Simply breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for seven seconds and exhale completely to a count of eight. It only takes a few seconds and Weil suggests repeating the technique up to four times.
“This exercise is a natural tranquiliser for the nervous system,” Dr Weil says. “Unlike tranquilising drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently.”
Some users have said the technique helps them fall asleep within one minute.
It can help users relax and fall asleep, but breathing deeply and the knock-on effect this has on our nervous system offers plenty of other benefits too.
“The ability to breathe so deeply and powerfully is not limited to a select few. This skill is inborn but often lies dormant,” Harvard medical school points out. “Reawakening it allows you to tap one of your body’s strongest self-healing mechanisms.”