Even members of the US Navy need sleeping tricks
Having trouble sleeping lately? It happens to us all, but remedying it can be a real problem, and then the whole next day is RUINED because you're consta-tired, and then you get home and have an early night but your body clock is all screwed up and on and on it goes...
In a book titled Relax and Win: Championship Performance, readers are given advice on how to "improve sports performance and reduce injuries by learning to relax and release tensions prior to competition".
One of the methods inside the book teaches people how to fall asleep within 120 seconds, and it is a method that has been used by the American military service, with a success rate of 96% after six weeks of practice.
The method is essentially broken down into two different steps, the first of which is to completely blank your mind.
Not sure how to do that? Well, this is how, and should take you about a minute and a half to do it correctly (this isn't included in the 120 seconds it takes to fall asleep, by the way!):
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.
So what comes next? Well, after ten seconds more of trying to clear your mind, Lloyd Bud Winter (the book's author) suggests that you picture one of the following three mental images:
Lying in a canoe on a calm lake, nothing but blue sky above you.
Snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room.
Saying “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” over and over for ten seconds.
That last one sounds let something you'd say to get out of a horror movie with Freddy Kreuger to us, but apparently it also works in the context of trying to get to sleep, because it is often used in every other sleep meditation programme, too.
But if you are in the 4% this doesn't work on after six weeks, then the US Army have a bit more general information (or is that General Information? Army joke, nailed it!) for you:
"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."