Tumblr is, without a doubt, a cornucopia of endless content which varies from funny to serious, from political to comical, from sad to uplifting. There’s plenty of art, tutorials, debates, and, of course, plenty of ‘tips and tricks’ as well as ‘life hacks’ of varying effectiveness. Not too long ago, a set of gifs started making the rounds, with a claim that the technique presented could help people ‘fall asleep in 60 seconds’. Users were definitely intrigued and set out to see if it works.
The breathing technique is called ‘4-7-8’ and is designed to help people calm down
Image credits: Melissa Peterson (not the actual photo)
The gifs were taken from a video made by Dr. Andrew Weil and the breathing technique shown is called the ‘4-7-8’ breathing technique. Does it really help people fall asleep in minutes? Dr. Weil claims that this technique can help in certain scenarios like dealing with stress and anxiety, as well as helping people fall asleep easier. Although it might require additional practice to easily incorporate the exercise into daily life, the doctor claims that it is one of the easiest little moves to help calm your nerves.
Press the tip of your tongue against the hard ridge behind your upper front teeth and keep it there
Exhale all your breath out
The exercise requires a few simple steps. One should start by completely exhaling. Then, these are the steps:
1.Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2.Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3.Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4.Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5.This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Inhale, quietly, through your nose for four seconds
Hold the breath for seven seconds (or counts, if it’s too slow for you)
It is said that the time to do this exercise is not important, it’s the ratio of 4-7-8 that should always be important. One can either slow down or speed up according to what works for them, just keep in mind that breathing out should take two times longer than breathing in.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound, for 8 seconds (or counts)
Here’s the video where Dr. Weil showcases the technique
Of course, Tumblr users were amazed by such claims so they decided to try the technique themselves and report the results. While some had minimum impact, others claimed that it helped them fall asleep. There were also those who said that it helped them manage their anxiety and even one user who reported that she uses the technique to help her as an actress. Quite interesting experiences!