How to sleep: The ‘military method’ to nod off within two minutes or less

Snoring: Doctor explains how to sleep better at night

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Have you heard go the military method? Outlined in Lloyd Bud Winter’s book Relax and Win: Championship Performance, there are seven simple steps to fall asleep in less than two minutes. Firstly, relax your entire face, including the muscles inside your mouth. Then drop your shoulders to release any built up tension, letting your hands drop by the side of your body.

Now it’s time to exhale, relaxing the chest, moving on to relax the legs, thighs, and calves.

Picture a relaxing scene in your mind’s eye for at least 10 seconds; if imagination isn’t your forte, then repeat the phrase “don’t think” over and over again.

Within 10 seconds, you should fall asleep; be prepared for this technique to work on its first try.

However, it can take up to six weeks of practise, according to research.

The technique was first developed to help army personnel to fall asleep in treacherous conditions, hence its title.

Other techniques

The NHS made clear that good-quality shut-eye “makes a big difference to how we feel, mentally and physically”.

A daily routine

One of the most effective ways to fall asleep easily (in time) is to “get into a daily routine”, said the national health body.

“If you can wake up, wind down and go to bed around the same time each day, it will really help,” certified the national health service.

Ways to wind down:

  • Read
  • Gentle stretches
  • Meditation.

Worry management

A good tip shared by the NHS is to set aside 10 minutes – not at bedtime – where you can make a to-do list for the next day.

It’ll also help to manage any concerns you might have by talking them over with a trusted confidante during the daytime.

Taking care of your body

In order to drift off into a peaceful slumber, it helps to avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, or a big meal too close to bedtime.

An ideal environment

Where you sleep can play a big part in how easily you fall asleep, how deeply you sleep, and ensuring you sleep through the night.

“It’s generally easier to drop off when it’s cool, dark and quiet,” said the NHS.

However, the right sleep environment is personal to you, so you might sleep better listening to a sound machine, for example.

If you feel wired while trying to sleep, don’t force yourself to fall asleep – it probably won’t work very quickly.

Instead, get out of bed (to break the association of restlessness and your bed) and do a relaxing pastime.

This could include reading a book or listening to quiet music; you can return to bed once you feel sleepier.

If these sleep techniques haven’t worked for you, further NHS support is available.

Do speak to your GP if you’re having trouble falling asleep for three months or more.

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