Every once in a while for a duration of a few weeks (a few times a year maybe) I have trouble falling asleep. Usually it’s because i’m working really hard or have a lot of ideas that start to surface into my consciousness as I lay down to go to sleep. I have found some techniques that have helped me fall asleep and have worked very well that I will share after this snippet and technique to fall asleep in under a minute from higherperspective.com
“For a long time, I had a hard time sleeping. We can chock it up to bad food late at night, too many screens before bed, and stress. I found it incredibly difficult to shut my brain down and give it a break at night. After weeks of not being able to sleep a full night, a friend of mine told me about the “4-7-8″ breathing trick.
This method was developed by a wellness practitioner, Harvard-educated Dr. Andrew Weil, who studies meditation, breathing, and how it can be used to counteract stress. It’s easy to do. You breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. She explained to me that it slows down your heart rate and it also releases chemicals in our brains that soothe you.
Pretty neat, huh? I was skeptical, but I tried it. It ended up working like a total charm. I was out before I reached my fourth repetition and it tends to knock me out easily in less than a minute.
This is good for more than just falling asleep though. When we’re stressed, our endocrine system releases adrenaline through our adrenal glands. This elevates your heart rate and can make you feel jittery and unwell. Often times, your breathing also becomes rapid and shallow.
By using this breathing method, you counteract the natural effects of adrenaline and your body is forced to slow down your heart rate. It simply doesn’t have a choice! When you begin, you may feel a tad uncomfortable.
But as you continue with it, you really do feel your heart rate slow and your mind clear. It’s almost like you’re spending a leisurely afternoon at a beach. So relaxing. Give it a try tonight and tell us what you think! You can also heck out Dr. Weil’s site if you are interested in further reading.”
The process is simple, here it is step-by-step:
1. Breathe in for 4 seconds (count this out)
2. Hold your breathe for 7 seconds (count out again)
3. Exhale out of your mouth for 8 Seconds (count out again)
I know that slowing down my breathing has helped me fall asleep faster personally. Not only does it influences your endocrine system but your nervous system as well. Your brain also begins to stop focusing on being awake and alert and instead it just focuses on breathing which helps you center yourself, be mindful and realize that it’s time to sleep and rest. Your physiology, brainwave patterns and body language changes.
For me, breathing intentionally, slowly and laying absolutely still has really helped. I’ve also found that certain things like valerian root, CBD’s (endocannabanoids) and lavender essential oil on the bottom of my feet before sleep really help me fall into a deep state of relaxation and fall asleep as well.
Also, avoiding bright lights at night whether they come from phone, tablet, computer or tv screens or just light bulbs. All of these combined have really made it easier and I have a LOT less sleepless nights now than I used to have a few years ago.
I hope this information helps you relax, sleep and destress better! Please share it, we live in a overly stimulated world that needs more good restful sleep.
Source: Higher Perspective, Dr Andrew Weil.