The Best Breathing Technique for Better Sleep – 4-7-8 Breathing

We know the amazing benefits a deep breath can have instantly.

But the 4-7-8 breathing technique is based on an ancient yogic practice called pranayama and has the benefit of helping improve the quality of sleep.

person sleeping
Rest is essential – Photo by bruce mars

And if you suffer from insomnia, have trouble sleeping, or have trouble staying asleep, this might be a game-changer.

It helps to control the breath for maximum benefit. Learn everything you need to know today! 

The answers to questions like “what is 4-7-8 breathing”, “how do you do 4-7-8 breathing?”, “what are the benefits of 4-7-8 breathing?” and much more today!

The Benefits of Breathing

Conscious and deep breathing has many benefits that regular respiration does not offer!

Breathing with intention and thought, filling your lungs deeply and slowly is much different than the regular breaths you take subconsciously.

While this kind of breathing usually requires a bit of thought, it is used in various ways to calm the mind, relax the body, and even fall asleep deeply.

Some of the science-based benefits are:

Decreased Stress – Deep breaths can help calm the mind and relaxes the entire body. This is important for your sleep routine.

Breathing can reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, the part responsible for fight or flight response. Deep breaths then activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part responsible for relaxing the body.

To sleep well, the mind needs to calm down and the body to experience less stress. Breathing and allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to calm the chemical responses of the body. 

In this way, the stress hormones, like cortisol, are lowered.

Breathing is also a great way to raise endorphins, a chemical that relieves stress.

Activated Lymphatic System- the lymphatic system is a network of vessels, organs, and tissue that move lymph fluid through the body and blood.  

It is responsible for detoxification, removing waste and unwanted material from the body, and plays a part in the immune system’s response.

It does not use the heart to pump it throughout the body as the circulatory system does. Breathing is essential for the movement that fuels the lymphatic system. 

By breathing consciously and deeply, you can increase the detoxification process and move lymph fluid within the body. Unclogging and moving the lymph system has been associated with deeper sleep as pains, aches, and tension is released from the body.

Lower Blood Pressure – The relaxation and oxygenation of the body’s muscles help dilate blood vessels. 

This improves circulation and can help reduce blood pressure. Heart rate also drops, which further drops blood pressure to healthy levels. A slow heart rate in the body is an indication to the mind that it is time to rest and relax as well, aiding in sleep.

Improve Overall Health- Deep breathing can help you strengthen the immune system by reducing stress. This is because cortisol is lowered in the body, the hormone responsible for stress in the body. Less stress in the body is incredibly important for a deep restful sleep.

Deep breaths can also raise the oxygenation of organs, further increasing the nutrients and allowing the body to relax and release tension.

Improve Digestion –  Healthy blood flow due to increased oxygenation helps improve the absorption of nutrients by the body. This will ensure your body has all the right nutrients to fuel you in any aspect of life, including rest.

Breathing deeply will help you gain benefits from food, improve digestion, and gives your body the building blocks it needs to regulate the system.

Improve Posture  Poor posture is associated with back pain, tension, tight muscles, and soreness.

When you breathe deeply and slowly, you are automatically aligning your body in a way that allows this deep breath. Poor posture will prevent you from fully filling the lungs.

Good posture can also help to relieve pain, relax the muscles, and reduce soreness, leading to more comfortable, deeper sleep, and less tossing and turning during the night.

Relieves Pain –  There are endorphins released when you breathe deeply and slowly. These chemicals can help reduce pain, blood pressure, tension, and discomfort in the body. 

Breathing deeply can therefore improve mood, decrease stress, and increase the quality of sleep.

How to Use 4-7-8 breathing for better sleep

This technique can be done in other instances to calm down but for sleep, it is best to do it in a comfortable sleep position.

How to do it

1. From your comfortable sleep position, inhale air through your nose, counting up to four seconds.

2. Hold your breath for seven seconds, counting in your head.

3. Fully exhale the air from your lungs for eight seconds through your mouth. If comfortable, make a whooshing sound or hiss that you can hear.

4. Repeat at least 4 cycles or until you fall asleep.

The Takeaway

The 4 – 7 -8 method is a quick and simple method that can improve the quality of your sleep drastically.

Not only will it help you fall sleep and stay asleep, but this method can also help you improve overall body health drastically due to the many benefits deep conscious breathing has on the body.

Insomnia or trouble sleeping can feel horrible, but with simple techniques, you may find the rest you need fast and easily.

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