The 4-7-8 breathing technique allows you to fall asleep in less than five minutes. But is it really effective? How to reproduce it at home? Linda Piazza, sophrologist, answers us.
Nearly one in three French people suffer from at least one sleep disorder. More than eight out of ten would even wake up in the middle of the night. So, how to (re)fall into the arms of Morpheus? The 4-7-8 method, developed by Harvard University professor Andrew Weil, seems to have proven itself. An update on this technique with Linda Piazza, RNCP certified sophrologist.
The 4-7-8 method promotes relaxation
According to its followers, the “4-7-8” method allows you to fall asleep more quickly. And for good reason: it plunges the body into a state of deep relaxation, close to the first sleep cycle. Effects, confirmed by our expert.
“The 4-7-8 breathing technique allows you to relax thanks to cardiac coherence. By breathing in and out deeply, the heartbeat slows down, which promotes deep relaxation and muscle relaxation. Concentrating on your breathing also prevents the mind from thinking; falling asleep is thus made easier“, reveals Linda Piazza.
The 4-7-8 technique would thus act as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system” before going to bed.
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How to practice the 4-7-8 method?
To practice this relaxation technique, nothing could be simpler: in a sitting or lying position, stick your tongue on the roof of your mouth, behind your upper teeth. Then, start breathing as follows:
- With your mouth closed, inhale slowly for a count of 4.
- Then, hold your breath for a count of 7.
- Finally, exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
“The 8 seconds of expiration may not be reached during the first sequence. But it’s a virtuous circle: the more you breathe like this, the more you will fill your lungs sufficiently.“, notes the expert, before adding that “The exercise must be repeated at least three times in a row to feel the effects..
Of course, the 4 – 7 – 8 relaxation technique is not a “miracle” method: several sessions are sometimes necessary to learn to breathe correctly.
“To accentuate exhalation, tightening the mouth tightly, like a straw, is essential.“, underlines the expert, before concluding: “To optimize this 4-7-8 method, the exercise of “visualization” is very useful. To do this, you must concentrate on each part of your body, feeling your whole being weigh down on the mattress. This “body scan” allows you to relax each area of the body one by one.“.