Hands up if you’re struggling to sleep right now? Yep, us too. The tumultuous events of the past 16 months have left us restless during the day, and with disrupted sleeping patterns during the night. At this point, we’d try any new sleep technique, relaxation-boosting mattress or mindfulness app on the market.
Which is how, during one of our many restless nights spent Googling ‘how to sleep’, we stumbled across the 4-7-8 sleep technique. After putting it to the rest for a whole week, we can safely say it’s one of the easiest and most effective slumber-inducing hacks we’ve come across.
Developed by Dr Andrew Weil, an integrative medicine specialist at the University of Arizona, the 4-7-8 method is founded in ancient meditation and breathing-focused techniques.
“It’s the single best method that I’ve found for dealing with getting back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night,” Dr Weil told MedicalNewsToday. “It’s the regularity of doing this over a period of weeks, months, years that produces the changes that you want.”
It should be noted that the first few times you try the 4-7-8 method, it may take a little longer than 60 seconds to help you drift off. The idea, as Dr Weil pointed out, is that it becomes more effective the more you practice it. Also, if you suffer with a respiratory illness or a similar ailment that affects your breathing, check with your GP before trying the 4-7-8 method.
Here’s how to do it…
- Adopt a comfortable position and relax your body.
- Inhale quietly through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, for 8 seconds.
- Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
Stick with it over the coming weeks and take our word for it, you’ll be sleeping soundly in no time.