How to sleep: The simple sleep technique to help you nod off within ’60 seconds’

Snoring: Doctor explains how to sleep better at night

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The immediate effects of sleep deprivation are well documented, but a lack of shut-eye can also have severe implications for both physical and mental health in the long run. Fortunately, certain techniques promise to alleviate such risks by enabling effortless relaxation. In recent years, sleep research has seen a surge in methods that revolve around rhythm work. One, in particular, may help individuals dose off in as small a time frame as 60 seconds.

Anxiety is behind a significant number of sleep deprivation cases, so it comes as no surprise that most sleep methods focus on counteracting the effects of worry.

This is because our habitual thoughts can set off a chain reaction that alters the chemicals in the body.

But one sleep expert offers a method – known as the 4-7-8 breath technique – that could induce sleep in seconds.

READ MORE: How to sleep: The ‘military method’ to nod off within two minutes or less

The method comprises of three patterns:

  1. Breathe in through the nose for two seconds
  2. Hold the breath for a count of 3.5 second
  3. Exhale through the mouth for four seconds

Harvard-trained doctor Andrew Weil described the method as a natural tranquilliser for the nervous system.

In a video titled ‘Asleep in 60 seconds,’ the expert stresses that regular practice is essential for obtaining fast results.

“You must do this at least twice a day,” said doctor Weil.

“You can do it more frequently if you want, but never more than four breath cycles at one time, at least for the first month.”

“If you’re comfortable with it, you can increase to eight breath cycles, and that’s the absolute maximum,” added doctor Weil.

Evidence supporting the efficacy of the method is limited – so further studies are needed to support its clinical relevance.

“After practising the method for four to six weeks, you can try using it for different things. It’s a great way to deal with cravings,” added doctor Weil.

“After two to three months of regular practice, were are very significant changes that are going to happen.

“It lowers the heart rate, and lowers blood pressure, improves digestion. It is a very powerful anti-anxiety measure, much more powerful than anti-anxiety drugs.”

Maintaining the correct ratio is essential for this exercise, so each breath can be kept in for longer or shorter lengths of time as long as the patterns maintain their correlation.

In an interview with MedicalNewsToday, doctor Weil explained: “It’s the single best method I’ve found for dealing with getting back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.

“It’s the regularity of doing this over a period of weeks, months, years, that produces the changes that you want.”

The technique adds to string methods that draw on the principle that the nervous system can be influenced by rhythmic patterns.

Some other methods emphasise sounds to trigger the brain’s auditory system.

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