Insomnia. It is a condition that damages the lives of millions of people. They go from tossing and turning for hours all night to being fatigued and exhausted throughout the day. While a medical professional should always be sought for cases of severe and persistent insomnia, there are some people who only suffer insomnia periodically, and these people may benefit greatly from a sleeping technique recently revealed by the military.

Why Was This Technique Developed?

The military is well-acquainted with sleeping techniques because it is common for people in the military to struggle with sleep. This is because being on the hard ground near a warzone, hearing explosions and bullets, can make it horribly difficult to fall asleep.

Since people, in general, need to get a good amount of sleep to perform at optimal functioning, this difficulty in sleeping is a predicament for members of the military, who need adequate sleep for the sake of protecting our country.

The Creation Of A New Sleeping Technique

What gave birth to this sleeping technique specifically? During World War II, the Navy lost planes and pilots due to sleep deprivation, because a lack of sufficient sleep caused pilots to make poor maneuvers and dangerous decisions.

The Navy enlisted Lloyd Winter, an expert in athlete psychology, to devise a method for military members to sleep efficiently. Winter divided sleep into “physical relaxation” and “mental relaxation.” Given six weeks to practice Winter’s advice, members of a pre-flight school developed an ability to fall asleep within two minutes 96 percent of the time, even if they were caffeinated, or bombarded with audio recordings of machine guns and canons.

Steps To Sleeping Soundly

Just as was the case for the members of the military, the method may require practice, but it is very learnable. First, you must relax yourself physically. To do this, you should sit up straight with your feet on the ground, before closing your eyes and drooping your head to rest your chin on your chest. Then begin slow but regular breathing, while relaxing your facial muscles – allowing your jaw to slacken, loosening your lips and tongue, and relaxing your brow.  Continue this pattern down your enter body, such as by relaxing your shoulders and arms, and then moving the relaxation down your thighs, calves, and feet. Then focus solely on breathing slowly.

After this, it is necessary to relax yourself mentally. Winter’s recommendation was to imagine yourself in a very relaxing environment, and he offered three specific suggestions. The first suggestion involves placing yourself in the bottom of a canoe on a warm spring day, gazing up at a beautiful blue sky, enjoying the gentle breeze, and observing the clouds pass by. The second recommended fantasy involves being in a pitch black room, on a comfortable hammock made of black velvet. The walls of the room are also lined with black velvet. Let your mind relax as you gaze around the perfectly black room. The third recommendation is not a fantasy but a mantra. If the aforementioned fantasies are not successful in lulling you to sleep, lie back and mentally repeat the phrase: “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think.”