What Is The 478 Breathing Method?
The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique is a type of breathing pattern which is coined by Dr. Andrew Weil. It came into existence from an ancient yogic technique also known as pranayama. It helps practitioners in gaining control over their breath.
The major advantage of adapting this technique in your day-to-day life is that it can help you fall asleep quickly and peacefully.
How Does This Work?
Breathing methods are specially designed in a way that helps to bring the body into a deep state of relaxation. Specific methods like the 478 Breathing method helps the body to replenish its oxygen. Oxygen boost which is much needed by your organs and tissues inside your body can be achieved by lungs outward techniques and methods like this.
When we practice such relaxation techniques it helps the body to bring it back to balance and also regulates the fight or flight response when we are feeling anxious or stressed. This breathing method is particularly beneficial for those who are experiencing insomnia and sleeplessness due to anxiety about what happened throughout the day or if they are worried about what might happen tomorrow. If you are an overthinker than swirling thoughts can keep you away from a good night’s sleep.
The 478 Breathing Method can force your mind and body to focus on regulating the breath and diverting it from replaying your worries and negative thoughts when you lie down at night.
Various studies claim that this technique can help you soothe a racing heartbeat or calm the tensed nerves. It can even be described as a natural tranquilizer for your nervous system.
The main concept of 478 breathing method can be compared to various practices like:
1. Alternate Nostril Breathing
This technique involves breathing in and out using only one nostril at a time. The other nostril remains close.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
It encourages a person’s mind and body to focus on your breath while guiding your attention to the present moment.
Visualization technique helps you to emphasize on the pattern and path of your natural breathing.
4. Guided Imagery
In this technique practitioners usually focus on a happy memory or a story that will help you take your mind off from worries as you breathe slowly and gradually.
People experiencing sleep disturbances, anxiety, and stress may find 478 breathing method very helpful to overcome distractions and slip into a relaxed state.
Over time as you practice this technique repeatedly it becomes more and more powerful. When you first start practicing you might not feel anything apparently. You can also feel certain negative symptoms like lightheadedness when you try it for the first time.
Try to practice this technique twice a day to yield greater results than those who practice it once every day.
How To Practice It?
To practice 478 Breathing Method first of all find a quiet place to lie down or sit comfortably. Make sure that you have an improved posture, especially when you are about to start the practice.
If you are the one using this technique to have a sound sleep and get rid of insomnia then lying down and practicing it can be more and more helpful.
Start prepping up by resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Place it right behind your top front teeth. Throughout the practice you need to keep your tongue in place. It takes lots and lots of practice to avoid moving your tongue when you are exhaling. While pursing the lips in 478 breathing technique it can be easier for you to exhale.
Here are the steps that need to be carried out in one cycle of breathing:
- Keep your lips apart from each other. Then try making a whooshing sound and exhale completely through your mouth.
- Next step is to close your mouth. Then try to inhale through your nose very silently as you count till 4 in your head.
- Then hold your breath for the next seven seconds.
- Make another exhale with a whooshing sound through your mind for next eight seconds.
You can repeat the cycle again when you initiate a new cycle of breath. Try to practice this technique at least four times.
The most critical part of this technique is holding your breath for seven seconds.
It is highly recommended that you start practicing it with four breaths then can gradually increase it till eight.
Other Techniques To Help You Sleep
If you are suffering from mild insomnia due to mental health conditions you can try various techniques that can help you sleep:
- Sleeping Mask
- Relaxing music
- Essential Oil
- Bedtime Yoga
In some cases sleeplessness is very severe and is caused due to underlying health conditions like:
- Hormonal Changes
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Autoimmune diseases.
The Bottom Line
The 478 breathing method is a technique to help you get rid of sleep cycle disturbances. If you want to relax and distract your mind and body from overthinking then you can try these techniques.