How to fall asleep within minutes

If you have trouble sleeping, you should read this exceedingly short article about how to fall asleep in two minutes. It’s used by soldiers in non-ideal sleep conditions. Here’s my summary:

  1. Relax your facial muscles. (There’s a lot. Pay particular attention to the occipitofrontalis.)
  2. Relax your shoulders. (This means that they won’t be anywhere near your ears.)
  3. Relax your arms, one side at a time.
  4. Exhale.
  5. Relax your legs, one side at a time.
  6. Spend 10 seconds thinking about lying on something that rocks back and forth. The rhythmic motion is key. The article proposes a canoe or a hammock.
  7. Alternatively, you can spend 10 seconds thinking “don’t think” repetitively. This is effective because you can process only one thought at a time. (Multitasking is a myth. Some people are able to switch mental tasks more quickly than others, but thinking different thoughts simultaneously does not occur.)

As with anything, this takes practice. Keep at it, and let me know about your experience in the comments below or at your next appointment. What type of imagery do you use to fall asleep? What thoughts do you think?

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