A lot of times, we forget to breathe properly as we go about our day to day. But the right technique matters, especially at night, since deep, slow, self-aware breathing is one of the best methods for releasing stress and tension during this time. That’s where Oprah’s go-to sleep guru Dr. Michael Breus says the 4-7-8 Method comes in. Here’s how it works: First, inhale for four seconds, then hold your breath for seven seconds, then exhale slowly for eight seconds. When you’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep (or if you wake up with anxiety in the middle of the night), put this technique into action. It will not only help kick off a series of physiological changes that aid relaxation, it will help reduce stressful thinking, too.
8. Indulge in a Little Self-Pleasure
Yep, according to experts and studies alike, masturbation can actually improve your quality of sleep. One 2019 study published in Frontiers in Public Health, looked at online survey responses from 778 people who were mostly in their 20s or 30s and heterosexual. Researchers found that 54 percent of the volunteers said they slept better after having an orgasm from masturbation. Another recent survey by the female-focused sex toy brand Femme Funn found that 95 percent of people polled said they experience a better-quality night’s sleep after having an orgasm. The authors of that first study explain that it’s all about the neurochemicals—like oxytocin and prolactin—that are released following sexual activity. These neurochemicals, the experts say, contribute to improved sleep. (Note that there isn’t enough data to say whether an orgasm is necessary to reap the positive sleep benefits of masturbation.)