Anyone who has trouble sleeping knowns how frustrating it is trying to drift off, only for your brain to refuse to swtch off.
However, a medic has now revealed a breathing technique which he says is far more effective than counting sheep. Dr Andrew Weill, from Arizona, has developed the 4-7-8 method, which he says was inspired by yoga.
Dr Weill says that the technique is simple, takes 60 seconds and can be done anywhere and by anyone. The doctor says that the method acts just like a natural tranquiliser for the nervous system, releasing stress and nervous tension to allow someone to drop off.
How to carry out the technique
To carry out the breathing technique, put the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just above your teeth and leave it there. Then, you breath out forcefully, making sure you make a sound.
Following that, close your mouth and inhale gently through your nose while counting in your head until you reach four. Then, hold your breath while you count to seven.
Breath out, making another whoosing sound for eight seconds. Repeat the cycle three more times and you should be feeling sleepy enough to get a restful night.
Dr Weill claims that the method works as it allows the body to get more oxygen, which leads to a natural state of calm.
Details of his technique come following a study which found that a lack of sleep is costing Britain and America billions from the economy as a result of lost productivity.
People who slept for less than six hours a night on average were found to suffer terrible health consequences. They were even 13 per cent more likely to die than those who managed to get between seven and nine hours of shut eye.