Sleepless nights are the worst. There is nothing more frustrating than tossing and turning, checking your phone every ten minutes, and realising you’re edging ever closer to your alarm going off. Sure, there are plenty of tips out there; don’t drink caffeine, cut down your screen time, or try some mindfulness. But if you’re anything like me, cutting out coffee isn’t an option, Netflix is life, and I can’t sit still long enough to paint my nails never mind do a 45-minute mindfulness tape. However, there’s a trick that will teach you how to fall asleep in two minutes and it’s so good, it’s even got the seal of approval from the U.S. Army.
It looks like a lot of us suffer with poor quality of sleep. In a study conducted by the UK’s Mental Health Foundation, it uncovered that only 38 percent of participants were classified as "good sleepers" and people’s average sleep score (the higher the better) tended to decrease with age. The world seems to be getting busier and with a million distractions it is easy to miss out on the recommended eight hours of sleep.
However, men's lifestyle website Joe uncovered a two-minute sleep solution that was originally published in 1981 in a book called Relax and Win: Championship Performance. Posting the recommendations sent them viral.
So, what are these magical steps that will leave you fast asleep in 120 seconds?
One: Relax the muscles in your face, including your tongue, jaw, and the muscles around your eyes.
Two: Drop your shoulders as low as they’ll go. Then relax your upper and lower arm on one side, and then the other.
Three: Breathe out and relax your chest.
Four: Finally, relax your legs, first thighs and then calves.
After you have managed to get your body in a super relaxed state, you simply need to clear your mind. I know, easier said than done. However, the method has a couple of suggestions of what you might want to think about, including imagining yourself lying in a canoe on a calm lake, nothing but blue sky above you. Another is picturing yourself snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room. And if neither of those work for you, apparently saying “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” over and over for 10 seconds will send you on your way to sleep.
Whilst it all sounds very simple the method has been used by the U.S. military and has had a 96 percent success rate after practising for six weeks. There is no denying the health benefits from getting a solid 40 winks. According to the NHS website better sleep can boost your immunity, improve your mental well-being, and ward off heart disease and diabetes.
However, the method does come with a disclaimer for those 4 percent for whom it doesn’t work: "The bottom line when it comes to getting restful sleep is doing what works for you. There is no magical formula other than listening to your body."
Considering this military sleep solution doesn’t involve running through the wilderness with a backpack that weighs as much as you, or paying your life savings to have a lovely, posh lady talk you through counting sheep, I would say it is definitely worth a try.