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Expert says 4-7-8 method is best way to get back to sleep during the night

Expert says 4-7-8 method is best way to get back to sleep during the night

He says it's his 'favourite' method for getting back to sleep

Now that the chaos of Christmas and festivities of the New Year are passed us - we can all get cracking with becoming our best selves in 2024 and one way to do that is by taking extra special care of our health and wellbeing.

We all know about the importance of a good night's sleep so, luckily for you, one expert has said a pretty handy trick, known as the 4-7-8 method, which is apparently the best way to get back to sleep in the middle of the night.

And the best part? You won’t need anything other than your own breath.

Struggling to get to sleep can be the WORST, whether you find it difficult to switch off at the end of a long day or you spend too long scrolling through your phone when you should be winding down.

Whatever the reason, one expert thinks he has the perfect hack, and you won’t have to run out to the shop to buy anything.

Sleep specialist and clinical psychologist Dr Michael Breus is known as the 'Sleep Doctor', having dedicated his career to helping others get a good night’s kip.

A good night's sleep doesn't always come easy.
AndreyPopov / Getty Images

Over the years, he’s shared a whole host of tips, tricks and hacks, including on his TikTok page (@thesleepdoctor), where he’s all about 'improving health through the revitalising power of sleep'.

But there’s one technique in particular that he swears by if you’re one of those people that wakes up in the middle of the night and simply can’t drift back off.

He explained in a video a couple of years back: "One of the things people always ask me about is, 'What can I do in the middle of the night to get back to sleep?' or ‘I’m having a hard time falling asleep, what is an exercise that I can do?'

You won’t need anything other than your own breath for the method.
Daly and Newton / Getty Images

"My favourite is 4-7-8 breathing. It helps lower your heart rate, and makes you pretty tired.

"You breathe in for a count of four, hold it for a count of seven, then breathe out for a count of eight.

"What this does is it pulls all the carbon dioxide out of your lungs, puts in fresh oxygen, which means your heart has to work less and you get to fall asleep."

Speaking about the idea on the Today show earlier this year, Michael said it was a 'very easy' method to improve your sleep, explaining how it’s a great way to ‘calm’ your mind and body down.

Dr Michael Breus swears by the 4-7-8 method.

"If you wake up in the middle of the night thinking through how to get calm and relaxed, [this is a] very easy thing to do," he said.

"What this does is it lowers your heart rate in the middle of the night."

This, he said, provides a calming sensation – which, in turn, makes it easier to get back to sleep.

Michael added: "Your circadian rhythm affects your digestion, your cognition and your sleep."

Featured Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Daly and Newton/ Getty Images

Topics: Sleep, Life, Health, Hacks