Lying awake at night and being 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 learning how to breathe.


The 4-7-8 breathing technique was pioneered by 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.

The 4-7-8 breathing method, often known as the “relaxing breath,” consists of taking a breath in for 4 seconds, holding it for 7 seconds, and then releasing it for 8 seconds. This breathing technique is intended to ease anxiety and make it easier for individuals to fall asleep. Some proponents of the practice believe that it may help individuals fall asleep in as little as one minute.

Do Breathing Exercises Help You Sleep?

Breathing exercises may be useful to relieve tension and anxiety, and they can also help you relax before night. When you breathe, make sure that you first take a breath in via your nose and then let it out through your mouth. Make sure to have a calm expression on your face as you do this. To ensure that your breath is even and slow, try counting while you take deep breaths in and out. Relax and pay attention to the sound that your breath makes.

  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 Important Is Breathing Right?

  • 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 overstimulated 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.

Breathing and Sleep – Parting Thoughts

There are a few universal principles that apply to all of the breathing exercises you might do to unwind and go off to sleep. Closing your eyes may help you block out the outside world, thus it’s a smart idea to do so. Consider the healing potential of your breath as you pay attention to it. Breathing exercises, regardless of style, have been shown to provide several health benefits.

  • Relax
  • Sleep
  • Improve the quality of your breathing

There are so many options to choose from that you may fall asleep before you realize it!