The National Institutes of Health have said that about 50% of US adults are having problems falling asleep. But you needn’t be worried about losing more sleep by getting anxious and worried about not being able to fall asleep instantly. Or should I say, not being able to wander in the wonderland as we would love to see ourselves, shall we say – in 10 seconds, or 30 seconds or maybe within the 5 minutes mark!
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have conducted a study recently, and the study has found out that one in every four persons in America develops insomnia every year. The good thing is about 75% of them recover from having continuous sleep disorders or chronic insomnia. Can you see now why I have told you not to be worried?
How Can I Go To Sleep Instantly?
You literally can improve the time you usually take to hit the ‘snooze’ mode. There are a few well-researched ideas to implement, and some other changes in the surrounding environs you are living in may do the trick. Please carry on reading to learn something about them.
1. The Military Method
This is a fantastic military technique developed by the US Army during World War 2 to help the soldiers fall asleep within 2 minutes. The idea was to help them doze off in situations that were anything but conducive to sleep, like in the middle of deafening gunshots.
The idea was elaborated in the book Relax and Win: Championship Performance, 1981, and the concept is believed to have been developed by army chiefs so that the soldiers wouldn’t commit any life-threatening mistake for exhaustion caused by lack of sleep.
Here’S How You Can Apply It:
- First, the muscles in your face, including the tongue, jaw, and the muscles around the eyes should be relaxed.
- Then you need to drop your shoulders as far down as you physically can followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time.
- After getting the upper body ready, you need to breathe out, so that your chest would be relaxed.
- Get the same effect for your legs; you should start from the thighs and work your way down.
- When you complete all the physical drills, spend 10 seconds to make your mind clear before contemplating about one of the three ( whichever works for you) following views:
a) You are resting in a canoe on a tranquil lake with a clear blue sky above you.
b) You are lying in a soft and very dark colored velvet hammock in a pitch-black room.
c)You keep saying, “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” for 10 seconds.
The experts say that the technique works for 96 percent of people if they practice it for six weeks. And when you become proficient at it, you should fall asleep within 10 seconds of starting the process.
2. The Breathing Mode: 4-7-8
It’s easy, it’s simple, and it doesn’t cost anything. All you have got to do is just do it regularly.
I am sure people with problems falling asleep fast know all about it. But those who don’t know this powerful method, please read the process carefully:
Here it goes:
- Position your tongue, only its tip, just behind the teeth on the upper front side.
- Next, you have to breathe in, but you need to do it using only the mouth without ever using the nasal path. After taking a breath, make a sound so that you can hear something like ‘whoosh.’
- After that, you have to close your mouth and take the breath in through the nasal way while counting one to four in your mind.
- Then hold your breathing and count one to seven in your mind.
- The last bit is opening your mouth and exhaling all the air out. Again you need to make the gentle noise sounding something like ‘whoosh’ and count up to eight in your mind.
- Just repeat everything a minimum of three times.
This technique can relax you and help you fall asleep quickly. Just one thing you need to make sure of – if you have asthma or COPD, please contact your doctor before practicing the method. The 4-7-8 Breathing Method is supposed to make you fall asleep within 120 seconds if you are new to embracing it.
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
American Physician and Psychologist Edmund Jacobson introduced the idea of PMR circa in the 1930s, which stands for Progressive Muscle Relaxation. In simple terms, it is a relaxation technique that can control stress and anxiety, given that it is used effectively. The idea is based on the tensing and stiffening of one muscle group and immediately preceded by a loosening stage with relinquishing of the stress applied. The simple exercise can be learned by anyone, and it warrants only 10-20 minutes of practice per day.
Most sleep scientists suggest you engage tension and relaxation of the muscle groups at a time in a particular order. Usually, the move begins with the lower limits and ends with the face, abdominal muscles, and chest. This technique is easy to implicate, but make sure you are wearing comfortable clothes, and your bedroom is free from disturbances.
My husband used to practice it after I had tucked the toddlers safely in their cribs. That was a crazy time – we just had had two kids, and after leaving the job, my husband was trying to establish his own little business of making jewelry boxes. And I remembered him being stressed all the time and having trouble falling asleep. But since yours indeed was a student of psychology and knew about PMR, I helped him with the process. Long story short – it worked wonders for him.
So, If You Want To Try The Method For Yourself, Please Go Through The Following Steps:
- Make the bed comfortable. Use the best mattress and the best pillow within your economic range. Even if you are currently sharing, get the best bunk bed mattress you can afford.
- Start by a deep inhalation. Then contract one muscle group (say, your lower thighs) for 5-10 seconds, then breathe out and let go of the tension abruptly in that muscle group.
- Award yourself 10-20 seconds to loosen up and then proceed to the next muscle group (for example, your gluteus muscle).
- This bit is significant and depends on your power of imagination – when you release the tension, try to visualize the changes you experience when the muscle group is being relaxed. A more meaningful way of saying it would be imagining your stress and anxiety are spilling forth out of your body.
- Complete the whole process for another muscle group. It would be best to gradually work your way up the body shortening and loosening different muscle groups.
It is said that frequent practice and performing the steps accurately can help a person fall asleep within 60-120 seconds.
If you still find yourself tossing and turning and struggling to get the much-needed sleep, you probably have rudimentary blockages that you need to get rid of from your whole system. Again, without getting stressed, try the following tips to get straightened out to try the tips mentioned above:
4. Instead Of Falling Asleep, Rather Try To Stay Awake:
In psychology, It is defined as paradoxical intention – trying to stay awake often makes you fall asleep faster. Research has found that paradoxical intention sometimes can act as a more fruitful method than traditional breathing practices.
5. Visualize Yourself Roaming In A Serene And Calm Place:
It’s simple and effective – just recollect your actual visit in a place of tranquility. And do it again while lying in your bed. Researchers of The University of Oxford found that ‘imagery distraction’ helps people fall asleep faster. It’s pretty basic and straightforward – just imagine the visit you made to the country last year to see your distant cousins – the sounds that can be heard in a soundless environment, the birds chirping, leaves dropping, the rural zigzag ways that have bright sunlight and no vehicles. Or it can be the waterfall you went to see with your friends after a little hiking expedition. Your imagination only limits you.
6. Enjoy A Warm Shower Before Going To Bed:
A shower an hour before you usually go to bed and then immerse yourself in the fresh air temperature of your room will let your body temperature drop hastily. Studies show that rapid temperature decrease prepares your body to fall asleep faster.
I sincerely hope the above techniques and tips will help you fall asleep instantly – within the range from 10 seconds to 120 seconds. A few techniques might require you to practice a bit; others might give you instant results. The techniques that call for more widespread practice will be embedded as a habit and serve you for the rest of your lives. Others will help you get the nights over and keep you fresh and energized.
So, go for whichever you like best and enjoy the sleep that you so very deserve!