Sometimes, falling asleep feels impossible. Youve taken a hot shower, turned off your electronic gadgets, switched off all sources of light in your room, and even spritzed lavender mist on your pillowbut you arent able to fall asleep. Before you know it, youre tossing and turning in bed, spiralling in your thoughts and thinking of every embarrassing thing youve done in your life.To help you get a grip on your thoughts and fall asleep right on schedule every night, heres a breathing technique that works: The 4-7-8 method. This is the brainchild of USA-based, integrative medicine practitioner Dr. Andrew Weil and is known to help manage anxiety, nervousness, and stress. It can help you drift off to sleep quickly. It is interesting to note that this method is based on the ancient Indian yogic practice of Pranayama which is essentially controlling your breath.Conscious, deep breathing works in various ways: It calms your nervous system, helps you turn off your flight-or-fight response (to stress and tension), and clears your mind.How does this technique work?The 4-7-8 method involves inhaling to a count of four. This forces your body to take in more oxygen. Then, hold your breath for seven seconds which gives more time for oxygen to get absorbed into your bloodstream. Exhaling to the count of eight seconds aids your body to emit more carbon dioxide.Practice this technique regularly when youre in bed and youll notice that it slows down your heart rate and prepares you for a good nights sleep.Heres how to try the 4-7-8 method:Sit straight or lie down in a comfortable position.With your mouth closed, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth and breathe in through your nose for a count of four.Then, hold your breath for a count of seven.With your tongue still pressed on the roof of your mouth, exhale through your mouthmaking a whoosh soundfor a count of eight.Inhale and repeat this cycle three more times.Caution: If you are a shallow breather, you may feel a little light-headed when practising this breathing technique. This is because your body is not used to a higher flow of oxygen. In that case, return to your normal breathing pattern till the feeling passes.