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The 60 second snooze hack
Do you follow these tips and tricks to fall asleep, but still struggle to get enough zzz’s?
This 60-second snooze hack could be the answer. Yes, a scientist has claimed he can get insomniacs to slip into a blissful slumber in just one minute (and no, the trick doesn’t involve prescription drugs).
Known as the 4-7-8 breathing technique, Dr Andrew Weill says it’s a “natural tranquiliser for the nervous system”.
According to Dr Weill, it’s also “utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere”.
Think it sounds too good to be true? There’s only one way to find out. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Exhale completely through your mouth while making a 'whoosh' sound.
Step 2: Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
Step 3: Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Step 4: Exhale completely through your mouth, making another whoosh sound for eight seconds in one large breath.
Step 5: Inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.
If you haven’t already passed out on me, you might like to know the method is actually based on pranayama, an ancient Indian practice that means 'regulation of breath'.
Apparently, it’s so effective because it allows oxygen to better fill the lungs.
According to the Harvard-trained doctor, this extra oxygen has a relaxing effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a state of calmness.
In addition to this effect, the controlled breathing can also help to distract you from those everyday thoughts that can disrupt sleep (such as how cute that guy in the elevator was, or what you’re going to have for breakfast). ”¨
Interestingly, according to Dr Weill, “The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important” – rather, it’s the golden 4-7-8 ratio that really matters.
Want to amp up your chances of this working? Try sleeping naked – you’ll get even more shut eye (it’s all to do with your body temperature).
As someone who’s sceptical of anything that promises a ‘quick fix’, I’m not completely sold on the 60-second guarantee – but I think I speak for a few of us when I say I’ll be testing the technique tonight.
Have you ever tried using breathing techniques to relax? What are your best tips and tricks for falling asleep fast?