The 4-7-8 method to fall asleep in less than a minute
There is nothing worse than spending the night awake in bed, trying to sleep and wishing you could rest because the next day a hard day's work awaits you. Not being able to sleep at night will affect your performance throughout the next day and is harmful not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional well-being.
There are many tips to end the insomnia that I have heard throughout my life, advice that I do not know if it will work for others, but for me they have no use. A glass of hot water before going to bed, an infusion of lime, counting sheep ... nothing at all.
However, it seems that the solution lies in learning to breathe. Today we will talk about the 4-7-8 method to fall asleep in less than a minute .
What is the method 4-7-8
The 4-7-8 method is one of the most powerful and effective relaxation techniques that can be practiced anywhere or anytime when you feel stressed or anxious. This technique is part of the breathing practice of Yoga (Pranayama), and was popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil (Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona). In fact, the psychological benefits of yoga are many, you can check it in our article: "The 6 psychological benefits of yoga"
This method It is easy and simple to apply , it takes little time to notice its effects, no equipment is needed to carry it out and can be practiced anywhere, not just in bed to combat insomnia, also to relax, for example, when you attend an interview of important work or a decisive examination.
According to Dr. Weil, the breathing technique 4-7-8 helps people to Fall asleep in just 60 seconds by acting as a natural tranquilizer of the nervous system , which reduces stress and tension in the body.
How to do breathing 4-7-8
To be able to use this method to fall asleep quickly , follow this sequence of steps:
- Put yourself in a comfortable position: If it is to fight insomnia you can do it from your own bed. If you want to relax, you can use a posture to meditate when you decide to hold the breath. If you do not know how to meditate, we invite you to read our article: "How to learn to meditate, in 7 simple steps".
- Press the tip of your tongue just at the top of the front teeth, in the tissue area of the oral cavity. Keep it there during the breathing cycles.
- Breathe deeply through the nose for 4 seconds.
- You must hold your breath for 7 seconds controlling the diaphragm.
- Exhale slowly through the mouth for 8 seconds. As you exhale, imagine that the air comes out from the tip of the tongue that remains pressed into the tissue area behind the front teeth.
- Repeat the steps as many times as necessary. Generally, it is not necessary to perform more than 10 cycles in a row. If you feel dizzy, it is normal when you start to practice these types of techniques. This will disappear as you become familiar with the method.
How it helps you to start sleeping quickly
This technique allows you introduce oxygen in greater quantity in your organism , which relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system and slows down your heart rate, promoting a state of calm. In this way, it rebalances the nervous system that can become overstimulated during times of stress.
At the time of going to sleep, insomnia can feed back the anxiety and the stressful load, because when you can not sleep, you breathe more quickly and you can not relax. Without a doubt, this technique is effective so that there is a connection between the body, the breath and the mind, and it helps you to be more concentrated, away from those everyday thoughts that prevent us from sleeping .
Also, breathing deeply and maintaining breathing increases intra-abdominal pressure, thus stimulating the vagus nerve, which sends signals to the brain so that the body reduces its alertness and "fight or flight" characteristic of stressful situations.
You can learn more about how this technique works in the audiovisual content shown below:
Some tips to sleep better
This technique can be useful to relax at a certain time and thus be able to find yourself in a better state to be able to fall asleep . However, insomnia is caused by a series of bad habits that harm our physical and psychological health.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have difficulty sleeping and you have been here for several weeks, you may need to visit a professional who will help you manage the problems that are causing your insomnia. Now, to sleep better you can try a series of habits that will be useful. They are the following:
1. Take care of your diet
How we eat and what we eat can affect our sleep. A balanced diet, do not eat copious dinners before bed or keep a more or less stable meal schedule favors good sleep.
2. Take care of your surroundings
Environmental conditions influence sleep quality. Being in a room where you feel comfortable, with the television off, or sleeping on a comfortable mattress with a suitable pillow they make a difference
3. Do not overdo the nap
Napping can be beneficial, for example, to perform better and be more productive. But nevertheless, you do not have to go through the siesta, ideally a half hour .
4. Perform physical exercise
Practicing physical exercise is healthy and, in addition, reduces stress and helps you fall asleep because you will be more tired after exercising.
- You can go deeper into these and other tips in our article: "Combat insomnia: 10 solutions to sleep better"