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The 4-7-8 technique promises to help you sleep in 60 seconds, and insomniacs are calling it a ‘gamechanger’

If you're struggling to sleep right now and haven't yet heard of the 4-7-8 technique, it's time to get to know.

It's been a tumultuous couple of years, with our sleeping pattern taking an enormous hit. For those of us back in the office, we're still coming to terms with the fact that we can't slope off for a ‘power’ nap at 3 pm. And even for those still working from home, we know (deep down) that taking our laptop to bed with us isn't exactly helping matters.

At this point, we'd try any new sleep technique, relaxation-boosting mattress or mindfulness app on the market. Cue us manically googling ‘how to sleep’ (a term that 8 billion of us have searched for recently). Thankfully, we stumbled across the 4-7-8 sleep technique. And – after putting it to the rest for a whole week – we can safely say it's one of the easiest and most effective slumber-inducing hacks we've ever come across.

Developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, an integrative medicine specialist at the University of Arizona, the 4-7-8 method is founded in ancient meditation and breathing-focused techniques.

"It’s the single best method that I’ve found for dealing with getting back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night," Dr. Weil told MedicalNewsToday. "It's the regularity of doing this over a period of weeks, months, years that produces the changes that you want."

It should be noted that the first few times you try the 4-7-8 method, it may take a little longer than 60 seconds to help you drift off. As Dr. Weil pointed out, the idea is that it becomes more effective the more you practice it. Also, if you suffer from a respiratory illness or a similar ailment that affects your breathing, check with your GP before trying the 4-7-8 method.

Here's how to do the 4-7-8 method...

  1. Adopt a comfortable position and relax your body.
  2. Inhale quietly through your nose for 4 seconds.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.
  4. Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, for 8 seconds.
  5. Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.

While more studies need to be conducted to establish its clinical effectiveness, anecdotal evidence shows that the rhythmic breathing technique can help boost feelings of relaxation and reduce anxiety. And, as a side bonus, if you're focused on your breathing, you'll be distracted from other things (like writing work emails in your head or plotting your to-do list).

Stick with it over the coming weeks and take our word for it; you'll be sleeping soundly in no time.

This article was originally published on Glamour UK.

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