Where it used to be the case that pulling all-nighters and skimping on sleep was something to be celebrated, like a badge of honour for our youth, now there are few things that plunge us into a bad mood quite like a bad night’s sleep. The importance of sleep can’t be underestimated. From cognitive functioning to recovery and staying focused, we need those extra z’s and are doing all we can to help get them. But as many have found during Covid-19-induced lockdown, sleep is now an elusive concept these days. As many of us have had to set up an office space in the bedroom, distinguishing between work and rest is almost non-existent and so, unsurprisingly, when we finally do put pens down and look to our beds for some shut-eye, the mind goes into over-drive.
If lack of sleep has you searching for apps that promise a well-rested night’s sleep or getaways where you can do literally nothing but sleep for days on end, then perhaps it’s time you turned attention towards the Military Method. The technique is an old hack that’s even been employed by the US army who sys it not only helps soldiers to relax, but has them falling asleep in just two minutes. And yes, that’s even in the midst of a battlefield.
Explained in a 1981 book called “Relax and Win: Championship Performance”, the method was developed by army chiefs to address the issue of soldiers getting too tired or exhausted as they realised the stakes were too high if they did.
How it works is simple:
- Relax your face muscles, tongue, jaw, and the muscles around the eyes.
- Lower your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, then do the same with your upper and lower arm, one side at a time.
- Exhale, relaxing your chest then move down to your legs, starting from the thighs.
It’s said to work for 96 per cent of people who try the technique after six weeks of practice and given that you just need yourself, it’s free and perhaps the more successful choice when it comes to a sleeping aid. Taking just two minutes, this might be one technique we actually try incorporate into our nighttime routine.