down the heart rate and prepare the body for relaxation.
The “4-7-8” breathing practice is also useful for removing stress during the day. If the pressure of life or work is becoming a bit too much to bear, this short easy trick could be just the thing.
I gave it ago while writing for a deadline, and I could instantly feel my heart rate slow down. That anxious energy (that seems always to be there) all but disappeared. I look forward to seeing what it does for my sleep.
To learn more about the breathing technique and how to perform it correctly, watch Dr. Weil’s video below.