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People often find it difficult to fall asleep because they are plagued by worries or fear of an anticipated event. Whatever the reason preventing you from sleeping, they have the ability to keep our brain at full speed, which will also affect our sleep habits. Andrew Weil (MD), educated in Harvard University is a well-known champion of the 4-7-8 breathing which has been practiced in yoga when trying to reduce stress.
The “4-7-8” breathing trick works wonders and most people say they barely made it through the counting before they fell asleep! This was suggested by a licensed wellness practitioner who is well-versed in meditation, stress and breathing techniques. To some, it may be crazy but testimonials say a different story, that it absolutely works when it comes to getting you to sleep faster or getting you to fall back asleep when you suddenly wake up or even calming you when you are angry.
This numerical combination can help reduce the heart rate and lull a person into sleeping, according to studies. For Alina Gonzalez, the effect gotten from the breathing technique was almost likened to that of a sedative, helping you sleep faster. After trying the technique, she discovered that she fell asleep faster; having faced difficulties in sleeping for three days because of nerves from the speech she would give at her best friend’s wedding.
How then does it work?
The 4-7-8 breathing trick means that for four seconds, you simply breathe in through your nose; hold your breath for seven seconds and for eight seconds, exhale through your mouth. Through this, your body is forced to reduce your heart rate and this always has a calming effect. It can be likened to a calm and relaxing stroll through the park after a long hectic day of running.
Some guidelines were suggested on how to properly execute the breathing technique. Resist the urge to make the counting run a lot faster than it is. You will be tempted to steal in another count but it is important to stick to the numbers required. Doing this will relax your heart and create a calming effect within you.
Adrenaline often rushes through a person’s veins when the feeling of stress and anxiety comes up. As a result of this adrenaline, there is an increase in your heart rate and breathing becomes quick and shallow. This is why people breathe less and unconsciously hold their breath when they are stressed out.
The first four counts are deliberately done in order to allow the infusion of oxygen into your lungs. The oxygen that enters into your lungs is allowed to have an effect on your bloodstream with the seven seconds used to hold your breath. Finally, the last eight seconds is used to emit carbon dioxide from the lungs.
The result of this technique is the relaxation of your heart and the entirety of your central nervous system. The importance of mindful breathing is reflected in its inclusion in yoga practices and Eastern wellness modalities.