We depend upon our military to be well-rested, alert, and ready for action. So when they only have so long before they have to wake up at 0500, they can’t afford to spend that time tossing and turning in their bunks, and they need methods to help them sleep better.
Of course, you shouldn’t have to spend your nights restlessly counting sheep or staring up at the ceiling either.
But what if there was a guaranteed method to help you fall asleep fast? Like, in two minutes flat, fast.
What Is the Military Sleep Method?
Whether you’re trying to ignore the chaos of the battlefield or struggling to sleep through the sounds of noisy neighbors, the highway, or sirens – sleep is sleep. And if you don’t wake up the next day feeling refreshed and clear-headed, the resulting sour mood and decreased brain function can have drastic effects on your day.
Did you know that 37 percent of civilians and 76 percent of military personnel get less than the seven to nine recommended hours of sleep each night? On average, 60 percent of military members actually get less than six hours of sleep every night, and less than five hours for those who are currently or have previously been deployed. Not to mention, studies have determined that soldiers who receive less than four hours of sleep a night are 15 percent to 25 percent less effective in combat.
The “military sleep method” first made an appearance in civilian culture in 1981 thanks to a book titled Relax and Win: Championship Performance by Lloyd Bud Winter. Developed by the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School, the military sleep method was scientifically designed to help you fall asleep at any time of the day and in any distracting conditions – all in two minutes. Even after consuming caffeine.
How to Sleep Better with the Military Sleep Method
While the military sleep method takes around two minutes, it’s those last 10 seconds that really count. After six weeks, the following method has been said to work for 96 percent of the time:
- Focus on relaxing the muscles around your eyes and in your jaw and letting your tongue become heavy.
- Take a moment to let your shoulders relax and fall down as far as they’ll go. Then drop one arm at a time.
- Take a deep breath and relax your chest as you breathe out, letting the feeling travel to your thighs and work its way down until your toes are just as relaxed.
- Lastly, but most importantly, take 10 seconds to clear your mind before imagining one of the following two images:
- Lying in a lone canoe, gently swaying on a calm lake as you stare at the crystal clear blue sky above you.
- Nothing but darkness around you as you lie in a soft, black velvet hammock.
- Repeat the words “don’t think” over and over to yourself for 10 seconds.
Let’s Break it Down
Designed for pilots who needed to fall asleep while sitting up, the military sleep method should work even better for anyone who has a soft bed or couch to lie on. But just because military personnel are trained on less sleep, that doesn’t mean they don’t actually need the same amount of sleep as anyone else.
Being able to turn your mind off and release the lingering tension from your muscles could be all that stands between you and a restful night’s sleep. If you’ve never woken up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, the military sleep method may be just what you need.
While the steps detailed above may sound simple, working on relaxing your face alone involves calming and weighing down the 43 muscles in your face. By starting with the muscles in your eyes, jaw, and tongue, you signal to the rest of your body that it’s time to shut down. It may feel like the muscles in your face are succumbing to gravity, stretching your cheeks down to your pillow, but that’s a good sign that your muscles are truly relaxed.
Once that’s done, it’s time to move down your body and let go of the day’s tension that you usually carry in your shoulders. Do your best to let them fall, which can be harder when you’re not sitting up in a chair. This might help stretch out the muscles in your neck as well. Next, start with your dominant arm and focus on loosening it so it drops and lies like dead weight at your side, then repeat this with your other arm.
Now take a deep breath and slowly let it out. While you’re doing this, you should focus on weight being lifted from your chest and allowing the feeling to travel down your body. Once you reach your legs, you’ll want to relax them one at a time as well, then move to your feet. If done right, it can almost feel as if your limbs have sunk into the mattress beneath you and disappeared.
If you have trouble loosening and relaxing any of your muscles, it can help to focus on each of them one at a time and tense them for a few seconds before releasing the tension.
Unfortunately, the last step can also be the most difficult. Whether it’s the everyday stress keeping you from falling asleep or the commotion that goes on outside every night, many things can get in the way of learning how to quiet your mind. Like anything else, it takes time and practice to learn to slow, then ignore your racing thoughts. Focusing on holding a single unmoving image in your head allows your body to stay relaxed and distracts your mind from any errant thoughts.
The military sleep method really depends upon those final 10 seconds in which your body and mind are all but stopped in time to shift yourself into unconsciousness.
What if the Military Sleep Method Doesn’t Work for You?
Like we said above, sometimes quieting your mind is a lot easier said than done – which is why we recommend pairing your military sleep method practice with CBD for sleep. Our CBD oil for sleep is specially designed with CBD and melatonin with soothing herbs to help relax your body and mind and allow you to drift off peacefully at night.
While “banking” sleep from time to time is an option for some, not everyone can afford to bounce their sleep schedule from nine hours to four and back again. As such, banking sleep can really only be seen as a short-term solution. Maintaining a consistent circadian rhythm is the only sure-fire way to see lasting results.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
- Increased irritability and poor mood
- Slower reaction times
- Decreased or sudden lack of motivation
- Impaired concentration
- Daytime drowsiness
- Impaired judgment
CBD For Sleep
Whether you’re a civilian or active or retired military personnel, taking CBD oil for sleep could be just what you need to help relax your body and shut off your brain at night. Although taking CBD for sleep is a good step for maintaining regular sleep patterns, combining it with the military sleep method can set you up to fall asleep fast and get a full, restful night’s sleep as well.
Gummies, tinctures, and softgels are all great options when it comes to choosing CBD for sleep. Deciding which product is right for you comes down to your personal preference and timing – how much time you have before you go to sleep and how long you want the benefits to last. The only other thing you need to decide is which CBD concentration makes the most sense for you.
CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which are responsible for maintaining your body’s natural homeostasis, including your sleep-wake homeostasis. This reaction means that regularly using CBD for sleep can help you maintain balance, circadian rhythm, and other natural cycles.
By combining Superior Broad Spectrum hemp extracts with melatonin, relaxing herbs, and a range of terpenes, we’ve made sure that our CBD for sleep has everything you need to get a restful night’s sleep so that you wake up feeling refreshed. Especially when used in combination with the military sleep method and other healthy sleep routines.
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