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A Simple Breathing Technique to Avoid Insomnia


The “4-7-8” is a Pranayama technique designed to make you sleep in just a few minutes.

What is insomnia? As Borges might say, it’s a rhetorical question. We know the answer only too well. It is a state similar to a fever, of feeling guilty for staying up when everybody else is sleeping. “It is wanting to fall into the depths of sleep and not being able to, the horror of being and of continuing to be, it is the uncertain dawn.”

And it happens to all of us, and which is why there are dozens of recommendations – drink different types of tea, try “magical regular breathing practices,” invoke a Morpheus of different cultures and, of course, take pills. The following is only one more piece of advice among a myriad of suggestions but, for some reason, it is particularly effective. And it is always worth trying new methods for getting to sleep, above all if they are chemical-free, do not involve complicated recipes and are extremely simple.

The “4-7-8” technique is a Pranayama exercise that takes no time at all, does not require any equipment and can be done anywhere. First, place the tip of the tongue on the roof of the palate, just above the upper teeth and keep it there for the entire exercise. You will be breathing out through your mouth, around your tongue.

1. Exhale completely through the mouth, emitting a light whistle.

2. Close the mouth and inhale silently through the nose and count to four in your head.

3. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.

4. Expel all the air from your lungs for eight seconds, emitting a light whistle.

5. Repeat the cycle until you fall asleep.

Try inhaling silently through the nose and exhaling audibly through the mouth. The point of the tongue must remain the same position the whole time. Exhaling should take twice as long as the inhalation. The exact seconds are important.

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