If it feels like you just can’t seem to drop off at the moment, you’re certainly not alone.
A recent Click Pharmacy survey of 2,000 UK adults that found 31% of us are struggling to sleep, with 18% having to take naps during the day due to their stress.
The problem for many of us is that once we realise we’re not falling asleep fast enough, we can’t stop thinking about the fact we’re not asleep which keeps us awake... and so the cycle continues over and over until we’re looking at the wee hours on the clock.
So, how can we snooze off fast? According to Jana Abelovska, Superintendent Pharmacist at Click Pharmacy, there’s one seriously dependable method you can rely on to get those Zs in quickly.
The way we breathe can play a big part in helping our bodies to successfully relax and fall asleep, says Abelovska, and there’s no routine quite as reliable as the 4-7-8 breathing method.
- Start in a sitting position with your back straight upright.
- From there, you’ll breathe out in through your nose while counting to 4.
- Then, hold your breath while counting to 7.
- Finally, breathe out through your mouth slowly as you could to 8 – make a ‘whoosh’ noise as you exhale.
- Repeat the process three times – if you’ve not fallen asleep already!
How does it work? Abelovska explains: “The way that this process works is to steadily reduce your heart rate to a comfortable level, which in turn will help you to feel more relaxed. When we sleep, our heart rate actually dips to somewhere between 20% to 30% below our resting heart rate.
“Not only is the 7-4-8 method effective for calming down your heart rate in preparation for sleeping, you can also use this as a stress-busting exercise, visualising your stresses being expelled from your body as you slowly breathe out.”