Fall Asleep In Two Minutes With The Military Sleep Method

4 Min Read | By Ellen Conning

Last Modified 9 May 2024   First Added 8 November 2022

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Soldiers on the frontline have to take every opportunity available to sleep, which in their case could be for as little as 5 minutes. A technique was developed to help soldiers get to sleep quickly and take every opportunity for rest while they are on duty. It is for this reason that the sleeping technique is now referred to as the military sleeping method.

Most people learnt about the technique from a viral Tiktok, but it was first noted from a book published in 1981 called Relax and Win: Championship Performance.

But what is the military sleep method, and is it as good as the claims say? Let’s dig into it together.

What is the military sleep method?

The method to fall asleep fast goes as follows:

  1. Relax your face completely – Close your eyes and breathe slowly while relaxing your facial muscles. It’s good to start with your forehead and work downwards.
  2. Drop your shoulder tension and relax your hands – Once your face is relaxed, work your way down with your neck and shoulders, and go down one arm at a time. Keep your breathing slow and steady throughout.
  3. Exhale and let your chest relax – Similar to the steps before but with your chest this time. Work slowly, and get used to how this feels.
  4. Relax your legs one by one – Start with the right thigh, and then the calf, ankle and foot. Imagining yourself sinking into your chair or bed helps here. Repeat with your left side after.
  5. Clear your mind – There are a few options to try here. Holding a relaxing image in mind can help, as can repeating “don’t think” for ten seconds.

Some online videos claim this technique will put you to sleep in just two minutes after starting it. And for this reason, the military sleep method has become a part of many people’s calming nightly routine.

Two sodiers sleeping on the ground with a dog between them

Why is this method popular?

As time passes, more and more people worry about how much they sleep. It’s understandable – our sleep survey revealed that the average amount of sleep people get per night is 5 hours and 55 minutes, with only 39% of respondents getting more than the recommended 7 to 8 hours per night. However, our sleep study also found that, on average, people spend 7 hours and 22 minutes in bed per night, not allowing themselves enough time to get a full night’s sleep.

It’s clear that most adults don’t have enough time in their schedules to get a full night’s rest, whether due to a busy work schedule or the knowledge that they don’t need a full 8 hours of sleep. For this reason, getting to sleep almost instantly is essential.

This means that a method that only takes two minutes to try is a small investment for a big potential payoff. Yes, even if it takes six weeks of practice to work fully, six weeks’ worth of two minutes isn’t much in the grand scheme of things.

Does the military sleep method work?

When it comes to calming techniques for sleep, there’s never a straightforward yes or no answer. Several studies have stated that calibrating rest should be carefully considered during a military career, and if there was ever a line of work where a quick sleep trick would be handy, it would be in this one. Having said that, no clear-cut studies specifically around this method are publicly available.

There is, however, a lot of comments on the original TikTok that claim success with it. Some journalists have also reported sound sleep after giving it a try.

Ultimately, it’s worth a try if you think it sounds interesting. Two minutes of your life isn’t much to lose compared to the sleepless nights that can sometimes plague us, after all.

Discover more sleep tips to enhance your slumber

The military sleep technique may not work for everyone but don’t worry. There are plenty more methods you can try. Next time you find yourself tossing and turning, practice the Egyptian sleep method or one of our 15 sleep relaxation techniques.

If you are struggling with sleep problems, make sure you seek professional help. The NHS advises, “If poor sleep is affecting your daily life or causing you distress, call NHS 111 or talk to your GP”.

Calculate your optimal night's sleep here

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