This military sleep hack will have you drifting off in just two minutes

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Nicola Rachel Colyer
how to fall asleep

Say hello to sweet slumber with a military trick that promises to have you drifting off in just two minutes…

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of sleep around here. Our fascination runs so deep that we’ve started to delve into the routines of women around the world, from hotel managers to an early morning radio presenter, to learn how they manage (or don’t) to get some quality shut-eye. 

We’ve tried pink noise, new routines, getting green fingered and much much more, yet for most of us, we’re still not getting enough kip. Whether it’s a Netflix habit, long hours at the office, or insomnia, getting our mind to switch off and allow us to bank a dreamy eight hours can be much easier said than done. 

So, when word of a new trick that promises to have us nodding off before you can say “pass the pillow spray” starts circulating, we’re all ears. According to, the latest tip is a nugget of long-forgotten military wisdom that was developed by the US Army to ensure that its pilots were able to get enough rest, even in the toughest of conditions.

Just one cup of coffee in the morning can impact your quality of sleep

It was shared in a 1981 publication titled Relax and Win: Championship Performance by author Lloyd Bud Winter and promises to have you asleep within 120 seconds. What’s more, it reportedly has a 96 percent success rate after six weeks of practice.

If you fancy joining the ranks and giving it a whirl, we’ve broken down the technique below:

Start by closing your eyes and taking some deep, slow breaths before relaxing all of the muscles in your face, including your tongue, jaw, and the muscles around your eyes. There should be no creases or lines and your eyes should be closed but limp (which you do by letting them fall deep into their socket).

Then, drop your shoulders as low as they’ll go, as if they are floating down your body. Next, starting with your dominant arm, relax your upper arm, then your lower arm and hands before repeating on the other side. If you struggle to relax your muscles, try tensing first before relaxing.

Take a deep breath and as you breathe out, relax your chest. Your upper body should feel as though it is sinking beneath you.

Relax your legs by starting with your thighs and working your way down your calves to your feet, letting them sink beneath you like a dead weight.

Once your body is fully relaxed, the final step is to clear your mind for 10 seconds. Winter recommends using visualisation to help you do this, either by imagining that you are lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but blue sky above you or that you are snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room. 

And if that doesn’t work, you can say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” in your mind over and over for ten seconds and that should sort you out. 

Sweet dreams.

Images: Getty


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Nicola Rachel Colyer

Nicola Colyer is a freelance writer and ex-corporate girl. A francophile and relapsing sugar-free graduate, she'll often be found seeking out the best places for brunch or struggling to choose between a green juice and a G&T.