Most of us have a problem to fall a sleep. If you are one of those who have trouble to falling asleep, you definitely need a help.
It’s generally known that rest is needed for everyone, in order to function properly the following day. There are a lot of studies that shows how much the sleeping is important for our whole body and mental state.
American Psychological Association had a study titled Stress in America. In this study is found: more than 50 percent of Millennials report to having been kept awake at least one night over the course of the past month due to stress.
On a question: why does stress affect sleep? The answer is: Stress is widely recognized as the body’s response to potentially harmful situations, whether real or imagined. Although the effects of stress most certainly vary from person to person, general reactions include quickened breathing, tightened muscles, spiked blood pressure, and an increased heart rate.
The “4-7-8” breathing technique
Best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil, who received his M.D. from Harvard University in 1968, is a huge advocate of the benefits of holistic breathing practices in combatting stress and anxiety. On his website, Dr. Weil writes:
Breathing strongly influences physiology and thought processes, including moods. By simply focusing your attention on your breathing, and without doing anything to change it, you can move in the direction of relaxation.”
Using this method helps you fall asleep faster, because the effects of stress include quick and shallow breaths that stem almost exclusively from the upper chest, perpetually stressed and anxious people are actually in the detrimental habit of under-breathing. Many stressed people are even known for subconsciously holding their breath, thereby preventing them from falling asleep.
Here is how you do the exercise:
- Place the tip of your tongue against the tissue ridge right above your upper front teeth. Keep it there for the remainder of the exercise.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound as you do so.
- Close your mouth and inhale slowly through your nose while mentally counting to four.
- Hold your breath for a mental count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth for a mental count of eight. Make the same whoosh sound from Step Two.
- This concludes the first cycle. Repeat the same process three more times for a total of four renditions.
In a nutshell: breathe in for four, hold for seven, and breathe out for eight. You must inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The four-count inhale allows chronic under-breathers to take in more oxygen. The seven-count hold gives the oxygen more time to thoroughly permeate the bloodstream, and the eight-count exhale slows the heart rate and releases a greater amount of carbon dioxide from the lungs.
Here is a video explanation of how to perform this technique: