The 'military trick' that will cure your insomnia

The sleeping hack used by the military that will cure your insomnia and help you fall asleep in just 10 SECONDS

  • An effective method for getting to sleep in as little as ten seconds is going viral
  • The ‘military method’ was first used by soldiers to fall asleep in tricky situations
  • It involves relaxing muscles, breathing techniques and visualizations 

A pediatrician has explained a new method for curing insomnia that can put you to sleep in minutes and, with practice, in around 10 seconds.

It is referred to as the ‘military method’ and was reportedly popularized by soldiers in the US Army who would use it to fall asleep in tricky circumstances. 

First documented in Lloyd Bud Winter’s 1981 book Relax and Win: Championship Performance, it was claimed that it had a 96 percent success rate after just six weeks of practice.

The method involves muscle relaxation, breathing and visualization tricks, and is outlined in a video by Dr Jess Andrade, a pediatrician and osteopath in Boston. 

A post shared by Dr. Jess Andrade Pediatrics (@doctorjesss)

The method requires you to put yourself in a tranquil scene in order to clear your mind of distracting thoughts. One suggestion was on a canoe on a still lake

First, relax your entire face, including all of your facial muscles. If it helps you can start with your forehead and work your way down the face, relaxing your jaw, cheeks, mouth, tongue and even eyes.

Then drop your shoulders and hands and let them fall naturally down with gravity. Relax your neck and arms, starting at the top of your right arm, and slowly moving to your biceps, forearms, and hands. Repeat on the other left side.

Keep breathing slowly and deeply. Exhale and relax your chest.

Now relax your legs. Start with your right thigh and let it sink into the chair or bed. Then do the same with your calf, ankle, and foot and repeat the process with your left leg.

Now clear your mind. If you struggle, try holding an image in your head (one suggestion is to picture a canoe on a still, tranquil lake).

You should then fall asleep. Although it could take up to two minutes when you first try, with practice that can be reduced to around ten seconds. 

The method involves muscle relaxation, breathing and visualization tricks, and is outlined in a video by Dr. Jess Andrade, a pediatrician and osteopath in Boston

Dr Lindsay Browning said the method works because it replaces ‘unwanted thoughts in your mind with the task at hand – relaxing your muscles in your body in sequence’.

The expert at Trouble Sleeping, and author of the self-help sleep book Navigating Sleeplessness, added that there is a physical element too, as the more your muscles relax the less stressed and anxious you may begin to feel.

She said: ‘The military sleep method is very similar to the progressive muscle relaxation technique that I teach my insomnia clients. Often, people can’t sleep because their mind is too busy or they are physically anxious.’

Browning said there are other relaxation techniques which one can do while in bed to help with sleep, including ‘slow deep breathing and performing mental calculations such as your seven times table or counting back from 1000 in threes’.

However, she urged that extra help may be needed depending on the severity of the situation.

‘When you are having a serious problem with sleep then you may need to get extra help, and a relaxation technique may not cut it,’ she said. ‘CBT-I is the scientifically proven recommended treatment for insomnia and helps people re-learn how to sleep.’

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