Skip to content

Tricks to fall asleep

Trouble falling asleep? 4-7-8 breathing may help.

Called the 4-7-8 breathing technique, it was devised by physician Dr Andrew Weil and claims to act as a ?natural tranquiliser for the nervous system?. According to Weil, it follows aspects of yoga and meditation in helping the body unwind.


So how exactly does the 4-7-8 technique work? According to Weil, it?s very simple, and can be done anywhere in five steps. Start by sitting up with your back straight and placing the tip of your tongue on the ridge of tissue behind your two front teeth. Then follow the steps:

1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose and count to four.
3. Hold your breath for seven counts.
4. Exhale again with your mouth open, making a whooshing sound for eight counts.
5. Inhale again and repeat the cycle three times.

According to the Harvard-trained doctor, the ratio of 4-7-8 is essential. ?Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spent on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4-7-8 is important.?