A 'military sleep' technique has been going viral on TikTok – with the promise that it can make most users drop off in only two minutes.
Sleep is described often as an essential function – it allows your body and mind to recharge – so any help to get to sleep is extremely desirable.
Reportedly first developed by the US Army, the technique was developed in the military to allow soldiers to fall asleep at any time.
Justin Agustin, a fitness coach with more than 1.7 million followers on TikTok, is a big reason why the technique has been brought into the news recently.
In a TikTok video, which has been viewed more than 7.2 million times, he describes just how to do it.
According to Agustin, after six solid weeks of practice, the technique will work for 96% of people who try it.
The method was first described in the book Relax and Win: Championship Performance, written by an American track and field coach, and first published in 1981.
The book's original purpose was to improve sports performance and reduce injuries.
Here is the method:
- Relax your entire face. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply. Then slowly relax all of your facial muscles. (If it helps, start with your forehead muscles and work your way down.) Relax your jaw, cheeks, mouth, tongue, everything. Including your eyes; let them go.
- Drop your shoulders and hands. Let go of any tension. Relax your neck, and your traps; feel yourself sinking into the chair or bed. Then start at the top of your right arm, and slowly relax your biceps, forearms, and hands. Repeat on the other side. Keep breathing slowly and deeply.
- Exhale and relax your chest. With your shoulders and arms relaxed.
- Relax your legs. Start with your right thigh; let it sink into the chair or bed. Then do the same with your calf, ankle, and foot. Repeat the process with your left leg.
- Now clear your mind. Try holding an image in your mind. Choose something relaxing. If this does not work...
- Try repeating the words "Don't think" for 10 seconds. If nothing else, that should help distract you from thinking about whatever it is that might, otherwise, keep you awake.
There are no studies to say that this technique actually works but Agustino says "if you practice this every night for six weeks, you should be able to fall asleep within two minutes of closing your eyes".