The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.
This breathing pattern is claimed to promote reduced anxiety and also help you get to sleep. Some proponents claim that the method helps people get to sleep in 1 minute.
Whilst there's limited scientific research to support this, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that this type of deep, rhythmic breathing is relaxing and may help ease people into sleep.
Dr. Andrew Weil champions the 4-7-8 breathing technique. He's the founder and director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, reports Medical News Today.
How to do it: Before starting the breathing pattern, lie down in bed or adopt a comfortable sitting position and place the tip of the tongue on the tissue right behind the top front teeth.
To use the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:
Empty the lungs of air
Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds
Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds
Repeat the cycle up to 4 times
Dr. Weil recommends using the technique at least twice a day to start seeing the benefits sooner. He also suggests that people avoid doing more than four breath cycles in a row until they have more practice with the technique.
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