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The Technique Soldiers Use To Sleep In The Most Uncomfortable Situations

The Technique Soldiers Use To Sleep In The Most Uncomfortable Situations

Turns out that sleeping in a warzone isn’t as comfortable as it sounds

Everybody knows that soldiers have to endure hardships when they're in active service, and shows like SAS: Who Dares Wins have shown us that not everyone has got what it takes to serve in the military.

Everyone in the UK is complaining about being able to get to sleep during this hellish heatwave, but our brief suffering is nothing compared to the conditions that soldiers have to get used to in order to get some sleep when they've been deployed overseas.

As it happens, if you want to turn into one of those annoying people who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, then the US military has got some advice for you.


The secret to getting a good night's sleep, according to the US army, is revealed in these short steps:

  1. Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes
  2. Drop your shoulders as far down as they'll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time
  3. Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down

You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:

  • You're lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you
  • You're lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
  • You say "don't think, don't think, don't think" to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.

And that's it!

There you have it. The four easy steps taken by soldiers to ensure they can avoid sleep deprivation in even the most stressful of situations. It sounds far too easy to be true, but apparently it's effective in more than 95 percent of people with six weeks of practice.


Michael Grothaus of Fast Company decided to try out the fabled military technique to see if it was everything it was cracked up to be. He said: "I tried this technique every night in the first week and nothing happened. But then something changed starting at around the ninth night.

"I can confidently say this decades-old technique worked for me."

In that case, none of us really have any right complaining about having to get some sleep during a heatwave, given that it's still more comfortable than what soldiers have to ensure on a nightly basis.

And if this technique doesn't work for you on a hot summer's eve, then just do what the rest of us do: kick your leg out from under the covers, and then spend tomorrow at work complaining about how you got no sleep. Sorted.

Copy: Tom Bedworth

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Interesting, heatwave, Sleep