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Try This Military Method to Fall Asleep (Only 7 Steps!)

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

military method to fall asleep

There are many practical things that you can learn from the military, such as making your bed neatly and rolling your clothes to save space.

But did you know that the military can also teach you ways to fall asleep? Yes, you read that right!

There is a military sleep method and a military technique to fall asleep. We will cover it in this article on the ultimate military method to fall asleep.

If you are struggling to fall asleep or want to go to sleep faster, the information here may be able to help you. So, read until the very end to ensure you do not miss any details.

Nothing is more frustrating than tossing and turning in bed at night, and knowing your time to sleep is slinking away. The military knows this. So, they have taught service members a way to fall asleep quickly.

There are many names for this, like military breathing technique for sleep, Navy’s eye exercise for sleep, and Army sleeping technique. But really, it is all the same method. It is used across branches: the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard. You can use the method to fall asleep, too! We will show you the steps below.

  • Step 1: Make yourself comfortable
  • Step 2: Relax your face
  • Step 3: Drop your shoulders
  • Step 4: Relax your neck
  • Step 5: Relax your arms
  • Step 6: Limp your legs
  • Step 7: Clear your mind

Continue reading for detailed elaboration of each step.

Can’t Sleep? Use the Military Way to Fall Asleep Fast! – 7 Steps

This technique to fall asleep was described in the book “Relax and Win: Championship Performance.” It was written by Lloyd Bud Winter and published in 1981.

But recently, it has become viral through a Tik Tok video.

What to Prepare:

There is really nothing you must prepare aside from yourself and a place to sleep.

What to Do:

Here are the steps that you need to take. There are 7 in total.

Step 1: Make yourself comfortable

Regardless of where you are, the first step is to get comfortable. This includes ensuring a comfy position.

Step 2: Relax your face


You may be surprised, but your face has more than 40 muscles, and they send signals to your body. When they are all fully relaxed, your body understands that everything is okay and it is safe to sleep. So, to relax your facial muscles:

  • Start by closing your eyes
  • Let your forehead and cheeks go slack
  • Unclench your jaw and tongue

Once all these parts feel as though they have gone limp, your breathing will also naturally slow down and deepen.

Step 3: Drop your shoulders 

When you begin to drop your shoulders, they will get heavy. But do not worry, proceed and just let them go completely. It will feel like they are falling down toward your feet. In response, make sure you are not resisting or tensing your shoulders up.

Step 4: Relax your neck

Next, relax your neck and allow it to limp. Draw in a deep breath and let it out slowly. This should release any tension that remains.

Step 5: Relax your arms 


Now, onto your arms. Spread them to your sides and like your shoulders, feel them become heavy as you relax. You can start on your dominant arm side; meaning, if you are right-handed, let your right bicep do it first, then the left. Both of your arms should go slack ultimately.

Note: It helps to imagine a warm sensation traveling through your body, starting from your head to your arms and fingers.

Step 6: Limp your legs

Right after your upper body, let your lower body get heavy and limp to a slack. Again, you should let your dominant side go first. From your quad to your calf, then ankle, and finally, foot. Then repeat the process for your other side (the non-dominant side).

Note: You can continue imagining the warm sensation traveling from your fingers to your toes.

Step 7: Clear your mind (10 Seconds)

Once your body is fully relaxed, move on to your mind. Let it clear for 10 seconds. If thoughts come, try to let them pass, and do not dwell on them.

In particular, you need to avoid thoughts that involve movements, such as “Did I turn off the stove?” and “I need to get some groceries tomorrow,” because these can trigger involuntary movements in your body. Here are some tips to go about this “clearing of the mind”:

  • Set yourself on a warm Spring day. You are at the bottom of a canoe, looking up at a blue sky filled with floating clouds. Let the calm water of the serene lake pass underneath you slowly. Hold onto this picture for 10 seconds.
  • Set yourself in a hammock. It is big and black. So, regardless of where you turn, it is black. Keep this picture in mind for 10 seconds.
  • Recite “don’t think” over and over in your mind and filter out any other thoughts for 10 seconds.

Note: Some experienced “sleepers” on Reddit recommend starting the 10-second over when you’ve let other thoughts intrude.

That’s it! Only 7 steps. You should be able to do all this in 2 minutes.

