How to train your brain to fall asleep in just 1 minute
One of life's cruel ironies is that the night you desperately need sleep will always be the night your brain is in overdrive.
Whether it's a big presentation or an early flight you CAN'T miss, the more you focus on falling asleep, the harder it gets.
If you suffer from insomnia you are certainly not alone.
According to The Irish Sleep Apnoea Trust, insomnia affects between six and 15 per cent of the Irish population, with one of the biggest attributing factors cited as "sleep anxiety".
That's why sleep expert Dr. Andrew Weil emphasises that relaxation and mindfulness are so important when it comes to getting some shut eye.
But forget counting sheep - Dr. Weil has devised a breathing technique which, once mastered, can apparently put you to sleep in under 60 seconds.
The 4-7-8 technique is surprisingly simple. The steps are:
1) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2) Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3) Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5) This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
The method is based on an ancient Indian practice called Pranayama, which means regulation of breath, and is used widely in yoga and pilates.