Many people use sleep aids such as sleeping pills, eye masks, earplugs, and white noise, hoping that they will solve their problem. However, all of these sleep aids can provide only short-term effects.
Dr. Andrew Weil has a much better suggestion. He has an effective technique and strongly believes that getting a proper sleep can be as simple as breathing.
There Is Power in Your Breath
With the digital revolution of the 21st century, it is really difficult to get a proper sleep, especially because most of us have a constant need to be connected 24/7. Weil firmly believes that a simple breathing exercise can solve this problem.
He stated that breathing has a huge influence on physiology and thought processes, including moods. All you have to do is focus on your breathing and you will be able to relax and calm your mind. This theory is used in “The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise,” also known as “The Relaxing Breath”. This technique promotes better sleep and it is based on ancient Indian practice called pranayama that means “regulation of breath”. This exercise acts as a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. It provides relaxation and calmness.
Kevin Meehan, a holistic practitioner states that this breathing technique can be very beneficial since it encourages the fast removal of carbon dioxide. This is equal to a better preservation of the bicarbonate pool; this will help to maintain a proper pH balance.
How to Perform The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
This technique is very easy. It requires hardly any time, and you can do it anywhere in just 5 steps. Even though this exercise can be done in any position, it is recommended to sit with your back straight. Place the tip of the tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth. Make sure to keep it there during the entire exercise. Through the exercise, you will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; is this seems awkward, try pursing your lips slightly.
Then, follow this five-step procedure:
Exhale through your mouth, so you will make a whoosh sound
Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a mental count of 4
Hold your breath for a count of 7
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of 8
This counts as one breath. Inhale again and repeat this cycle 3 more times for a total of 4 breaths.
You should know that the most important part of this technique is holding your breath for 8 seconds. This will allow oxygen to fill your lungs and circulate in your body, which in turn will produce a relaxing effect in your body.
Does The Sleep Hack Really Work?
Gordon strongly believes that this breathing technique is very effective and provides the same effects as meditation: It helps you get rid of the preoccupying thoughts and helps you calm your mind.
To learn to perform this technique perfectly, you should practice it two times a day, for 2 months until you can fall asleep in 1 minute. Then, it will provide even better results and help you deal with stress and anxiety. You will not face any difficulties to fall asleep. It will be as simple as taking a deep breath.