Need help falling asleep?

If you find yourself lying in bed at night with 1000 thoughts racing through your head, try this three-step exercise to fall asleep. Just remember 4-7-8.
  •  Breathe through your nose (for 4 seconds)
  •  Hold in your breath and wait (for 7 seconds)
  •  Exhale through your mouth (for 8 seconds)
Simply repeat the process until you drift asleep.

The sequence was developed by Harvard-educated wellness specialist Dr. Andrew Weil and simulates the opposite of the bodily activity one experiences when frightened or triggered. When frightened or triggered, your body releases adrenaline from the adrenal glands, creating a state of alertness. The heart rate increases and breathes become shorter and faster.

By contrast, slow, controlled breaths through the nose deliver a full flow of oxygen to the body and tell it everything is fine. Receiving the message to relax, your muscles relax and heart rate decreases. Finally, your body produces relaxing chemicals in the brain which decrease alertness and sleep becomes possible. It seems too good to be true, but it works.


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