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4 Techniques to Fall Asleep Quickly (under 2 mins)

Waiting for sleep to come to you?
Can’t shut your mind and go to sleep?

You know that you don’t have to be at the mercy of your sleep or your mind, right?

What if I say that you can practice falling asleep?

That there are certain techniques used by doctors and elite performers to bring sleep to them whenever they need it.

Sounds like something you could use, doesn’t it?

Dive in and learn the techniques that can help you finally get a peaceful slumber at night!

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Military Method

The technique was first mentioned in the 1981 book titled ‘Relax and Win: Championship Performance‘ by Lloyd Winter or “Bud”, one of the greatest sprint coaches in the world during his time.

The United States Navy Pre-Flight School introduced the now popular Military Method as part of the pilot’s training routine after they discovered that many of the pilots could not get enough sleep amidst training stress and gunfire noises in the background.

After 6 weeks of practice, the pilots could fall asleep in 2 minutes or fewer.

The technique worked even after drinking coffee and is also said to be effective if you need to sleep sitting up.

How to practice:

  • Start with your face. Relax all of your face muscles, including those inside your mouth.
  • Focus on the Shoulders. Droop them releasing all the tension and let your hands drop naturally to the side.
  • Focus on your legs. Exhale and let your leg muscles go limp and relax.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Let your chest relax with your exhale.
  • Once you relax every muscle from your face to legs, breathe normally and imagine a relaxing scene. You can also imagine yourself falling asleep.
  • If it doesn’t work, relax and say “don’t think” over and over for a few seconds.
  • You should fall asleep within a minute or two.

4-7-8 Breathing

The 4-7-8 technique is developed by Dr. Andrew Weil and is inspired by an ancient yogic technique called pranayama, that practitioners use to take control of their breath.

This technique is effective in releasing stress and brings relaxation almost immediately.

If you have any respiratory condition, consult with your doctor before trying out this technique.

How to practice:

  • Take a comfortable resting position. If you’re a beginner, sit up with your back straight.
  • Touch the ridge area just behind your upper front teeth with the tip of your tongue. Hold it there during the entire exercise. (both during inhale and exhale)
  • You’ll breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth with a whooshing sound.
  • Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 seconds.
  • Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
  • Exhale through your mouth with a whoosh for a count of 8 seconds. This completes one breath.
  • Repeat this breathing cycle for four full breaths.
  • Let your body sleep with the relaxation of each breath.

Here’s Dr. Weil guiding you with the 4-7-8 method.

Imagery Distraction/Visualization Technique

The Image Distraction technique is a very simple method attributed to bringing sleep quickly for people with sleep disorders after discovering in a 2002 study by the University of Oxford.

Researchers found out that ‘imagery distraction’ caused less frequent and distressing pre-sleep cognitive activity as compared to ‘no distraction’ or ‘general distraction’ and was effective in bringing sleep in less time through mental relaxation.

How to practice:

  • Take a comfortable resting position.
  • Close your eyes and imagine a relaxing scenery. For example, a waterfall, rushing water, etc.
  • If you have been to a place where you felt completely relaxed, use that scene.
  • You should replace any thought, worry, or concern with the relaxing image.
  • You should feel complete relaxation in your head within a minute. Relax your body and gently go to sleep.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Any stress and anxiety we experience throughout the day often gets stored up physically in our muscles, and manifests usually as neck pain or backache.
PMR is a technique used to relieve tension in the muscles across your body. 

In this technique, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out and continue to work on your muscle groups progressively in a certain order.

How to practice: [Source]

  • Take a comfortable resting position.
  • Tense each muscle group (without straining or cramping them) as you breathe in for 5-10 seconds.
    Then exhale and relax the muscles completely.
    Relax for 10-20 seconds before working on the next muscle group.
    Follow this PMR cycle with every muscle group.
  • Start with your forehead muscle group: Wrinkle it into a deep frown to tense the muscles. Follow the PMR cycle.
  • Eyes and bridge of the nose: Close your eyes as tightly as you can (Remove contact lenses before you start the exercise) and follow the PMR cycle.
  • Move the Cheeks and jaws: Smile as widely as you can and follow the PMR cycle.
  • Around the mouth: Press your lips together tightly. (Check your face for tension. You just want to use your lips.)
  • Back of the neck: Press the back of your head against the floor or chair.
  • Front of the neck: Touch your chin to your chest. (Try not to create tension in your neck and head.)
  • Shoulders: Shrug them (raise toward your ears).
  • Biceps and upper arms: Clench your hands into fists, bend your arms at the elbows, and flex your biceps.
  • Wrists and forearms: Extend them and bend your hands back at the wrist.
  • Hands: Clench them.
  • Chest: Take a deep breath and hold it for 4 to 10 seconds.
  • Back: Arch your back up and away from the floor or chair.
  • Stomach: Suck it into a tight knot. (Check your chest and stomach for tension.)
  • Hips and buttocks: Press your buttocks together tightly.
  • Thighs: Clench them hard.
  • Lower legs: Point your toes toward your face. Then point your toes away, and curl them downward at the same time. (Check the area from your waist down for tension.)

These four techniques are proven to help you fall asleep faster.

It’s important to identify your ideal sleep timings and design your ideal bedtime routine to promote sleep and help you prioritize it every day.

Sleep is the magic pill that can make a massive difference in your life. Don’t mess with it!
Have a great sleep!

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