If you’re one of the many that find it difficult to fall asleep quickly (or at all), you’ll be pleased to know there is an old technique currently doing the rounds on TikTok – see Doctor Jess below – that promises to help you do exactly that.
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Yep, the “military method”, which was popularised by the US army and was documented in Lloyd Bud Winter’s 1981 book Relax and Win: Championship Performance, is said to be an ultra effective trick to help you drift off in as little as ten seconds, maximum two minutes. When one in five UK adults struggle to fall asleep every single night and a further 36 per cent struggle on a weekly basis, any trick is worth trying.
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So how does it work? Well, first of all the method should be practiced daily to experience its full effects – expect amazing results in six weeks of practice – and all you have to do is the below.
- Relax your entire face, including all the muscles and your tongue, from your jaw to inside your mouth. It can be easier to tense them all up first and then let go.
- Drop your shoulders to release any tension and allow your hands to drop to the side of your body.
- Exhale, relaxing your chest and focusing on the breath. Also allow your legs, thighs and calves to relax in the process, letting gravity pull them down naturally.
- Clear your mind for ten seconds, imagining a relaxing scene. If this doesn’t work, try saying the words “don’t think” over and over for 10 seconds.
- Within ten seconds, you should fall asleep, but it may take up to two minutes when you first start practicing.
The technique, which was designed to help soldiers fall asleep quickly in any situation to help minimise the risk of mistakes made on the job, puts the emphasis on helping to alleviate muscle tension and unwind the body which in turn helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, that is responsible for our rest and recover mode. It costs nothing – so why not try now?