How to sleep faster
Learn to fall asleep much faster with this meditation routine created by the military.
Do you need to fall asleep fast? This relaxation technique created in the mid-century at the United States Navy’s pre-flight school is supposed to work in a matter of minutes.
It may not be a magic solution, but it seems like a great way to relax your body and mind.
Members of the United States Navy Seal have extreme sleep discipline.
The most important thing, as described in the book Relax and Win, is to relax your body, part by part, and then try to clear your mind completely for ten seconds. According to the book:
Relaxes the muscles of the face, including the tongue, jaw, and muscles around the eyes.
Drop your shoulders as low as you can. Next thing you know, relax your arm and forearm on one side and then the other.
Breathe in and relax your chest. Finally, relax your legs, first your thighs and then your calves.
A minute to think
Spend about a minute and a half going over this list, completely relaxing every part of your body, and then try to clear your mind for ten seconds.
As mentioned in Art of Manliness, the creator of the program, Bud Winter, recommends choosing one of these mental images to achieve this:
To be lying in a canoe on a calm lake, and that there is nothing around you but blue sky above you.
Snuggling up in a black velvet hammock in a completely dark room.
Say”don’t think, don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” over and over again for ten seconds.
Your preferred sleeping position and pillow greatly influence your posture and possible sleeping position….
If it sounds familiar, it’s because a similar sequence (relaxing the body part by part) is the basis of almost every sleep meditation routine there is, but does it work? It almost certainly is.
So, is this trick really the best way or the fastest way to fall asleep? Today’s U.S. Air Force website has a lot of sleep recommendations, not to mention a specific two-minute routine like this one.
Instead, the U.S. Army says,”The essential thing about good sleep is doing what works best for you. There is no magic formula beyond listening to your body.
For more tips to help you sleep better, check out these tricks:
- Sleeping environment
- Eliminates blue light: Blue light from the screens can interfere with melatonin, an essential chemical in sleep.
- Stay cool: your body loses heat while you sleep. Keep the temperature low (about 18 degrees) to help your body cool down and sleep.
- Blocks the light: The absence of light tells your body it’s time to go to sleep. Close the curtains and turn off all the lights.
- Get musical: Music from 60 to 80 bpm can help you sleep.
- Do the cleaning: a messy room is a proven cause of sleep distraction.
Hide your watch: watching time go by when you can’t sleep causes anxiety, which slows down fatigue.
Write: Keeping a record of your feelings can help you fall asleep.
Use your imagination: Studies show that imagining a pleasant place can help you relax and sleep.
Breathe: Long breaths reduce your heart rate, which is essential for falling asleep.
Use reverse psychology: In one study, participants who tried to fall asleep fell asleep faster.
- Get up: Experts suggest getting out of bed and distracted, rather than focusing on insomnia.
- Practice yoga: A little yoga before going to bed can help you sleep. To maximize the effects, stretch with the lights off.
- Tight and relaxed: Tightening and relaxing every muscle in your body can help you fall asleep.
- Press: Press between your eyebrows for half a minute. You can do the same thing between your big toe and the second toe.
Sunbathe: Exposure to sunlight during the day can help you fall asleep at night.
Keep your hands and feet warm: Allowing your body to cool down helps you fall asleep. A heat source in your feet opens up the blood vessels, helping the heat escape.
Take a hot bath: A hot shower before you go to bed can help you sleep faster. Give your body time to cool down a little.
Use cold water: Splashing cold water on your face lowers blood pressure and heart rate, which helps sleep.
Use oils: Essential oils such as lavender stimulate deep, slow sleep, which is essential for feeling rested. Eat! Magnesium-rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, can induce sleep.
Cool your room
According to Harvard Medical School, the drop in our body temperature when we fall asleep helps to regulate the biological clock.
Therefore, and following the logic of this scientific data, a comfortable, dark room with a temperature of between 15º and 19º C would be ideal for a good rest.
There are many tricks on the Internet to help you fall asleep quickly, but there is one that stands out.
It is called the”4-7-8″ technique and is a super simple exercise that has been disseminated by Dr. Andrew Weil, a specialist in integrative and holistic medicine, and author of several best sellers of personal growth.
Although the initial theory is that the combination of seconds allows you to receive more oxygen than normal and that makes you relax, what we can be sure of is that when we breathe deeply and calmly our whole body relaxes and we begin to disconnect.
The same creator of the method “4-7-8-8” recommends practicing this trick for a month at a time, as this way we will be able to master it perfectly.
In addition, it is a relaxation technique that can be applied at any time of the day if we are too stressed or accelerated.
Good habits for better sleep
Always keep to a routine and try to go to sleep at the same time each day.
Foods containing tryptophan help you relax: milk, banana, pineapple, eggs, chicken…
After dinner, forget about your cell phone and any screen. The alarm clock, better with batteries.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, don’t look at the time and don’t wander around in bed. Read for a while, for example.
Try to keep your room warm.
Don’t take off your sleeping socks.
A study published in Nature by Swiss researchers argues that warm hands and feet are the best predictors of fast sleep.
In the experiment, the participants slept with a hot water bottle on their feet, which caused the blood vessels on the surface of the skin to dilate.
This causes an increase in the temperature of the extremities, but a decrease in the trunk and main organs, thus stimulating the production of melatonin.
Wash your face with very cold water
If you are very anxious for any reason, dipping your face in ice water for 30 seconds will activate the mammalian immersion reflex.
Cold water contact with the face causes an immediate drop in heart rate and blood pressure.
This particular reflection of aquatic mammals, but also present in waterfowl and other mammals, including humans, allows us to stay longer underwater, optimizing oxygen consumption.
As we have already said, the decrease in heart rate predisposes our body to sleep.
And finally, a little romance. Well, this advice really has nothing to do with a romantic dinner, but if you have a partner he or she will surely appreciate this gesture on your part. The less exposure to artificial light before sleeping, the better.
It’s as simple as that. Some parents ask me if the iPad or the consoles are bad for the kids and I always tell them the same thing: in short, no, but before going to sleep out little screens.
Numerous Harvard Health publications show that this type of light suppresses the production of melatonin, especially from LED displays and lamps.
A great book I recommend is this.