Having trouble sleeping due to stress or exam worries? You’ll need a good night’s rest in order to recharge your system. So, here’s a simple trick that may help you get that much-needed rest:
It’s called the “4-7-8” breathing trick.
How does it work?
To practise this breathing technique, you simply:
1. Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds
2. Hold your breath for 7 seconds
3. Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds
Why does it work?
The combination of numbers has a chemical-life effect on our brains, and would slow the heart rate to bring you to sleep. This is because when you’re anxious, your heart beats at a rapid rate and your breathing becomes shallow, and those who are stressed/anxious are chronically under-breathing. By extending your inhale to 4 counts, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, and by holding your breath for 7 seconds, you’re letting the oxygen flow through your bloodstream. By exhaling steadily, you’re emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs.
This technique effectively slows your heart rate, increase oxygen to your bloodstream and may even make you a bit light-headed, but it’ll put you in a mild sedative state.
Best part is – you can use it for many occasions: after you wake up in the middle of the night, or even to calm yourself down if you’re nervous about taking flights or before a public speech.