Sleep Inducing Breathing Technique

Inhale, Exhale, Relax. The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique, pioneered by US sleep expert and founder of the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine’s Dr Andrew Weil, can send you into a blissful sleep in under 60 seconds, significantly reduce your levels of stress and relax the body and mind.

How does it work?

Deep and controlled breathing has long been known for its calming abilities and is an essential part of the practice of meditation and yoga. The 4-7-8 breathing technique similarly causes the lungs to fill with air in such a way that it naturally induces a sensory state of calm for body and mind. According to Dr Weil’s research, practising this technique twice a day for just a minute each time has been found not only to improve your ability to sleep, but also your waking state of mind; leaving you more serene and less prone to bouts of unnecessary stress and anxiety, and reduce blood pressure!

How can I try it?

Simply begin by sitting or lying in a comfortable position.

  • Sitting or lying in a comfortable position, begin by relaxing your jaw and breathing-in softly through your nose for a count of 4 seconds.

    1. TIP: Try your best to avoid ‘chest breathing’ (you’ll know you’re doing this if your chest lifts significantly as you breathe), instead focus on expanding your diaphragm and engage in ‘belly breathing’ whereby your belly should expand as you take a deep breath.

    2. TIP - To help you do this, try placing a hand on your stomach and focus on expanding/pushing your belly each in-breath.

  • Next, hold your in-breath for 7 seconds.

  • Lastly, breath out for a count of 8 seconds through your mouth, and make a whooshing sound as you do.

  • Then simply repeat!

Give it time and be patient with yourself - practice makes perfect! It may take a few tries to get it right, but stick with it and make sure to do it twice a day every day and you’re sure to feel the positive results!

Best of luck – let us know how it goes.

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