About the 4-7-8 Breathing Method
In our increasingly hectic and stressful lives, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep cannot be understated. Almost 1 in 10 Australians have a sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnoea or primary insomnia, and as many as 1 on 3 have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. In the United States, the number of people with a sleep disorder is estimated to be between 50 and 70 million.
One of the biggest factors leading to acute sleeping problems is stress. Stress causes hyper-arousal which means our bodies have a hard time winding down. Deep breathing exercises have been found to trigger a relaxation response within the body and to reduce the production of stress hormones.
The 4-7-8 method is based on an ancient Indian practice called Pranayama which roughly translates to “expansion of vital energy”. More specifically, this method is known as Nadi Shodhan Pranayama. Dr Andrew Weil from Harvard University is an advocate of this method which he describes as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system”.
Unlike other meditation and mindfulness practices, the 4-7-8 method is simple to master and takes hardly any time. In fact, it can help you fall asleep within 60 seconds. It is also a great way to refocus and de-stress during a busy day.
Like most things, the more you practice this method, the more effective it will be. Experts recommend practicing at least twice per day over two months to see the most benefits.
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Ever have issues falling asleep?
Use the Breathe app to learn and practice the 4-7-8 method. It is a deep-breathing trick that can make insomniacs drop off to sleep in less than a minute. It also combats stress/anxiety, acting like a natural tranquilizer for your nervous system. It takes just over a minute and can be done anywhere.
Practice makes perfect
Practice at least twice a day for 60 days to get best results. The app allows you to set reminders to get into a routine and tracks your progress.
To help fall asleep, practice when you get in bed or if you wake in the night. If you're feeling stressed or feel like you need to settle your nerves, practice to get a "hit" of calm.