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Want to Fall Asleep Faster? Military Pilots Use This Hack to Sleep Anywhere in 2 Minutes or Less

"Teaching" Sleep

During WWII, the U.S. military realized that if fighter pilots didn't get sleep, their poor decisions had dire consequences. Their mishaps included errors that resulted in their being shot down--or shooting down guys on their own side.

Helping combat pilots get good rest fast became a priority. So the military brought in naval ensign Bud Winter to develop and test a scientifically designed method of "teaching" sleep. After just six weeks of practice, 96 percent of pilots could fall asleep within 120 seconds.

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Want to Fall Asleep Faster? Military Pilots Use This Hack to Sleep Anywhere in 2 Minutes or Less

Want to Fall Asleep Faster? Military Pilots Use This Hack to Sleep Anywhere in 2 Minutes or Less

https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/want-to-fall-asleep-faster-combat-pilots-use-this-hack-to-get-to-sleep-in-2-minutes-or-less.html

inc.com

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Key Ideas

Combat Pilots Sleeping Hacks

  • Get into a comfortable position, wherever you are, like a bed, or a couch.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax your facial muscles, all of them, as it sends a signal to the brain that all is well. This makes your breathing slow and deep. 
  • Drop your shoulders, and let them completely loose. 
  • Feel your legs go limp, sinking and getting heavier, both of them, one by one.
  • Turn off your brain for 10 seconds, just like rebooting an iPhone.
  • Avoid thoughts at all costs. It is just 10 seconds, so anything from visualizing something or chanting will do. If you drift towards thoughts, you will start to activate your muscles automatically.

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

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Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a c...

Abdominal Breathing Technique
How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure.

When it works best: Before an exam, or any stressful event.

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or whenever it’s time to focus or energize.

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Avoid Checking Your Phone
When you wake up, don’t start your day by looking at your phone.

Nothing ramps up stress-hormone cortisol like a barrage of emails, alerts, and text messages -- or scrolling through othe...

Tech time out
Take a daily “tech time out” to improve your focus and reduce stress.

Moderate screen time throughout your day by turning off unnecessary notifications on your phone and carving out space to totally disconnect from your device.

Schedule strategic worry time

Clock a time out (20 to 30 minutes) during the day to jot down what’s causing you anxiety.

Allow yourself to feel your emotions without trying to change them in any way. Then toss the document into the dustbin -- that’ll reinforce the feeling that you’ve flushed those thoughts out of your system.

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