The “military method” to fall asleep fast

Ever thought about how soldiers manage to sleep amidst the stress and danger of a warzone?

The answer is…

It takes practice.

Back in World War II, U.S. Navy pilots used a 6-step method that — allegedly — helped them fall asleep in 120 seconds or less after 6 weeks of practice.

There hasn’t been any modern research to back up that number…

But even so, it’s definitely worth a try because it combines some of the most tried-and-true ways to fall asleep, including:

• Deep breathing
• Progressive muscle relaxation
• Visualization

Here’s how it works…

The Military Method for Falling Asleep Fast

  1. Relax your entire face.
    Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Relax all of your facial muscles, including the muscles around your eyes, mouth, and jaw. Imagine your face feels heavy and let it sink into the pillow.
  2. Drop your shoulders
    Release tension from your shoulders by lowering them away from your ears, then relax your upper arm muscles, and then your lower arms.
  3. Relax your chest and upper back
    Take a deep breath and gently exhale, letting your chest become heavy and relaxed. Feel your back sink into the mattress.
  4. Relax your legs
    Begin with your thighs and feel your muscles grow heavy, and then work your way down to your lower legs and feet.
  5. Clear your mind
    Clear your mind completely for 10 seconds. Imagine a peaceful, beautiful setting. If that doesn’t work, try slowly repeating the phrase “don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.
  6. Practice regularly
    It can take up to 6 weeks to master the progressive relaxation techniques in this method. Over time, your body (and brain!) can start to associate doing these steps with sleep, making it more effective.

If you try this, hit reply and let me know how it goes.

These kinds of techniques can make a huge difference in your overall well-being — but sometimes we all need a little extra help to get on the right track.

So if you keep saying “I’ll start on Monday…

Or if a little slip-up or *cheat day* keeps turning into weeks of poor sleep, poor nutrition, and low energy…

Let’s talk.


Rob Quimby, CPT

Owner, Fitness Lifestyle LLC



Rob is the owner and founder of Fitness Lifestyle Personal Training. He has been training for over thirty-three years; seventeen of those years as a personal trainer helping others reach their goals.