We're repeatedly told that a lack of sleep is detrimental to our wellbeing, yet a lot of us struggle to get the recommended eight hours on a regular basis. So how do we ensure that we’re not left staring at the ceiling until the early hours of the morning? That’s where Dr. Andrew Weil, a holistic health guru and Harvard graduate comes in. A firm believer in the healing properties of breathing exercises, such as those used in yoga, Dr Weil has developed a type of breath known as the ‘4-7-8 breath’. According to Dr. Weil, the ‘4-7-8 breath’ is 'the perfect, portable stress antidote, as it puts the practitioner in a relaxed state almost immediately'.
Wondering how it works? It’s as simple as breathing in for four counts, holding your breath for seven counts, then breathing out for eight, repeating until you drop off. It's just that easy!
You can see Dr. Weil demonstrate the technique below:
According to the NHS insomnia is more prevalent than you might think, affecting a whopping one in three people in the UK at some point in their lives. Once you’ve taken out environmental and medical circumstances, the most common cause of insomnia is stress and anxiety. And, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, anxiety affects around one in ten people in the UK.
Dr Paul Reading (a consultant neurologist, sleep expert and ex-president of the British Sleep Society) gives more great advice for insomniacs in our article Can’t Sleep? Our Expert Reveals Ways To Beat Insomnia For Good. You could also try a sleep aid, such as the great selection offered by Asda.