Do you spend hours upon hours attempting to sleep? Have you ever wanted to be able to fall asleep at any time and from any location? When practiced frequently, the military technique that can help you fall asleep in 2 minutes developed by the US Army is intended to aid you in doing just that, allowing you to fall asleep within two minutes of closing your eyes.
The technique was first described in Lloyd Bud Winter’s book Relax and Win Championship Performance In Whatever You Do.
This technique was developed in the military to allow soldiers to fall asleep at any time, any place, even on the battlefield when the environment is extremely uncomfortable, and there’s a lot of noise happening – sleep is crucial for soldiers–and other people too. Primarily, the military technique that can help you fall asleep in 2 minutes was developed for fighter pilots who require 100% of their reflexes and focus, which we all know diminishes with lack of sleep.
“I Think It Is Good That Books Still Exist, but They Do Make Me Sleepy.”
— Frank Zappa
The Military Technique That Can Help You Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes – In Short
“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”
— John C Maxwell
- Relax your head starting from your forehead, including the muscles inside your mouth.
- Drop your shoulders to release the tension, and let your hands drop to the side of your body.
- Exhale, relaxing your chest.
- Relax your legs, thighs, and calves.
- Clear your mind by imagining a relaxing scene (e.g., ocean, lake, rainy day night, etc.)
- If this doesn’t work, try mentally stopping thoughts by repeating in your head the words “don’t think” over and over so that you focus on that one thought only.
- Within 2 minutes, you should fall asleep!
To begin, you want to calm your body and systematically relax and shut down each part of your body from head to toe, literally. This is similar to the body scan technique in meditation. The decisive difference is that you actively “shut down” the body parts you can while performing the military technique that can help you fall asleep in 2 minutes.
Begin by relaxing the muscles in your forehead. Relax your eyes, cheeks, and jaws, and concentrate on breathing. Now, move your attention to your neck and shoulders. Check that your shoulders are not tense. Drop them as low as you can while keeping your arms at your sides, including your hands and fingers.
Then imagine a warm tingly, warm sensation running from the top of your head to your fingertips. Begin by taking deep breaths, relaxing your chest stomach, all the way down to your thighs, knees, legs, and feet. Consider that warm sensation again, but this time from your heart all the way down to your toes.
While you’re doing this, it’s really important to clear your mind of any stress. It is critical to try to clear your mind of any thoughts or stresses during the technique. The method used is quite similar to the “clearing the calculator” technique explained in The New Psycho-Cybernetics: A Mind Technology for Living Your Life Without Limits.
Further, imagine yourself in one of two scenarios: lying in a canoe surrounded by only clear lake water or lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room. When you become distracted, repeat these words in your head until the distraction disappears: “Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think.” If you’re skeptical here, please note that this is not to force your mind into “not thinking,” much more; this is about focusing the mind onto one line of thought only.
If you do this every night for six weeks, you should be able to fall asleep within two minutes of closing your eyes.
Reportedly 96% of people who tried this achieved the desired outcome within six weeks. Don’t quote me on this as I’ve only seen this number quoted in the author’s book and couldn’t find any studies on this. Yet, there’s really no downside to this. It costs no significant time, and worst case, it’s still a great nighttime meditation to clear your mind in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
If you have trouble turning it off when it comes to bedtime, you might want to try the military technique that can help you fall asleep in 2 minutes. Further, you might want to find out what could be the best morning routine backed up by neuroscience here.
That’s it for now. Good luck and good nights.