There are so many sleep aids these days, including eye masks, earplugs, white noise, and even sleeping pills. However, some of these are costly and what’s worse is that they usually only offer benefits on the short term. Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can interfere with a restful sleep at night.
This is why Dr. Andrew Weil, a medical doctor who trained at Harvard, introduced a way to give you that elusive peaceful sleep every time you hit the bed. What’s great about this technique is that it is very simple and will not cost you a penny. All you have to do is to breathe in and out with the right timing.
Dr. Weil presented to the public the breathing exercise dubbed as the 4-7-8 exercise. In truth, this is not a new method as it was already known several years ago. However, since the sleeping problem in America and in other nations worldwide has increased today, it is no wonder that this technique is back to deliver help to those in need.
So, how do you do the exercise? It’s very simple and only requires a few steps:
Step 1: Find the tissue ridge above the upper front teeth and place the tip of your tongue there. Remember not to move your tongue throughout the exercise.
Step 2: Exhale with your mouth, forcing to make an inaudible whoosh sound.
Step 3: After exhaling, close your mouth while slowly inhaling with your nose as you count to four in your head. Remember not to open your mouth as you count.
Step 4: Hold your breath for seven whole seconds.
Step 5: Exhale and this time, do it with your mouth as you count to eight. Once again, make that whoosh sound.
Step 6: Repeat the process three times, which means the whole exercise is comprised of four breathe-in-and-out renditions.
As you may have guessed, it is called the 4-7-8 exercise because you inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. This breathing exercise is also known as the relaxing breath and is actually based on pranayama, which is a traditional practice in India that focuses on breath regulation.
Many holistic practitioners and medical experts approve of this technique because it encourages the body to get rid of carbon dioxide quickly, which makes this an effective exercise. It also supports the sustenance of the pH balance in the body to provide you with peaceful sleep at night.