Dr. Weil’s 60-Second Technique for Falling Asleep

Give Dr. Andrew Weil three minutes, and he can teach you a 60-second technique for falling asleep. Above, the alternative medicine guru walks you through the 4-7-8 breathing method. As he demonstrates, it "takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere." And once you master it, you can use the 4-7-8 breathing technique (explained and demonstrated in greater detail here ) to lower your anxiety levels (useful these days!), navigate tension-filled moments, and deal with food cravings.

Elsewhere, Weil has said, "If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly." Hence why he created an audio recording, Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing, which you can still purchase online.

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  • Leila says:

    This looks like a great breath to learn to use. I am wondering whether the tongue needs to be held behind the teeth throughout the exercise or only when inhaling and holding the breath? Thanks.

  • IsabelG says:

    There is a video on Dr Weil’s youtube channel https://youtu.be/YRPh_GaiL8s

    “Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. “

  • Lisa says:

    This works and cured me of lifelong insomnia.

  • Bina says:

    A therapist taught me this technique years ago, and it’s very helpful. I used it just before I had to do an important presentation in front of VIPs (including my boss), and I was amazed at how calm I was able to be.

    The principle is that the exhale should be about twice as long as the inhale, with a brief pause (holding the breath) in between. It counteracts the usual tendency to inhale too much when we’re nervous, which can cause lightheadedness and even dizziness by taking in too much oxygen too fast (aka hyperventilation). Exhaling slowly (doesn’t have to be as noisy as he demonstrates) slows the breath and makes sure you exhale carbon dioxide fully and slowly.

    It also distracts your conscious mind a bit because you have to count and pay attention to the technique rather than to what you’re worried about.

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