How to Fall Asleep Instantly by Elephant Beds
Along with food and water, sleep is something we need in order to survive. In society today we are faced with many stresses, pressures and complications. Too many of us bring our daily issues home to our bedrooms and beds- a place meant for relaxing and recharging for the next day. Bringing these stresses home with you can have a direct impact on sleeping habits.
7 AM, your alarm goes off and you don’t feel the slightest bit refreshed- another day of back to back coffees it is. At the end of the hectic day, you crawl into bed thinking ‘at last!’ to then be still lying there over an hour later feeling wired, anxious and unable to shake the worries of the day off. You try and trick yourself into relaxation… think about nice things…count sheep…hold your eyes shut tight. Nope, not happening. That spring pushing into your lower back from your dodgy mattress certainly isn’t helping the situation, not to mention the lumpy pillows! Before you know it, it’s 7 AM once more and you’re dragging yourself out of bed to face the weary day ahead.
If this sounds all too familiar then there is a simple solution which could transform your life. The 4-7-8 breathing trick. Wave goodbye to stressful sleepless nights and drowsy days.
When you are feeling under stress or anxious it causes your breath to become shallower and less frequent. This is sometimes known as under breathing. By consciously lengthening your inhale breath to 4 seconds long you take in a higher level of oxygen. Holding this breath for 7 seconds will let the oxygen have an impact on your bloodstream and your brain. Breathing out for 8 seconds emits the carbon dioxide in your lungs.
How it Works:
The 4-7-8 technique effectively slows down your heart rate and increase the oxygen into your bloodstream. It can sometimes cause a feeling of lightheadedness, this plays a part in the slightly sedative-like effect. Getting more oxygen to your brain has been shown to have a positive impact on memory, balance, hormone production and mood. The technique will have an instant relaxing effect on your heart, mind, and complete central nervous system. All because of instead of taking short, shallow breaths you are taking deep and controlled breaths.
A simple step by step break down of the technique is:
- Before starting the exercise and throughout, place the tip of your tongue on the ridge just behind your top front teeth.
- Exhale completely through your mouth.
- To begin- close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose. Count to 4.
- Hold that breath in for the count of 7.
- Fully exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Count to 8.
- The above stages count as one breath. The process should be repeated 3 more times to reach 4 cycles.
When you first start out using this technique you’ll probably find that you are struggling to keep to the count and wanting to take another breath. Keep at it and stay focused. When you get the hang of it you will literally be able to feel your heart rate slow down. After the 3rd cycle, you will be able to feel your whole body relax.
Where it came from:
Yoga has always incorporated mindful breathing techniques. As reported by The Telegraph, Dr Weil who is the founder of the ‘Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine’ at the University of Arizona, claims that changing your usual breathing rhythm could have a great impact on your life- awake and asleep.
“It produces a very pleasant altered state of consciousness. You may not get that the first time you do it but it’s one of the benefits of practicing.”
The moral of the story is if you are ever feeling stressed, anxious or unable to sleep (I’m pretty sure at least one of these applies to all of us) then this technique is the perfect solution for you.