Insomniacs, prepare for the best night’s sleep ever. That’s right: No more tossing and turning into the wee hours of morning. No more counting sheep on Sunday evenings. And no more lying, wide-eyed, in the dark after waking up in the middle of the night. There’s now an easy—and expert-approved—way to fall asleep in less than a minute.
This all-natural remedy is called the 4-7-8 method, and yes, it’s as simple as it sounds. First, get settled into a comfy position on your bed. Then, simply inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for eight more seconds. Repeat until you fall asleep.
That’s all there is to it! Don’t believe us? Just ask Harvard-educated medical doctor Andrew Weil, who adopted this exercise from a centuries-long Indian yogi meditation practice.
“It’s the single best method that I’ve found for dealing with getting back to sleep if you want up on the middle of the night,” he said in a lecture.
The yogis use this method to achieve a state of complete relaxation, counteracting stress and anxiety. Deliberately slowing down your breathing forces the rhythm of your heart to slow down, too, making the rest of your body relax. In other words, it’s a natural sedative—for your body AND mind.
“The theory is that by imposing certain rhythms on the breath with your the voluntary system, gradually these are induced into the involuntary nervous system,” he said. “And that comes with time. So it’s the regularity of doing this over a period of weeks, months, years that produces the changes that you want.”
There you go! Once you start sticking to it, you can quit counting sheep for good. If you’re still tossing and turning, don’t miss these tips from sleep doctors are almost guaranteed to give you a better night’s sleep.