+
upworthy
Health

Doctor's 4-7-8 relaxation technique can help you fall asleep in an instant

It's the "most powerful relaxation method" he knows.

sleep, dr. andrew weil, fall asleep fast

The 4-7-8 technique can help you fall asleep.

Are you having a hard time falling asleep? Dr. Andrew Weil has shared the “most powerful” relaxation technique he knows, and it doesn’t require any equipment or cost a dime. It’s known as the 4-7-8 method and it’s backed up by science.

Dr. Weil is an expert in integrative medicine and the founder and director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.

The technique is simple:


  1. Breathe in through your nose while you count to 4.
  2. Hold your breath while you count to 7.
  3. Exhale while you count to 8.

Dr. Weil says the method creates a "very pleasant, altered state of consciousness" that you may not experience the first time but will come as a "reward" of regular practice. Dr. Weil insists that the 4-7-8 technique is a practice, and you must do four breath cycles at least twice a day to get the benefits. "After a month, you can increase to 8 breath cycles if you're comfortable with it," adding that's the "absolute maximum."

Dr. Weil says that 4 to 6 weeks of doing the practice can lower heart rate, improve blood pressure, digestion and circulation and can promote sleep. A study published in Physiological Reports agrees, saying that practicing the 4-7-8 technique reduces heart rate and blood pressure for several minutes.

It’s also an easy way to help you fall asleep. "If you get up in the middle of the night for any reason, it is the most effective anti-anxiety technique that I've found,” Dr. Weil says.


This article originally appeared on 1.3.24

A pitbull stares at the window, looking for the mailman.


Dogs are naturally driven by a sense of purpose and a need for belonging, which are all part of their instinctual pack behavior. When a dog has a job to do, it taps into its needs for structure, purpose, and the feeling of contributing to its pack, which in a domestic setting translates to its human family.

But let’s be honest: In a traditional domestic setting, dogs have fewer chores they can do as they would on a farm or as part of a rescue unit. A doggy mom in Vancouver Island, Canada had fun with her dog’s purposeful uselessness by sharing the 5 “chores” her pitbull-Lab mix does around the house.

Keep ReadingShow less

A beautiful cruise ship crossing the seas.

Going on a cruise can be an incredible getaway from the stresses of life on the mainland. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an element of danger when living on a ship 200-plus feet high, traveling up to 35 miles per hour and subject to the whims of the sea.

An average of about 19 people go overboard every year, and only around 28% survive. Cruise ship lawyer Spencer Aronfeld explained the phenomenon in a viral TikTok video, in which he also revealed the secret code the crew uses when tragedy happens.

Keep ReadingShow less

A woman looking at her phone while sitting on the toilet.


One of the most popular health trends over the last few years has been staying as hydrated as possible, evidenced by the massive popularity of 40-oz Stanely Quencher cups. The theory among those who obsess over hydration is that, when you pee clear, you’ve removed all the waste in your body and are enjoying the incredible benefits of being 100% hydrated. Congratulations.

However, according to Dr. Sermed Mezher, an NHS doctor in the UK, peeing clear isn’t always a sign of being healthy.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Kudos to the heroes who had 90 seconds to save lives in the Key Bridge collapse

The loss of 6 lives is tragic, but the dispatch recording shows it could have been so much worse.

Representative image by Gustavo Fring/Pexels

The workers who responded to the Dali's mayday call saved lives with their quick response.

As more details of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore emerge, it's becoming more apparent how much worse this catastrophe could have been.

Just minutes before 1:30am on March 26, shortly after leaving port in Baltimore Harbor, a cargo ship named Dali lost power and control of its steering, sending it careening into a structural pillar on Key Bridge. The crew of the Dali issued a mayday call at 1:26am to alert authorities of the power failure, giving responders crucial moments to prepare for a potential collision. Just 90 seconds later, the ship hit a pylon, triggering a total collapse of the 1.6-mile bridge into the Patapsco River.

Dispatch audio of those moments shows the calm professionalism and quick actions that limited the loss of life in an unexpected situation where every second counted.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Yale's pep band had to miss the NCAA tournament. University of Idaho said, 'We got you.'

In an act of true sportsmanship, the Vandal band learned Yale's fight song, wore their gear and cheered them on.

Courtesy of University of Idaho

The Idaho Vandals answered the call when Yale needed a pep band.

Yale University and the University of Idaho could not be more different. Ivy League vs. state school. East Coast vs. Pacific Northwest. City vs. farm town. But in the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament, extenuating circumstances brought them together as one, with the Bulldogs and the Vandals becoming the "Vandogs" for a weekend.

When Yale made it to the March Madness tournament, members of the school's pep band had already committed to other travel plans during spring break. They couldn't gather enough members to make the trek across the country to Spokane, Washington, so the Yale Bulldogs were left without their fight song unless other arrangements could be made.

When University of Idaho athletic band director Spencer Martin got wind of the need less than a week before Yale's game against Auburn, he sent out a message to his band members asking if anyone would be interested in stepping in. The response was a wave of immediate yeses, so Martin got to work arranging instruments and the students dedicated themselves to learning Yale's fight song and other traditional Yale pep songs.

Keep ReadingShow less

An English doctor named Edward Jenner took incredible risks to try to rid his world of smallpox. Because of his efforts and the efforts of scientists like him, the only thing between deadly diseases like the ones below and extinction are people who refuse to vaccinate their kids. Don't be that parent.

Unfortunately, because of the misinformation from the anti-vaccination movement, some of these diseases have trended up in a really bad way over the past several years.

Keep ReadingShow less