We’ve all wondered what we can do to get a better night of sleep at one time or another. Whether you struggle with chronic insomnia or are simply going through a rough patch with sleep, there are strategies you can use to relax your body so you can get the rest you need. One technique that may help you to get some shut-eye is the 4-7-8 breathing method. Read on to learn more about this method and how you can incorporate it into your own nighttime routine.
- What Is The 4-7-8 Breathing Method?
- Does 4-7-8 Breathing Work?
- Breathing & Sleep Disorders
- Weighted Blankets for Better Sleep
What Is The 4-7-8 Breathing Method?
The 4-7-8 breathing method comes from the ancient practice of pranayama, which yoga practitioners use to maintain control of their breathing. This breathing sleep technique is thought to relax the body and take the mind away from your worries, which ultimately helps you to fall asleep.
To practice this technique, first, empty the lungs of air. Next, take a quiet breath through the nose for four seconds, followed by holding your breath for a total of seven seconds. Finally, strongly exhale for eight seconds, producing a “whoosh” sound in the process. You can repeat for up to four rounds until you feel more relaxed.
Does 4-7-8 Breathing Work?
If you’re looking for some home remedies for insomnia, you undoubtedly want to find a technique that actually works. The good news is that there is some science to support the use of the 4-7-8 breathing method.
In fact, one recent study found that a stress-reducing product that used the 4-7-8 breathing method reduced the heart rate and resulted in significant improvements in stress, anxiety and depression, confirming that this technique can relax the body and reduce mental health symptoms that may be keeping you awake at night. A reduced heart rate provides evidence that breathing sleep techniques relax the body on a physiological level and have the ability to be quite effective.
Breathing & Sleep Disorders
The reason that 4-7-8 breathing is so effective is that breathing & sleep disorders like insomnia seem to go hand-in-hand. A study in Psychophysiology found that people who struggle with insomnia tend to have dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system, but it can be corrected by slow, paced breathing. What this means is that sleep problems can occur when systems in the body have trouble regulating themselves, but there are steps you can take to address the problem.
When the nervous system is not regulating properly, you may feel “revved up,” which understandably makes it hard to fall asleep. This is why calming techniques are so helpful. When those who have insomnia practice paced breathing techniques like the 4-7-8 method before going to bed, they fall asleep faster, wake up less at night, and spend less time awake in the middle of the night. Pairing the 4-7-8 breathing method with a cooling weighted blanket can provide the body with additional comfort and relaxation for a restful night of sleep.
Weighted Blankets for Better Sleep
If you struggle with insomnia, your body likely has a difficult time settling down for sleep at night. Not only do breathing techniques calm the nervous system to address sleep issues; weighted blankets have the same effect. In fact, one of the benefits of weighted blanket therapy is that weighted blankets provide deep touch pressure to the body. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system and calms the body so that you can fall asleep more easily and stay asleep throughout the night.
Another benefit of weighted blankets is that they can address other issues that interfere with sleep. For example, if you struggle with pain from issues like fibromyalgia, the pressure from a weighted blanket can provide you with comfort. A weighted blanket can also provide a sense of calm if you live with a condition like restless leg syndrome or struggle with issues like anxiety or depression that keep you awake at night.
If you’re in the market for a weighted blanket, a bamboo weighted blanket is naturally soft and moisture-wicking, to ensure optimal comfort throughout the night. At Aricove, we offer adult weighted blankets in a variety of different weights to meet your needs. Pair one of our comforting bamboo blankets with a technique like the 4-7-8 breathing method to get a better night of sleep without turning to potentially addictive sleep medications or spending money to see sleep specialists, when a home remedy can be effective. Of course, if you have an underlying medical issue that needs treatment, you should always seek professional advice, but something as simple as a weighted blanket may provide all the relief you need.