Lying awake at night and willing to shut your brain off can be exhausting. We have all tried warm milk, lavender oil and counting sheep. But the new solution could be simply be learning how to breathe.

The 4-7-8 breathing technique was pioneered Dr. Andrew Weill from Arizona, who describes the yoga-inspired method as “utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.”

Dr.Weill claims that 4-7-8 breathing can help people fall asleep in just 60 seconds by acting as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system” that reduces stress and anxiety.

What to Do?

1. Before you begin, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just above your teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise.

2. Exhale completely through your mouth quite forcefully so you make a “whoosh” sound.

3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly and softly through your nose for a mental count of four.

4. Hold your breath and count to seven.

5. Next, exhale completely through your mouth, making another whoosh sound for eight seconds in one large breath.

6. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.

Remember: All inhaling breaths must be quiet and through your nose and all exhaling breaths must be loud and through your mouth.

How does it help?

• It takes on more oxygen relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system and promotes a state of calmness.

• It helps rebalance the nervous system which can become over stimulated during times of stress.

• It helps you connect with your body and your breathing and distract you from everyday thoughts that can prevent you from sleeping.