Military Method for Falling Asleep in Two Minutes
By Dr. Joseph Mercola / Mercola
An estimated 70 million American adults have a sleep disorder, the most common of which is insomnia1 — the inability to fall asleep, or waking up one or more times during the night. If you’re in this category, despair not, because the list of strategies to improve your sleep is long.
While most sleep problems are tied to lifestyle choices such as spending too much time indoors during daylight hours, and/or excessive use of technology and chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which will require you to make (perhaps significant) changes to your lifestyle, a number of tips and tricks can be useful in the short term.
A method developed by the U.S. military, revealed in the 1981 book, Relax and Win: Championship Performance, claims to have a 96 percent success rate after six weeks of consistent implementation.
Military Method Preps Your Body for Sleep
1. Relax your whole face, including your tongue, jaw and the muscles around your eyes
2. Drop your shoulders and relax your arms
3. Relax your chest as you breathe out
4. Relax your legs, from your thighs to your feet
5. Relax and clear your mind, then picture yourself in one of the following scenarios:
a. You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but blue sky above you
b. You’re snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
c. Simply repeat “Don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” for 10 seconds
21 Additional Strategies to Help You Fall Asleep Faster
Medical News Today also recently published a list of “21 Ways to Fall Asleep Naturally,” which included the following.
1. Create a consistent sleeping pattern by going to bed and getting up at the same time throughout the week, including on weekends
2. Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible. If you don’t have blackout shades, use an eye mask
3. Avoid taking naps during the day or too close to bedtime
4. Exercise regularly
5. Minimize cellphone use and use of other blue light-emitting devices
6. Read a book to relax before bed
7. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants at least four hours before bed
8. Meditate or practice mindfulness on a daily basis
9. “Count sheep” by slowly counting downward from 100 to zero
10. Avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime
11. Lower the temperature in your bedroom; an ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees F.
12. Use aromatherapy; lavender is relaxing and may help induce sleep
13. Find your most comfortable sleeping position. While the article suggests side sleeping, I would suggest you try sleeping in a neutral position — on your back with a pillow supporting your neck, not your head. For more information, see Dr. Peter Martone’s article on “The Best Position for Sleep”
14. Listen to relaxing music before bed
15. Don’t wait to use the bathroom; while it may seem distracting to get out of bed to pee, trying to hold it will simply disrupt your sleep later
16. Take a hot shower or bath before bed
17. Avoid e-books, as the blue light from the screen will impede melatonin release
18. Try a melatonin supplement. Another, perhaps even more effective alternative is 5-HTP, which is a precursor to both serotonin and melatonin. I believe this is a superior approach to using melatonin. In one study, an amino acid preparation containing both GABA (a calming neurotransmitter) and 5-HTP reduced time to fall asleep, increased the duration of sleep and improved sleep quality4
20. Minimize noise; use ear plugs if environmental noise is unavoidable
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