A story has been doing the rounds on the Internet about a supposed method used by the US military to help people fall asleep.
The information comes from a 1981 book called Relax and Win: Championship Performance, with the story being picked up by writer Sharon Ackman on Medium back in July. In the book, readers are told how to relax, and also how to fall asleep within two minutes, something apparently employed by the US military.
“The US Navy Pre-Flight School developed a scientific method to fall asleep day or night, in any conditions, in under two minutes,” wrote Ackman. “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.”
So how do you do it? Well, the first step is to blank your mind. To do this, it’s recommended you relax all of the muscles in your face. Then, drop your shoulders and relax your arms. Breathe out and relax your chest, and then also relax your legs, all in that sequence.
For the next 10 seconds, you’ll then want to clear your mind of everything. Either imagine you're lying in a pitch-black room on a comfy couch or, if you’re struggling, saying the words “don’t think” over and over again can supposedly help.
And if you do all that, well, you should be asleep. Ackman said this was an especially useful technique for people in the military who were in dangerous scenarios, or those coping with the horrors of war.
According to a recent study, getting between six and nine hours sleep a night can help offset heart conditions, while other studies have shown the rather disastrous effects sleep deprivation can have on the body. While we don’t understand it completely, sleep is super useful.
So, if you ever need to get a quick bit of shuteye, or you’re struggling to get to sleep at home, why not give this old US army technique a try? If it worked for World War Two pilots, then it might just work for you too.