Fall Asleep Faster With The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
How incredibly peaceful does that sound? Breathing techniques like 4-7-8 breathing can help you tap into your inner calm, benefitting everything from your stressed-out nervous system to how well you sleep at night.
Fall Asleep Faster with the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a style of intentional breathwork that can calm your mind and body. Though popularized in 2015 by integrative medicine specialist Andrew Weil, MD, it has ancient roots in the yogic practice of pranayama, or focusing on the breath.
Identify two recurring moments during your day that you can designate for practicing 4-7-8 breathing. Whether you do it when you wake up, after you get off work or right before you get in bed, setting a time for it can help you to stick with it and adopt it as an ongoing practice.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is based on pranayama breathing exercises. Pranayama is the ancient yogic practice of controlling your breath. These types of mindful breathing exercises have been shown to have many benefits for stress reduction and relaxation. The 4-7-8 breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He refers to it as a "natural tranquilizer for the nervous system".
Mindful breathing practices such as 4-7-8 breathing can produce what Harvard cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson called the relaxation response. You have a natural stress response that's designed to help you deal with dangerous situations. This fight-or-flight response can help you survive but can take a toll on your health when it's overused for everyday stresses.
Improved sleep. One of the negative side effects of stress can be trouble sleeping. It can be almost impossible to fall asleep when your body is caught up in the stress response. Practicing deep, slow breathing techniques such as 4-7-8 breathing can trigger your body's relaxation response and help you get to sleep.
The sort of deep breathing practiced as part of the 4-7-8 breathing technique helps calm your body by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Your body's automatic functions, such as your heartbeat and digestion, are controlled by your automatic nervous system. This system has two parts, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is one method of deep breathing that you can use to reap all of these benefits. However, the particular method you use doesn't matter. If the 4-7-8 method doesn't work well for you, you can try another. You should experience the relaxation response with any breathing method that is slow and deep.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique was popularized by Andrew Weil, MD, founder of the Andrew Weil center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, but it is based on pranayama, the yogic practice of breath regulation, CNN reported.
"What a lot of sleep difficulties are all about is people who struggle to fall asleep because their mind is buzzing," Rebecca Robbins, a Harvard Medical School instructor and an associate scientist in the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told CNN. "But exercises like the 4-7-8 technique give you the opportunity to practice being at peace. And that's exactly what we need to do before we go to bed."
The benefits of deep breathing are plentiful. Research has found that slow, conscious breathing exercises, like the 4-7-8 technique, are linked to mental function, in that they can enhance emotional control and psychological well-being.
Having trouble falling asleep is a common experience. In fact, research suggests that almost a third of adults Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source experience chronic insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by persistent difficulties in falling or staying asleep. However, for those of us without insomnia, tossing and turning in bed after a stressful day can be a familiar experience.
Just like other breathing exercises, start with practicing this technique for a few minutes before bed. As you get used to the pace, feel free to increase the time you spend practicing 4-7-8 breathing.
Biofeedback is a bit more involved than other relaxation exercises because it relies on technology. This technique uses electronic devices to help users monitor processes within the body that are normally unconscious, like brain waves, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. The idea behind this mind-body technique is that, by monitoring these body processes users can begin to exert some control over them.
The 4-7-8 breathing method helps you to gain control over your breathing, and when you practice regularly, it contributes to falling asleep faster. The 4-7-8 technique is a breathing technique that forces the mind and body to focus on regulating the breath, rather than overthinking your worries when you lie down at night. Besides that, it can soothe a racing heart or calm frazzled nerves. Specific patterns that involve holding your breath for some time allow your body to replenish its oxygen. When practicing the 4-7-8 method you give your organs and tissues an oxygen boost.
The concept of 4-7-8 breathing can be compared with breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing, meditation, and pranayama breathing. All these breathing exercises ensure that your mind focuses on your breathing pattern, and you can completely relax. To start 4-7-8 breathing make sure you lie down or sit comfortably. For best results and a better night's sleep, practice it lying in bed before going to sleep.
Practicing breathing exercises before going to sleep may not be a suitable technique for everyone, or maybe it is not enough on its own. There are several things you can do which help you to fall asleep faster. For instance, it is helpful to sleep in a completely dark room, so make use of blackout curtains and possibly a sleeping mask. Relaxing music or white noise sounds can also help you to fall asleep. Also, you can try to diffuse essential oils like lavender to become more relaxed. Besides that, it is important to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.
The breathing exercises of the Wim Hof Method are maybe a bit too heavy before you go to sleep. We advise you to practice the breathing exercises in the morning, shortly after waking up, and on an empty stomach. Despite the fairly long period between performing the exercises and your sleep, the effects of the method will certainly be noticeable! Those who practice the Wim Hof Method notice many positive health benefits, such as better focus, lower blood pressure, reduced levels of stress, and they feel more energized. All these effects have a positive impact on your quality of sleep. So, when it is hard for you to fall asleep at night, the Wim Hof Method will help you as a natural sleep aid. Start experiencing all the benefits of the WHM today and sign up for one of our video courses!
Valenza MC, Valenza-Peña G, Torres-Sánchez I, González-Jiménez E, Conde-Valero A, Valenza-Demet G. Effectiveness of controlled breathing techniques on anxiety and depression in hospitalized patients with COPD: a randomized clinical trial [published correction appears in Respir Care. 2016 Nov;61(11):e3]. Respir Care. 2014;59(2):209-215. doi:10.4187/respcare.02565
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), autogenic training is well-researched to help alleviate many physical and emotional concerns, including anxiety. This makes it a good strategy to fall asleep faster.
If you end the day feeling restless, a bit of calming yoga can be the reset your body needs to wind down before bed. Studies have shown that yoga before bed has helped people with insomnia improve their sleep quality by helping them fall asleep faster and sleep for longer.
If you feel like all else has failed, melatonin supplements are an option that may help you fall asleep. Melatonin is a hormone that helps your body prepare for sleep. Taking melatonin supplements as you start your bedtime routine might help you fall asleep faster.
Relaxing sounds such as white noise can help restless sleepers settle into bed and fall asleep faster. Not only do these sounds help drown out other distractions like a busy street, but they help you relax too.
It seems to be the conversation of the decade, how can we shut down our brains at night and fall asleep? Recently the 4-7-8 breathing technique has gone viral as the solution to attaining relaxation at night quickly and easily.
Once you get comfortable with this technique, Dr. Weil recommends using it at least twice a day. For your first time you do this breathing exercise, go at a speed that is comfortable for you. Just like other breathing techniques, this does take time to master.
Breathing control is a technique for controlling both the pattern and depth of breathing while promoting upper chest exercise and shoulder relaxation (Solomen and Aaron, 2015). Slow and deep breathing increases the parasympathetic activity, which signals the brain to calm the body down and manages the body's response to anxiety (Jerath et al., 2006; Magnon et al., 2021; Russo et al., 2017). Furthermore, breathing control at 6 breaths/min increases baroreflex sensitivity and reduces the sympathetic activity (Joseph et al., 2005). Similarly, Mason et al. reported that slow breathing at 6 breaths/min increases oxygen saturation, reduces chemoreflex sensitivity, and improves baroreflex sensitivity, which are associated with reduced BP (Mason et al., 2013).
The bee humming breathing technique gets its name from a type of black Indian bee called Bhramari. Wondering how the technique links with bees? The exhalation from this breath practice resembles the humming sound of a bee.
The 4-7-8 breathing method comes from the ancient practice of pranayama, which yoga practitioners use to maintain control of their breathing. This breathing sleep technique is thought to relax the body and take the mind away from your worries, which ultimately helps you to fall asleep. 041b061a72