The 4x4 technique is how I fall asleep 💤

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Anthony Pica
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The 4x4 technique is how I fall asleep 💤

The 4x4 technique is how I fall asleep 💤

Good leadership requires energy. And sustained energy depends on rest.

To focus clearly, listen empathetically, think critically, and be creative, it's important to sleep well. We all know sleep is important.

But with so much going on at work and at home, a good night's sleep can feel like an infrequent luxury.

The problem is, poor quality sleep can impact our performance and contribute to burnout, even when the effects aren't immediately noticeable. In her book "The Sleep Revolution," Arianna Huffington writes, "in just two weeks of getting six hours of sleep per night, the performance drop-off is the same as in someone who has gone twenty-four hours without sleep."

It's not always easy, but I try to prioritize sleep to rejuvenate my energy so I can be a supportive husband, father, and manager.

Sometimes I'll get in bed and won’t fall asleep soon enough. So I'll grab my Kindle, hoping I'll get drowsy while reading. Or I'll use the Calm, Headspace, or Oura app for a guided sleep session. Other times I end up watching an old re-run of Star Trek on my phone (a bad habit, I know).

But when all else fails, it’s the **4×4 technique** that saves the night.

How to fall asleep fast:

  • Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
  • Breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds.
  • Do this 4 times.

It can be difficult to concentrate and believe it works, especially when you're already frustrated that you can't fall asleep. In the moment, it seems like a futile task.

But, for me, it does work more often than not. I think to myself, “try it, just do it and see it through; what do you have to lose?”

If you have trouble falling asleep, try this technique. 💤

And, I think we should talk with our teams more often about the importance of sleep for mental health.

"Sleep is the best meditation."
— The Dalai Lama

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