Being unable to sleep is one of the most unpleasant things that may happen, especially if you have a busy day ahead and need your rest. Doctor Jo, a licensed physical therapist and doctor of physical therapy, recently posted a video on YouTube in which she demonstrated a straightforward breathing exercise that she suggests to her clients. She claims that this exercise can help you fall asleep quickly rather than lying in bed for hours staring at the ceiling or counting sheep.
She refers to this breathing technique as the 4-7-8 technique, and it involves inhaling for four seconds, holding the breath for seven, and then exhaling for eight.
Then, she instructs, hold the breath for seven seconds. “When you’re breathing in, you’re just going to breathe in slowly and regularly through your nose,” she says. It is a very vigorous breath for those 8 seconds, and occasionally you might not get it to the 8 seconds, but the more you practice, the more you’ll eventually be able to get there. When you breathe out, you’re going to pucker your lips and kind of make like a whooshing sound as you breathe out.
Even if you typically sleep on your side, Jo suggests lying down on your back to get the most out of this workout.
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You should generally only perform 2 to 4 repetitions at first, but over time, you should increase that number to perhaps 8. “At first, it could be challenging to establish that rhythm, but over time, it really does make it easier for you to fall asleep. The first few times require some practice; keep at it and make sure you’re comfortable and safe.