Newsflash: We’re sleepy and stressed.
According to the American Psychological Association, more than half of all Millennials have lost sleep sometime during the past month due to stress. Ugh. Even worse, Millennials suffer from stress-related sleep loss significantly more often than Baby Boomers and older adults. This might be because the biggest stressors across all generations are money, work and the economy, and overall, twenty-somethings are more likely to encounter financial hardship than their parents.
But sleep is important, guys. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night is crucial to your mental, emotional and physical well being. Now worrying about not getting enough sleep is going to keep us awake at night.
However, fear not. In a post for Byrdie, Alina Gonzalez, claims to know a trick for falling asleep in under one minute. Two words, Alina: Bring it.
Her trick for battling anxiety and falling asleep is based on a relaxation exercise touted by Dr. Andrew Weil, well-known holistic health guru and Harvard educated doctor. A firm believer in the healing properties of breathing relaxation exercises (think yoga-like deep breathing), Dr Weil says a type of breath known as the “4-7-8 breath” is “the perfect, portable stress antidote, as it puts the practitioner in a relaxed state almost immediately.”
Gonzalez says the 4-7-8 breath is almost like magic. “Do you know the feeling of being put under by anesthesia, where you are conscious, and the next thing you remember is waking up? That’s what this is like for me: As soon as I start the practice, the next thing I remember, I’m waking up in the morning and can’t even remember beginning the 4-7-8 count the night before. Crazy.”
Basically, what you to is breathe in for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, then breathe out for 8 counts. You can see Dr. Weil demonstrate 4-7-8 breathing here.
Motto has also come up with easy, step-by-step instructions:
1. Place the tip of your tongue against the tissue ridge right above your upper front teeth. Keep it there for the remainder of the exercise.
2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound as you do so.
3. Close your mouth and inhale slowly through your nose while mentally counting to four.
4. Hold your breath for a mental count of seven.
5. Exhale completely through your mouth for a mental count of eight. Make the same whoosh sound from Step Two.
6. This concludes the first cycle. Repeat the same process three more times for a total of four renditions.
Get your sleep masks ready. We’re totally down for trying this tonight.