While some people manage to nod off as soon as their head hits the pillow at night, others toss and turn all night as they struggle to drift off.
If you’re used to lying in bed awake at night, brain whirring at a million miles an hour, unable to get the sweet, sweet slumber you crave, then good news.
A secret military technique that is said to help anyone fall asleep in just two minutes has recently been revealed.
The trick is reportedly used by the US army to help them fall asleep when in situations that are less than peaceful, such as on battlefields.
The secret is detailed in the book Relax and Win: Championship Performance, which although first published in 1981, has recently gained traction online after Joe.co.uk revealed the trick to falling asleep.
It’s thought that army chiefs developed the technique to ensure soldiers didn’t make mistakes due to tiredness.
Here’s how to do it:
- Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes
- Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time
- Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down
- You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:
- You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you
- You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
- You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.
The technique is said to work for 96 per cent of people after six weeks of practice.
But it’s not just in the army that lack of sleep can affect your performance - we’re all at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and inability to focus generally when we’re sleep-deprived.
With one in three people in the UK suffering from poor sleep, the army trick could provide some sweet relief.
If that doesn't work, sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley says the most important factor when it comes to falling asleep is quieting your mind.
“In order to get to sleep you need three things: a bedroom conducive to sleep’ a relaxed body and most importantly a quiet mind. You can’t go to sleep if your mind is racing and so anything you can do to slow it down will help you sleep,” he told The Independent.
“There is no magic way of doing this, you have to find what works for you, be that reading, a warm bath, camomile tea, mindfulness, aromatherapy or listening to Pink Floyd. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it stops you worrying about the stresses of the day.”