If you want, you can watch Justin Agustin go over the entire procedure again in this Youtube video.

Does the Military Method for Sleep Work?

Some people claim that mastering this military trick has allowed them to sleep in two minutes and many attested that they were able to fall asleep in 10 seconds!

However, please do not assume that you can get it right on the first try. This military sleeping hack, while effective, is not an instantaneous spell. If you want to fall asleep when you can’t or sleep faster using this technique, you will need to practice. So, try this starting tonight!

Take it slow and have faith. Do not be bummed and give up if you cannot achieve the desired results right away. Many people who have tried this military sleeping technique took up to 6 weeks to master and turn it into a habit. The key is consistent practice!

According to various sites, it is effective for about 96% of people within 6 weeks.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind


Roughly 4 to 6 hours before going to sleep, consider doing the following:

  • You should steer clear of caffeine.
  • It would help if you cooled the room temperature.
    • Consider setting it between 65 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You should eat a slow-digesting protein snack with low sugar content. For example:
    • Greek Yogurt (Plain + Whole Milk)
    • Quinoa
    • Cottage Cheese
    • Nakee Butter’s Peanut Butter
  • You should take a warm shower. Let the water pour over your head and face for 1 to 2 minutes, at least.
  • You should turn off all of your electronics, such as TVs, e-readers, phones, laptops, etc.
  • You should dim the lights gradually.
  • You should write a list of things you must do tomorrow.
    • This makes sure that you will not “accidentally” think about the things you must do while you are practicing the military sleeping technique.

Consider getting a few extra ‘sleep-support’ items, such as bedding, air filter, sleepwear, binaural music, black-out shades, and white-noise machines:

  • Bedding: This includes sheets and pillowcases. Good options include those made of bamboo or hemp. Cotton is usually not as breathable and can trap heat. Also, sheer fabrics like silk, satin, and polyester are not recommended.
    • LuxClub Set of 6 PC Bamboo Sheets With Deep Pockets 16″
    • ABRIPEDIC White Bamboo Sheets With 600 Thread Count
    • LINENWALAS Set of 4 Organic Bamboo Sheets PC 100% Natural
  • Air Filter: Good air quality ensures a night of good sleep. This is especially important if you have pets. You do not need to spend a fortune on an air filter. There are plenty of affordable options in the market. Browse both physical stores and online or e-commerce stores.
    • LEVOIT White Air Purifier for the Home
    • NUWAVE OxyPure Smart Air Purifier for Home & Extra Large Room up to 1,200 Sq. Ft
    • Germ Guardian AC4825 22” 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier for the Home
  • Sleepwear: Changing into pajamas or sleepwear actually plays a role. It is like a prompter for the brain to prepare for sleep. You should do this 1 hour before you go to bed. Like the bedding, your pajamas should be made of bamboo or help. The most critical aspect is that they are breathable, comfy, and soft.
  • Binaural Music: This can be understood as music for the brain. Its specific name is actually delta wave binaural tones. Essentially, it is soothing music that sets the brain to a state that is ready to receive sleep.
  • Black-Out Shades: As the name indicates, these are black They block light from coming through the windows and into your room. Light can tell your brain to wake up. So, these shades can help convince your brain and enable you to fall asleep better. They are relatively cheap and easy to find in the market. As such, you do not have to worry about draining your wallet.
    • Redi Shade Inc 1617201 Original Pleated Blackout Paper Shade
    • Estilo Pleated Paper Black Out Shades for Indoor Windows
    • Yoolax Motorized Smart Remote Control Black Shades Compatible with Google Home
  • White-Noise Machine: These mask the noises from your environment. As a result, they can help you fall asleep and make sure you stay asleep (prevent your sleep from being disturbed). Invest in one and snooze away! If you do your research properly, there are plenty of affordable options in the market if you do your research properly.
    • Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Premium White Noise Sound Machine
    • Marpac Dohm Classic The Original White Noise Machine
    • Dreamegg Rechargeable for On-The-Go Travel White Noise Machine


Now that you have read through the 7 steps of the military method to fall asleep, you can put them into practice. Try it and let us know how it goes. If you have tried this before or are currently using it to get a good night’s sleep, please share your experience with us (and other readers) in the comments. Leave any tips and tricks that you have, as well. We would love to hear from you.

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