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Falling asleep is a sore spot for many of us. Tossing and turning – and spending the next day feeling like a walking zombie – is something we all dread. That’s probably why a technique that promises to help you fall asleep in two minutes has gone viral.

The technique was originally described in the book “Relax and Win: Championship Performance” by Lloyd Bud Winter, first published in 1981. But it has recently returned to the spotlight thanks to a viral TikTok video by Justin Agustin , a fitness trainer with over 1.7 million TikTok followers. Her video, which walks you through how to perform the technique, has racked up more than 10 million views since it was posted in January.

What is the Military Sleep Method?

In the video, Agustin says the trick was developed in the military, as a way for soldiers to fall asleep anywhere, anytime. The tactic allows you to “calm your body and relax and systematically shut down every part of your body from head to toe, literally,” he said by following these steps:

  1. Relax: Augustine demonstrates the relaxation of every muscle in the body, starting at the forehead and working down to the toes. “Start by relaxing the muscles in your forehead. Relax your eyes, cheeks, jaws and focus on your breathing. Now get down to your neck and shoulders,” he added. “Make sure your shoulders aren’t tense. Drop them as low as possible and keep your arms loose at your sides, including your hands and fingers. Next, he asks us to imagine a feeling of warmth ranging from top of your head to your fingertips Begin to breathe deeply, relaxing the muscles from your chest down to your feet, then re-imagine that feeling of warmth, but this time from your core down to your toes .
  2. To breathe: Make sure your shoulders and hands stay relaxed and breathe deeply, exhaling slowly.
  3. Clear your mind: “Now while you’re doing this, it’s really important to clear your mind of all stress,” Agustin added, encouraging you to think of two scenarios: lying in a canoe surrounded only by clear lake water or lying in a black velvet hammock in a dark room. “Anytime when you start thinking about something else or start getting distracted, repeat these words for 10 seconds: ‘Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think,'” he said.

Done right, this technique can help you fall asleep faster, but it takes practice. According to Agustino, if you practice this every night for six weeks, you should be able to fall asleep within two minutes of closing your eyes.

RELATED: Can the way you sleep affect your eating habits? A nutritionist intervenes

Can you really train yourself to fall asleep?

This technique may sound too good to be true. But according to Dr. Sanjiv Kothare, sleep specialist and head of pediatric neurology at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York, it is possible to train yourself to fall asleep faster with this technique.

Training your brain to fall asleep faster is “cognitive behavioral therapy and what’s shown in this video is exactly what I do with my patients,” Kothare told TODAY. He said there are two important principles to keep in mind when training your brain to fall asleep.

  • Do not try to fall asleep when you are not tired. Make yourself “physically tired or sleepy,” he said. “Of course, this does not apply to the armed forces who sometimes try to sleep under stress.”
  • Practice sleep restriction. “In a typical patient with insomnia, we say don’t go to bed early and only go to bed to fall asleep,” Kothare said. “Don’t do other activities like reading a book or watching TV, these things are sleep associations and are not good. The bed should only be associated with sleep.

“Once you’re ready to fall asleep, dim the lights so the melatonin starts to rise, close your eyes, breathe through your mouth, focus on your abdomen and do exactly what’s shown in this video. that is, relax your whole body, get a few pleasant thoughts in your mind, imagine the darkness,” Kothare said. a way to replace or calm competing thoughts.

“Eventually you learn to welcome that and hopefully fall asleep,” Kothare said. “It’s a programmed way of thinking. You have to program your brain to relax and over a period of time it will learn to relax.

And you can start seeing the effects even before six weeks.

“Six weeks can be generous… I think in two weeks you’ll start to see the effect,” Kothare said. “But the most important thing is motivation; you want to be motivated to fall asleep. If you do it without motivation, it won’t work.