Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Many Americans do. In fact, according to the American Sleep Association (ASA), 50-70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, and insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. About 30% of Americans experience insomnia occasionally, and 10% suffer from chronic insomnia.
The ASA also reports that more than 35% of adults get less than 7 hours of sleep each night, but the recommendation is for adults to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night.
Nothing’s worse than resting your head on the pillow and listening to the clock tick while you struggle to fall asleep.
While some people turn to sleeping pills to try to get a good night sleep, at TipHero, we love when we can find a natural solution to a problem like insomnia. We’ve already discovered some tricks that work really well, but we’re adding another one to the list.
We recently heard about a book called Relax and Win: Championship Performance by Lloyd Bud Winter. The book was originally published in 1981, and in it Winter describes a technique used by the military to help soldiers fall asleep quickly in even the most uncomfortable situations.
In the book, Winter explains, “The US Navy Pre-Flight School developed a scientific method to fall asleep day or night, in any conditions, in under two minutes. After six weeks of practice, 96 percent of pilots could fall asleep in two minutes or less. Even after drinking coffee, with machine gunfire being played in the background.”
That’s pretty impressive.
So, how does the technique work?
The first step is to sit on the edge of your bed with your phone silenced and only your bedside light on. Scrunch up your face, and then slowly allow the muscles in your face to completely relax until they feel like putty.
Relax your shoulders and your arms, letting them go limp. Breathe in and out, and listen to the sound of your breath. Relax your chest more and more every time you breathe out. Relax your legs.
Once your body feels completely relaxed, try to clear your mind for ten seconds. After ten seconds have passed, you have the option of doing one of three things. You can either visualize yourself lying in a canoe looking up at the clear blue sky above you, visualize yourself in a pitch-black room lying in a velvet hammock, or if visualization isn’t your thing, you can chant “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” over and over for about ten seconds.
After completing those steps, which should take about two minutes, you should feel relaxed enough to fall asleep within a couple minutes.
In the Army, 96% of the people who tried this technique, found that it worked for them, but it didn’t always work on the first try. It was successful for 96% of people who tried it for six weeks, so if it doesn’t work for you the first night, or even the first week, don’t give up. It should work if you stick with it. It could also help to switch between the two visualization techniques and the chanting technique to see which one is the most effective for you.
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Are you going to try this technique to fall asleep quickly?