How do you fall asleep faster?


How do you fall asleep faster?

Can a simple breathing technique help you fall asleep more relaxed and faster?

Have you ever heard of the 4-7-8 breathing technique? Actually, it was developed to reduce stress and anxiety and to help with meditation. But it also helps you fall asleep faster and more relaxed.

There are many benefits to taking a few minutes every now and then to breathe deeply. Research has found that slow, conscious breathing exercises, like the 4-7-8 technique, improve well-being and help with mental health. Additionally, this brief pause can be calming as it gives you the feeling of gaining emotional control over yourself and current situations.

4-7-8 seconds
But what is the 4-7-8 technique? It is also called calming breathing and is based on the principles of Pranayama Yoga. While many other techniques have been developed and transmitted over time, this one was developed by American physician Andrew Weil. In principle, the technique is very simple:

Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then breathe out for eight seconds. What can that look like in concrete terms?

Get into the most comfortable position possible and close your eyes. Then inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale forcefully through pursed lips for eight seconds. You can make a hissing noise and hold the tip of your tongue on the tissue behind your upper front teeth.

Control and ease

Neuroscientist Caroline Leaf explains to GLAMOR : “With the 4-7-8 method, you control the duration of breathing, how long you hold and release your breath, and the frequency of inhalation and exhalation, which helps to calm many neurophysiological responses in the brain and body can contribute.”

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This calming can help you fall asleep faster and more calmly and is particularly effective if the technique is practiced, for example, just before bedtime or at night when you wake up and can’t go back to sleep. It is recommended to breathe in and out a few times and empty your lungs completely before beginning the technique. After that you concentrate completely on counting and thus do not give the brain the opportunity to wander in other directions. Especially thoughts that might keep you awake are hidden.

It is recommended not to do this rhythm more than 4 times in a row, otherwise it may cause dizziness. This is often the case, especially with newcomers. Especially if you practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique twice a day, it will be easier to fall asleep in the long run. The reason for this is that the brain reacts to the increased oxygen supply.

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