4-7-8 breathing - natural tranquilliser for insomnia
A simple technique that takes only a few minutes
Being a mother, my sleep has definitely seen better days in recent years. I know the frustrations of waking too early, unable to get back to sleep or lying awake for hours. A mind that is busy, stressed and too full can be difficult to switch off. I’ve used this very simple technique and found it incredibly helpful – if only takes a few minutes and I usually don’t remember even completing the sequence.
The benefits of 4-7-8 breathing
A tool to get back to sleep when frequently waking – or to get to sleep initially. It is particularly helpful for anyone who is struggling to get to sleep or stay asleep. We all go through periods of worry, anxiety and stress and at these times, tools that can help us take care of ourselves, manage stress and get quality sleep are invaluable.
Why does it work?
The 4-7-8 breathing technique naturally moves our body out of fight or flight and into rest and repair mode. It takes us from operating with our sympathetic (daytime, stress-active) nervous system to the parasympathetic (nighttime, regeneration) nervous system. We function between these two modes all the time and with a healthy balance of stress, we flow between them, following the rhythms of day and night. With excess stress, we can find it difficult to drop into nighttime mode, remaining alert and finding it difficult to switch off and fall (or stay) asleep.
It’s really incredibly simple. Think “in through the nose and out through the mouth”… One round of breathing involves:
- Firstly deeply exhale through your mouth.
- Inhaling deeply through your nose to the count of 4 (count at your own pace to what feels right).
- Holding your breath for the count of 7.
- Exhaling slowly and deeply through your mouth to the count of 8
Repeat this 4 or 5 times from step #2. You can build up to 8 rounds with practice. The more we practice this breathing technique, the more powerful the effect.
Address the root cause of insomnia
In addition to helpful techniques to manage stress and broken sleep, we can also look deeper into the root cause. We may be experiencing a period of stress in our life, which may be cumulative, re-triggering old historical stresses that have been dormant within us. For optimum well-being it is healthy to release any old habits, experiences, emotions or thought patterns that contribute to stress today. Through Root Cause Health Coaching™, we always explore and resolve any root causes contributing to imbalance or symptoms.
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