We all have those nights where it seems impossible to drift off to sleep. You toss and turn in bed, and as the minutes and hours tick by, you become less hopeful that you’ll get a decent night’s rest.
When counting sheep and a cup of sleepytime tea have failed to deliver, you might want to try this simple breathing technique. It’s called the 4-7-8 technique, and it involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding that breath for 7 seconds, and then exhaling for 8 seconds.
Doctor Jo, a physical therapist and doctor of physical therapy who is popular on YouTube, demonstrated the technique for her followers. In the video’s description, she explains that the technique, which is also called “relaxing breath,” is designed to “help you gain control of your breathing to relax and reduce anxiety.”
Doctor Jo recommends that you begin with two or three sets, and when your breathing gets stronger, you can do up to eight sets to help you relax and fall asleep in no time.
“So, when you’re breathing in, you’re just going to breathe in gently and normally through your nose, and then you’re going to hold that breath seven seconds and then when you breathe out, you’re going to purse your lips and make like a whooshing sound as you’re breathing out,” she explains in the video. “So it’s a pretty forceful breath for that eight seconds.”
She recommends laying on your back to get the full benefit of the technique.
Check it out in this video from her YouTube channel:
Looking for more tips and tricks to help you nod off at night? Check out this military-approved trick that promises to help you fall asleep in just two minutes.