The past few nights I've had a horrible time getting to sleep. At first I thought it was because I was adjusting back to Central time after being on California time for several weeks, but the problem has drug on and on. It's so bad that I'm walking around huge dark circles under my eyes, which remind me of the problem every time I looking into the mirror.
Where do people go to find out solutions to problems nowadays? The Internet, of course! That's how I ended up on the website of Dr. Andrew Weil, where I learned about his Relaxing Breath (4-7-8) Exercise, which he says is "a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system."
You start by resting the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth, and leave it there the entire time. The first step is to exhale completely through the mouth, then close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of four. You hold your breath and count to seven, then exhale through your mouth around your tongue (making a 'whoosh' sound) for a count of eight. If it seems awkward, you can try pursing your lips slightly. Repeat the entire cycle three more times.
I tried the technique last night. I was so busy focusing on my breath and counting that my mind couldn't wander. After the first two breaths I had to stop and yawn, and by the time I was finished my body was nicely relaxed. I'd like to say sleep came immediately, but that would be a lie. However, it DID take me much less time to doze off.
Five years ago today: Yellow Cuties