what is the 4-7-8 sleep technique

Tired? How the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique Can Help You Sleep Better

Have you heard of the 4-7-8 sleep technique?

Think about it… When was the last time you slept really, really well? I’m talking sleeping like the dead, without interruption for at least a solid 7-8 hours? Waking up feeling like you could take on the world??

what is the 4-7-8 sleep technique

I don’t know about you, but I swear I think the last great night of sleep I got was in early 1998 (hint.. Mackenzie was born in late 1998). I have yet to meet a mom who will tell you that they get a GREAT night sleep and have no issues falling and staying asleep.Whether we’re not sleeping because they’re babies and they are up every two hours or we’re worried about money and work or thinking about all the things that need to get done, the sleep cycle of a mom can be summed up in one word – sucky.

I happened to come across my girl Nikki‘s comment on someone’s Instagram picture a couple of weeks ago about having tried the 4-7-8 sleep technique and that so far it had helped. Being the ever-curious person I am, I asked her what it was and she shared an article that she had read. I dug a little deeper and of course, it’s not a new technique but rather one that has been a  yoga method for breathing that was brought to more mainstream attention by Dr. Andrew Weil. Here, Dr. Weil describes how to actually do the 4-7-8 method:

These days, I fall into one of two categories… I either fall asleep immediately or I lay there and can’t. And the longer I lay there, the worse it gets and before I know it, I’ve slept like 15 minutes – or at least it seems that way. I watched the video above from Dr. Weir and decided to what the heck.. why not try it? Worse case scenario I would at least get some nice, deep breaths in before I fell asleep.

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Basically what you do is breathe in for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7 and then exhale for a count of 8. Do this 4 times and unless you have too much caffeine in you, you’ll be asleep pretty darn fast. I think this started just over a week ago and let me tell you… it works. It’s either the 4-7-8 method or my sleep machine or a combination but man.. I don’t think I’m awake very long after that 4th round. I’ve even used the technique when I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and then made the mistake of thinking.. (because once you start thinking, you know it’s all over then.) a quick 4-7-8 breathing session and I was back to sleep faster than I know… because I honestly don’t know when I fall asleep.. I just know that next thing I know, I’m waking up the next day.

My verdict is.. yes.. the 4-7-8 method works. If you’ve tried it, what do you think??


January 22, 2015 at 1:08 am

Hmmm. I just tried it. I get a little anxious after I breathe out, knowing that I can only breathe in for 4 seconds. LOL. Like you said…maybe I shouldn’t think. I’m all for breath control. I’ll keep working on it!

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