Trouble Sleeping? Try the 4-7-8 Method

Trouble Sleeping? Try the 4-7-8 Method
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A lot of people have trouble sleeping, regardless of their age. While it can indeed be very frustrating to deal with such issues, solving them can be a lot easier than you might think, as well!

Not eating and not using your laptop or phone 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep, not drinking coffee in the evening, and having some physical exercise throughout the day are some of the classical ways to defeat insomnia. But if neither of those methods doesn’t make you go to the land of the dreams, you can consider applying the 4-7-8 technique that Dr. Raj Dasgupta from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, recommends.

What’s the 4-7-8 technique

Dr. Dasgupta explained to CNN in an email what the 4-7-8 technique is all about, and it’s a lot easier to apply than you probably think: you just heave to breath in four times, hold the breath for seven counts, and ultimately release the air for eight counts. This technique can reduce your anxiety, which automatically raises your chances of falling asleep. 

If the ‘4-7-8 technique’ term sounds too difficult to memorize, you can also call it the ‘relaxing breath.’

However, we may still need to take the recommendation with a grain of salt. Check out what Joshua Tal has to say, a clinical psychologist, as CNN quotes:

There is some evidence that 4-7-8 breathing helps reduce anxious, depressive and insomniac symptoms when comparing pre- and post-intervention, however, there are no large randomized control trials specifically on 4-7-8 breathing to my knowledge,

The research on (the effect of) diaphragmatic breathing on these symptoms in general is spotty, with no clear connection due to the poor quality of the studies.

At the same time, it’s surely worth giving the 4-7-8 technique a try since anybody can do it, and it also lasts very little time!


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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