Prof. Andrew Weil from Harvard University has discovered a breathing technique that allows a person to fall asleep in just 1 min. The method is called 4-7-8 and is based on yogic practices.
This breathing exercise can also be applied in the form of meditation, to achieve complete relaxation of the mind and body. Andrew Weil himself explains that this breathing method has been used in India for centuries.
The 4-7-8 technique has 3 steps, to which it owes its name:
1. Inhale through your nose for a duration of 4 seconds.
2. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
3. Slowly exhale through your nose for a duration of 8 seconds.
This simple breathing exercise slows heart rhythm and has an exceptionally calming effect. If repeated for 1 min, a person will fall asleep without needing any other sleep inducing methods.
Weil's experiments have shown that people who tried the method woke up the next morning and the last thing that they remembered was counting to 8.
The technique is used by athletes and people working in a high-pressure environment, who tend to get more nervous because of an upcoming event and have difficulties falling asleep. They testify as to its effectiveness.
Breathing provides the brain with oxygen, slows heart rhythm, thus improving the quality of sleep. Afterwards the body feels rested and relaxed.
If you simply want to relax, use this technique at the workplace by repeating it 3-4 times and closing your eyes in the meantime.
Besides for sleep, this exercise is very useful in the battle against stress and anxiety. When applying this method with this intended purpose, you need to breathe slowly and you must hold your breath in order to calm the heart rate.
It relaxes the mind since it requires concentrating on your breathing. At the moment you won't realize how but your central nervous system will gradually unwind and your anxiety will vanish. As a result your entire body will relax.