The 4-7-8 Technique for Adequate Sleep

December 27, 2015
If you are one of those people who suffer from insomnia or problems getting enough sleep, we are sure that you have already tried everything, from relaxing teas to going for a walk before bedtime. One thing we should keep in mind is that one tip may work for one person but not another, and therefore it is always worth the effort to try new suggestions in order to find out what's right for you or not.

Today we want to speak about the famous 4-7-8 technique. Although we will explain it as an interesting tip, you should know that many people who apply it regularly not only obtain adequate sleep but also manage their stress better and can relax.

How about we begin to try it today?

What is the 4-7-8 technique?

The 4-7-8 technique is a very effective way to relax ourselves through proper breathing. This method was developed by Andrew Weil, a medical doctor at the University of Arizona (United States). He’s well known for his therapies to reduce stress and anxiety and to help people who have problems with insomnia.

This doctor has been on the cover of Time magazine twice and although he has a marketing company behind him, his techniques and tips are still very effective for any person whose life is marked by nervousness and stress.

If this is your case, it is worth keeping in mind the simple 4-7-8 technique.

If you follow it for one month you will note how easy it becomes to sleep throughout the night. Your body will become accustomed to these daily relaxing exercises. Day by day, your breathing will become more rhythmic and slow down, your muscles will loosen and the mind will be much more relaxed.

The 4-7-8 technique is very useful to combat our daily stress and manage the anger or rage that can occasionally “assault” us.

During the first month you should perform the 4-7-8 technique four times a day, but afterward it is enough to do it one time in the morning and later a half an hour before going to bed. Our body and brain will have become used to the technique and it will be almost automatic to help us to sleep.

Also read:

Understand the Negative Effects of Stress

How is the 4-7-8 technique done?

Woman using the 4-7-8 technique to sleep better

The 4-7-8 technique is very easy to do. You only need to follow the guidelines below. Take note:

The first month

During the first month we are going to apply the 4-7-8 technique four times a day. First upon getting up in the morning; the second after your lunch; the third when you arrive home in the afternoon; and the fourth about a half hour before going to bed. It’s very easy, do you want to know how to do it?

  • Sit down in a comfortable place which allows you to keep your back straight.
  • Place your tongue behind your front top teeth, right where the palate starts.
  • Now close your mouth and take in air through your nose, and while doing that, COUNT TO 4.
  • Now hold your breath FOR 7 SECONDS.
  • Next, breathe out all the air from your lungs during 8 SECONDS and at the same time, let out all your tiredness, pressures and anxieties. This will be very liberating.
  • Repeat the same cycle four times.
  • And that is all. As you can see, it is something really simple but which makes us regulate our breathing and helps us to free our daily stress. The most important thing is not to forget to do it every day during one month, four times a day.

Over the following months

After the first month, our body and mind will become accustomed to these patterns. This is a useful way to manage our sources of external stress throughout the day which alter our breathing and that as a result, make us build up tension until the night, when it becomes too difficult to obtain a good night sleep.

Once the first 30 days have passed, it is enough to apply the 4-7-8 technique two times a day. The first when getting up in the morning and the second about a half hour before going to sleep.

However, if at some moment you find yourself very stressed or with a lot of built up anger, don’t hesitate to use the technique, since it will help you to relax.

You may want to read:

Control Your Anger with These Simple Tricks

Woman using the 4-7-8 technique to sleep

In conclusion, it is important that you carefully follow these tips in order to enjoy adequate sleep:

  • Always stick to your routine during the day, that is, eat lunch and dinner at the same time each day and apply the 4-7-8 technique at the same times during the day.
  • Eat a light dinner and always at least two hours before going to bed.
  • Take a relaxing shower before going to bed.
  • It is very important that two hours before lying down, you turn off your computer and cell phone whenever it is possible, since these screens act as stimulants and keep us from obtaining adequate sleep.