A Harvard-trained doctor has claimed that the so-called 4, 7, 8 breathing technique could be the solution for those struggling with sleeping difficulties (video below).
Dr. Andrew Weil, at the University of Arizona, says that the breathing technique could have you falling asleep within a minute.
“You breathe in through your nose quietly and blow air out forcefully through your mouth making a whoosh sound. It takes all of about 30 seconds so there is no excuse for not doing it,” Weil explained to the Telegraph.
According to Dr. Weil, the procedure encourages relaxation by enabling more oxygen to enter the body.
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“It produces a very pleasant altered state of consciousness. You may not get that the first time you do it but it’s one of the benefits of practicing,” Weil said. “The trick is holding the breath for four seconds, breathing out then holding for seven seconds. After that exhale completely for a count of eight. The steps are then repeated between two and four times.”
Weil believes that it won’t just promote a better sleeping pattern, but will also help control cravings, anger, and even digestion.
In previous research, deep breathing has been proven to benefit the heart, brain and immune system. It can also have more immediate effects by altering blood pressure. Another area where it can be put to use is to help people cope with stress.
The particular technique being promoted by Weil is called pranayama and is used frequently in yoga and Pilates.
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"You have to do this two times a day religiously. It will become a wonderful way to help you fall asleep. You can do it more often throughout the day,” added Dr Weil. “"It is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.”
You can see the breathing technique being performed in the video below and try it out for yourself.
Photo Credit: WikiCommons, clemente/Flickr