Counting sheep doesn’t work? Not being able to fall asleep sucks! If you find yourself lying wide awake in the dark thinking about everything and anything, you have to try the “4-7-8 technique“.


Nowadays it is extremely difficult to get a sufficient amount of sleep. We are stressed, overworked and permanently under pressure. Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard trained medical doctor, believes this can all be remedied with a simple breathing exercise.


His “4-7-8 breathing technique“ works as a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system, helping reduce tension and allowing the body to relax. The extra oxygen can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.


How it works

1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.


2. Close your mouth and inhale slowly through your nose while mentally counting to four.


3. Hold your breath for a mental count of seven.


4. Exhale completely through your mouth for a mental count of eight. Make the same whoosh sound from step one.


5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.


In a nutshell: breathe in for four, hold for seven, and breathe out for eight. You must inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.


Does this method Really Work?

When I tried the breathing technique for the first time, I was disappointed. Falling asleep in a minute did not work for me. My state of mind: not calm! But I didn’t give up, and tried it again and again, every night when I lied awake in my bed. And after three weeks it REALLY worked! It takes some time until you can truly fall asleep in a minute. But once you’ve got it, it will become more and more effective and even help you deal with anxiety and stress in your life.


Why does it work?

People who are stressed, nervous or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing, they breath shortly and often even unconsciously hold their breath. The technique will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short, shallow gasps of air.