If it\'s good enough for the military...

If it's good enough for the military...IMAGE: Getty

Not being able to go to sleep has to be up there with life’s most annoying problems. You can be beyond-tired and head to bed at a decent hour and still be lying awake ages later.

We’re fans of brain dumping at bedtime and making sure it’s the right sleep-suitable environment but this re-discovered trick sounds pretty irresistible. Almost instant snooze time!

It’s a technique the US military uses to get pilots to sleep – fast – when they needed shut eye. Tiredness can be dangerous ( The Road Safety Authority says driver fatigue is a factor in one in five driver deaths in Ireland), as well as harmful to your mental and physical health.

First referenced in a 1980’s book by coach Bud Winter, this little routine resurfaced recently and its promise of sweet, sweet, sleep is going viral. It reportedly has a 96 percent success rate after six weeks of practice. (We’re starting tonight!)

So what do you do?

1) Relax the muscles in your face – that means your tongue, jaw and the muscles in the eye area

2) Drop your shoulders as low as you can then relax your upper and lower arm on one side, then the other

3) Breathe out, relax your chest and then your legs, moving from your thighs to your lower legs

After ten seconds in this relaxed state you need to clear your mind – Bud’s book offers a couple of tips on this:

a) Picture yourself lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but blue sky above you

b) Picture yourself snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room

c) Repeat the words ‘don’t think, don’t think, don’t think’ in your mind for ten seconds

Aaaaand, that should be it! 

READ: Health Hack: Get Some Sleep

READ: 5 Things Your Body Is Trying To Tell You

Health Hack: Three Steps To Super Sleep