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Can’t Sleep? It’s as simple as 4-7-8 and it really works

[Nov 8, 2021: Bruce Mikells]

Sleep is connected to just about every major function of the human body.. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)

We as human being seems to be obsessed with two things. One, losing weight. And two, not getting enough sleep. Oddly enough both of those things are connected. Actually, it's not that odd that sleep is connected to just about every major function of the human body. That's because sleep is not only the time when your body rests. It's also the time when your body rebuilds and repairs itself.

Each day there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of us that walk the planet in a sleep-deprived state. And, there will be more than a few of us over the next couple of days because we just made the switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time. Sleep deprivation is a lot more than just being tired. It is a real medical condition that if left untreated can really affect your health.


Obviously, the solution to the sleep-deprivation conundrum has to do with falling asleep. Most people say they simply cannot do that quickly. This leads to hours upon hours of tossing and turning with no real resolution. Some people resort to chemical enhancements at the end of the day to help them fall asleep, while others resort to more traditional methods of getting drowsy like a warm glass or milk or watching golf on television.

If only there was a guaranteed way to nod off in a short period of time. Well, the United States Army says they have a method. I have tried it and it works. It involves mentally telling the physical body to relax. In other words, it's like self-hypnosis. I find it's too difficult for me to maintain the concentration necessary to put myself out like that. However, it could work for you.


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But there is another method that you might try that works similarly to the Army method. This method is called the 4-7-8 method and if it sounds very close to "square breathing" that's because it kind of is.

Here is how the 4-7-8 method of falling asleep works. First, you take a deep breath and inhale for four seconds. Now hold that breath for seven seconds. Then release that breath slowly as you exhale for eight seconds. You'll also want to purse your lips and make a wooshing sound as you allow the breath to escape. You might need to do this up to four times.


This method, as I mentioned is very much like square breathing, it allows you to self-relax no matter what your situation happens to be. If you find yourself in a stressful situation, then give it a try, you'll be amazed at how quickly your blood pressure will drop and you will feel more at ease and in control.

For more science stories check out our New Discoveries section at The Brighter Side of News.


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