Being stressed and sleepless is becoming more and more common. One survey found 51 percent of those who suffer insomnia blame stress for their lack of sleep. A lack of sleep exacerbates stress, and so the merry dance continues.
For a long time, I had a hard time sleeping. Was it because of stress, too many screens before bed, too much food at night? Whatever the reason, I found it incredibly difficult to shut my brain down and give it a break at night. Until I learn about the “4-7-8″ breathing trick.
According to Daily Nutrition, “this method was developed by a wellness practitioner, Harvard-educated Dr. Andrew Weil, who studies meditation, breathing, and how it can be used to counteract stress.”
Stress affects sleep because it switches on our body’s fight or flight response. Our heart starts racing, our blood pressure rises, our muscles tense and our breath quickens in anticipation. This breathing method can help you counteract the natural effects of stress and your body is forced to slow down your heart rate.
“This exercise is a natural tranquiliser for the nervous system,” Dr Weil says. “Unlike tranquilising drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently.”
It’s easy to do. You breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds.” This slows down your heart rate and it also releases chemicals in our brains that relaxes you.
I have to admit, I was skeptical, but I tried it anyway. It ended up working like a total charm. I was asleep in under a minute, and it works every time! So relaxing!
Give it a try tonight and let us what you think in the comments section below.