The technique has been used to help people fall asleep in the most uncomfortable circumstances, and best of all, it’s said to work for 96% of the people who tried it for six weeks.
Here’s your Captain Obvious statement for the day: We’re not getting enough sleep.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. That’s a LOT of people! And, it’s not just a matter of getting to bed at a decent time because often, we’re so sped up from the day that even when we do lay down, our brains won’t shut off. We lie there, eyes closed but awake, for EVER!
That’s why a recent article from Michael Grothaus was an attention grabber. He revealed the technique the U.S. Army uses to help soldiers fall asleep in two minutes. That’s right…TWO MINUTES!
Grothaus was a skeptic, so he tried it himself and it’s worth a read (spoiler alert: it worked), but if you want to skip to the good stuff so you can try it yourself, here are the steps he shared in his article:
- Sit on the edge of your bed. Make sure only your bedside light is on, your phone is silenced, and your alarm is set for the morning.
- Now relax your facial muscles. First tighten them up in a wincing motion, and then slowly let your muscles naturally loosen. And let your tongue fall any which way in your mouth.
- Once your face feels like deflated putty, let gravity pull your shoulders naturally toward the ground. Let your arms dangle too, one side at a time.
- While doing this, breathe in and out, listening to the sound of your breath. With each breath, let your chest relax further and then let gravity relax your thighs and lower legs.
- Once your body feels like nothing more than a loosely formed lump of clay, try to clear your mind for 10 seconds. If thoughts come naturally, let them pass–just keep your body loose and limp. After a few more seconds you mind should feel clearer.
- Now picture one of the following two scenarios: you lying in a canoe in a calm lake with clear blue skies above you; or you in a velvet hammock, gently swaying in a pitch-black room. If you happen to be a person who isn’t great at visualization, you can instead chant the mantra, “Don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” for 10 seconds instead.
- That’s it. At the end of these steps, which should take about two minutes, lie down and turn out the bedside light. Ideally, you’ll drift off to sleep within a few minutes.
So, if you or someone you know is having trouble falling asleep at night, give this a shot. Grothaus said it took until the fourth week of doing it before it was working regularly, so give it some time. But, hopefully this tip helps you get some much needed rest, which is one of the healthiest things you can do!