I’ve had insomnia since I was in college. Over the years I’ve gone to doctors, taken medications, eliminated caffeine, drank warm milk, exercised, slept in a cool room, and tried every other trick in the book for getting to sleep. They just didn’t seem to work, so I’ve gotten used to just existing on an average of about 3 hours of sleep each night. I mean, I’m a mom. We never sleep, right? Except that lack of sleep has affected my energy level, my concentration, and just made me kind of like a ghost. I was looking for yet another trick to try when I stumbled across the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise in my Facebook stream. And, y’all? I think my insomnia is cured!
Now, keep in mind that I started doing this 3 nights ago. I don’t want y’all to think that I’m a professional sleep counselor or anything, but I’m so excited and RESTED that I had to share this with you all. Okay, so here’s how it works. It’s really simple:
-Inhale for 4 counts.
-Hold your breath for 7 counts.
-Slowly exhale for 8 counts.
-Repeat about four times.
From what I read, what this series of breathing does is act as a natural tranquilizer. As a former actor, I used to do breathing exercises a lot during warmups for shows or in class. I’m pretty aware of my breathing, and know that I’m often not taking in full breathes, but rather doing a lot of shallow breathing. In a nutshell, there just isn’t enough oxygen circulating through my body. I have no idea what that has to do with sleeping, but, honey, that inhale, hold, exhale thing worked!
I don’t remember exactly when I fell asleep after doing the breathing exercise. All I remember is waking up in the morning when Terrence’s alarm went off! It was a sound slumber, too. It’s been three days of sleep, and I’ve had more energy and I can feel the fog lifting off of my brain. I’ll keep testing it out and let y’all know how it goes over the next month!