Dr. Andrew Weil created the 4-7-8 breathing technique as a breathing pattern. It is based on the pranayama method of yoga, which aids practitioners in controlling their breathing. It’s likely that some people could fall asleep more quickly with this strategy if they routinely use it.
This breathing technique seeks to calm individuals down or aid in sleep. Some proponents assert that the technique speeds up the process of falling asleep.
Although there aren’t much scientific data to back up this technique, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests this kind of deep, rhythmic breathing is soothing and can aid in lulling individuals to sleep.
This article examines how to use this breathing method, its potential benefits, and helpful apps.
UNDERSTANDING THE 4-7-8 TECHNIQUE
The goal of breathing exercises is to put the body in a deeply relaxed condition. Your body can rehydrate its oxygen supply by performing specific patterns that entail holding your breath for an extended amount of time. Techniques like 4-7-8 can increase the amount of oxygen reaching your organs and tissues from the lungs outward.
The fight-or-flight response we experience when we are stressed can be controlled by relaxation techniques, which also assist in restoring equilibrium to the body. This is especially useful if anxiety or worries over today’s events or potential tomorrow’s events are keeping you up at night. We may be unable to get a good night’s sleep due to racing thoughts and worries.
The general idea of 4-7-8 breathing is comparable to techniques like:
- One nostril at a time while keeping the other closed is what is meant by alternate nostril breathing.
- Focused breathing is encouraged during mindfulness meditation, which also directs your attention to the present moment.
- By visualizing, you can direct your attention to the direction and rhythm of your natural breathing.
- With the help of guided imagery, you are urged to concentrate on a joyful experience or tale that will help you forget your troubles as you breathe.
People who have modest sleep difficulties, anxiety, or tension may find that 4-7-8 breathing helps them get over distractions and relax.
Advocates claim that 4-7-8 breathing gets stronger over time and with continuous practice. It is stated that initially, its effects are less noticeable. The first time you try it, you can experience a little dizziness. For some people, doing 4-7-8 breathing more than thrice a day may not produce the same results as practicing it twice a day.
METHOD TO PERFORM THE TECHNIQUE
There is some evidence to support the idea that deep breathing exercises reduce anxiety and stress levels in people. For instance, a review study published in 2011 in the Health Science Journal outlines some of the potential health advantages of deep breathing techniques, particularly for deep breathing through the diaphragm.
Locate a comfortable spot to sit or lie down so that you may practice 4-7-8 breathing. Make sure to take care of your posture, especially at first. The optimal position for employing this method to induce sleep is lying down.
Put your tongue tip on the roof of your mouth, directly behind your top front teeth, to warm up. Throughout the exercise, you must hold your tongue in place. It takes practice to control your tongue during exhalation. For some people, pursed lips during 4-7-8 breathing can make it simpler to exhale.
Each of the following actions needs to be completed during the cycle of a single breath:
- Let your lips separate first. With a whooshing motion, thoroughly exhale from your mouth.
- Next, seal your lips and take a silent breath via your nose while mentally counting to four.
- Then, hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Repeat the previous whooshing exhalation for eight seconds.
A new cycle of breath begins as you inhale once more. For four whole breaths, repeat this cycle.
The most important aspect of this practice is the held breath (held for seven seconds). Additionally, it is advised that when you initially begin, you only practice 4-7-8 breathing for four breaths. You can eventually increase your breathing to eight complete breaths.
You shouldn’t use this breathing exercise if you’re not ready to unwind completely. It can nevertheless induce deep relaxation in the practitioner even though it isn’t always used to induce sleep. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your breathing cycles, make sure you don’t need to be fully attentive right away.
There is some evidence to support the idea that deep breathing exercises reduce anxiety and stress levels in people.
For instance, a review study published in 2011 in the Health Science Journal outlines some of the potential health advantages of deep breathing techniques, particularly for deep breathing through the diaphragm. These potential advantages include:
- lessened weariness
- decreased anxiety
- reduced asthma symptoms in kids and teenagers improved stress management
- decrease in hypertension
- reduced aggression in male adolescents
- reduction in migraine symptoms
- Studies indicate
According to a Reliable Source, practicing pranayama breathing for six weeks may enhance anxiety and cognition while also having a good impact on a person’s heart rate variability, which is linked to stress.
Certain breathing methods, including 4-7-8 breathing, and other relaxation techniques have a connection. Some people incorporate the following techniques with this breathing:
- directed imagery
- progressively relaxing the muscles
- repeatedly praying
- Tai chi, qigong, and yoga
- mindfulness practice
- The most typical applications of 4-7-8 breathing are to ease anxiety and stress. It is said to get better at helping a person control their stress levels with repeated use.
In contrast to this advancement, anti-anxiety medications tend to lose part of their potency over time as the body becomes accustomed to them.
APPLICATIONS FOR THE 4-7-8 TECHNIQUE
People who want to practice breathing exercises but are unsure of their capacity for self-regulation may find it helpful to use an app. In the Apple and Google Play stores, people may find apps for a variety of devices.
For instance, the free Apple app Breathe encourages users to practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique. People who have installed the app have generally given it positive feedback. It has a function that lets you set reminders to utilize it frequently throughout the day.
The Google Play market offers the free app Prana Breath: Calm & Meditate. It assists users in practicing various breathing techniques for relaxation, including breathing cycles.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique not only helps you to fall asleep quickly but also reduces the chances of anxiety. This technique can be performed daily few minutes before falling asleep. The assistance of internet-based applications can help in performing this technique more efficiently.
You are all set to perform your own technique. you can also check out the following for more informative articles. Setting a bedtime routine is also of utmost importance