Pioneered by Harvard gradDr. Andrew Weil (author of the book,Healthy Sleep), this particular technique is all about breathing. In doing this, you can successfully switch off your body's stress response so that you fall asleep much quicker.
So how does it work? The technique, which he haschristened the 4-7-8 Exercise, involves first breathing out through your mouth, while making a whoosh sound (this is no time for feeling self-conscious). Then, close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose while counting mentally to four. Next, hold your breath and count to seven. Finally inhale completely through the mouth, making a whoosh sound again, while counting mentally to eight. Repeat the cycle three more times.
And it's not just useful for when you're struggling to sleep; the technique is also great for just general relaxation and reducing stress, and you shouldn't be afraid to try it during the daytime too. On his website, Dr. Weil writes: "Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energising and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders."