Falling asleep quickly is something that doesn’t comes quickly or easily to many people. Sleep is
essential for mental and physical health. For those in search of elusive slumber, there are
techniques that can be learned to fall asleep quickly and naturally – and one is based on
military training from World War II.
U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School
The brain tends to go over the day’s events, especially when the body is quiet and at rest.
Falling asleep is a skill that people can practice. Known as sleep meditation, the U.S. Army
reported a 96 percent success rate for soldiers after a 6-week practice period.
The journey to quickly falling asleep begins by optimizing conditions through preparation, prior
to bedtime. Avoid caffeinated beverages, especially coffee, after 2 p.m. Alcohol and large meals
shouldn’t be consumed within 2 hours of bedtime and don’t take daytime naps.
Dark, clean and tidy bedrooms are conducive to sleep. Clear the clutter and keep TVs, phones,
computers, and e-readers out of the bedroom. Consider using light-blocking curtains and
blinds. A sleep mask can be helpful.
Settle into a comfortable position and relax the face and mouth muscles. Drop the shoulders to
release tension in the neck, shoulders and spine. Relax the arms and hands. Breathe in and
exhale while relaxing the chest. Work down the body by relaxing the legs, thighs and calf
muscles. Clear the mind for 10 seconds – this can be the most difficult part for many people,
particularly for individuals with conditions such as ADHD.
There are a number of relaxation methods that focus on breathing techniques, along with
meditation and visualization. Trying to force sleep never works and only succeeds in creating
more sleeplessness and frustration. Some methods work better than others for specific
individuals. It may take people a little time to find the technique that’s most effective for them,
but it’s worth the effort to experience quick and restful sleep.
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