4-7-8 breathing technique helps relax the nervous system. (Image via Unsplash/Madison Lavern)

4-7-8 Breathing: How It Works, How to Do It, and More

You've probably heard of 4-7-8 breathing before, but do you know why it can help reduce your heart rate and help you relax?

Do you know what to do after the 4-7-8 count is done? Here's everything you need to know about the 4-7-8 breathing technique.


What is 4-7-8 Breathing Sleep Method?

Simple and natural relaxation technique (Image via Unsplash/Katie Bush)

4-7-8 breathing is a simple, natural relaxation technique. It involves breathing in deeply through your nose for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and exhaling through the mouth for eight seconds. The pattern can be repeated as often as you’d like (try doing it at least three times).

While the 4-7-8 breathing technique isn't new — it was first introduced more than 30 years ago by Dr. Andrew Weil — it has recently gained popularity, thanks to its effectiveness and simplicity.


As a beginner, you can practice a physiological sigh to reduce stress and anxiety.

How to do the 4-7-8 breathing technique?

It can be practiced anywhere. (Image via Unsplash/Chelsea Gates)
  • Place the tip of your tongue on the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.
  • This should be a very subtle position; you will not be sticking out your tongue or keeping it rigid.
  • Breathe in through your nose for four seconds.
  • Hold your breath for seven seconds.
  • Exhale through pursed lips (no noise), making an audible 'whoosh' sound for eight seconds.

Benefits of 4-7-8 breathing technique

Relaxes the body and muscles. (Image via Pexels/Mikhail Nilov)

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is an effective way to achieve these benefits:

  • Relaxes the body. This type of breathing reduces stress, making it easier for you to fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep more deeply.
  • Helps you fall asleep faster. The 4-7-8 breathing technique can be used as a relaxation exercise before bedtime to help you relax and fall asleep more quickly.
  • Reduces stress levels during the day by lowering blood pressure and heart rate while increasing oxygen flow to the brain. That helps improve focus and concentration during stressful situations at work or school while reducing anxiety and panic attacks that may arise when under pressure from work deadlines or other obligations that require mental energy in order to complete them successfully (e.,g., studying).

4-7-8 breathing is a calming exercise that can help you fall asleep faster and feel less stressed

Helps to fall asleep faster (Image via Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch)

4-7-8 breathing is a form of controlled breathing that can help you fall asleep faster, reduce stress and anxiety, and feel less overwhelmed.


It’s easy to do — all it involves is inhaling for four seconds, holding for seven seconds and exhaling for eight seconds. It's recommend to try this technique before bedtime so that you can get a good night’s rest without stressing about your to-do list or upcoming meetings.

In addition to improving sleep quality, 4-7-8 breathing has been shown in studies at Harvard Medical School to reduce blood pressure in high-risk patients with hypertension (high blood pressure). The American Heart Association recommends practicing this technique daily as part of its guidelines for reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors such as elevated blood pressure.

The 4-7-8 breathing is a simple exercise that can help you fall asleep faster and feel less stressed. It's also worth noting that this technique has been proven to work in studies by Drs. Andrew Weil and Mark Hyman among others. So if you're looking for an easy way to improve your health, give it a try.


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