Feeling restless? Follow these tips.
Friday, March 27, 2020
More than 50% of adults experience insomnia. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep isn't just annoying; it's deadly.
Sleep deprivation increases your risk for accidents, heart attack, diabetes, and other scary maladies. If you're not getting at least seven hours of sleep each night, you may want to invest in this sleep trick.
The Military's Trick for Falling Asleep in 2 Minutes or Less
Sleep-deprived fighter pilots were making costly mistakes during World War II. In response, the military devised a way to help the pilots get more sleep. Bud Winter described this sleep trick in his book about sports performance entitled, “Relax and Win.”
Here's how it works:
1. Relax all the muscles in your face.
Tension in the 43 muscles that make up your face can send signals to your brain that you shouldn't relax into sleep.
2. Drop your shoulders.
We tend to carry the day’s tension in our shoulders. Unburden yourself by consciously lowering your shoulders before moving on to relax each arm, one at a time.
3. Relax your torso.
Breathe in and exhale all the air out of your lungs at least once before resuming your normal breathing.
4. Relax your lower body.
Relax your legs, starting with your thighs and ending with your toes.
5. Clear your mind.
You can either repeat the phrase "don't think, don't think, don't think," or you can picture one of two images in your mind. The first image consists of you lying in a hammock in a dark room. The second involves lying in a canoe that's floating on a lake as you gaze at the sky.
This trick took the military six weeks to master. But, after six weeks, 96% could successfully fall asleep in 120 seconds or less.
More Tips to Help You Get More Sleep
If you hope to fall asleep in two minutes or less the first time you try this trick, you will probably be disappointed. Remember, it took six weeks for soldiers to master the process. However, if you're willing to spend a month and a half trying, then odds are it will work for you too.
To speed up the process, here are a few additional tips to help you catch more ZZZs:
1. Take a cold shower before bed or turn the water to cool after a warm shower.
If cold showers aren't your thing, the National Sleep Foundation suggests waiting one hour before hitting the hay after a hot shower to let your body cool down.
2. Minimize the amount of light in your bedroom.
Darkness cues our brain to get ready for sleep. Try a pair of blackout curtains to minimize the amount of light in your room.
3. Do something relaxing to transition from evening to bedtime.
Mindless repetitive activities like sewing, depilling your clothes, and coloring can make it easier to fall asleep. Instead of watching TV, depill your sweaters. You'll get better sleep, and your shirts will look brand new.
4. Put away electronics an hour before bedtime.
It's no secret that the light emitted from our phones and electronic devices disrupts sleep. So, put them away before bedtime. Keep them in another room and use an alarm clock.
5. Sleep in a chillier room.
Adults sleep best in a room set to between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Crank the thermostat down to enjoy better sleep.
Quality Sleep Doesn't Happen Overnight
It takes practice to shut off the mind and fall asleep. But don't give up. Getting more sleep can save your life.
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