The Military Method

How to sleep the way soldiers are taught – the art of sleeping anywhere or no matter what is going on! And yes the above photo is slightly tongue in cheek – I don’t really want to post pictures of the military…

A friend of mine recently mentioned that he’d learnt to use The Military Method decades ago as a way of falling asleep very quickly, I’d never heard of it so I looked up some information to include in a post. An astonishingly high number of people experience sleep difficulties and increasingly so this year, partly as a response to the worry of Covid and the effects of lockdown but also I think because we are going through enormous energetic shifts on the planet. Which is something I will write more about in upcoming posts.

As to this post, and this odd little method, as it’s not in the section on sleeping well of my “Why Does Stress Make Us Ill?” book I thought it needed to be included somewhere. There is also a recording at the foot of this post which is a relaxing journey to listen to in bed, aimed at helping you to sleep more deeply.

For more info about and to purchase a copy of the book please click here :

About the Military Method

The military method is how soldiers are taught to fall asleep very quickly no matter what is going on around them. Even if bombs are dropping within hearing distance or despite the fact you may be sleeping in cramped conditions with many others in the same room. Here are the instructions:

  • Relax the entire face, allow the jaw and mouth to let go
  • Drop and relax shoulders, arms loose at the sides.
  • Exhale fully, relaxing the chest.
  • Relax the legs, down through the thighs, calves and feet.
  • Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene.
  • If this doesn’t work, repeat “don’t think” for 10 seconds.
  • Within 10 seconds you should be asleep.

As you can see it’s very simple. For me it works because first of all the intention is there, particularly in the army where, dare I say it people who are naturally predisposed to following orders without question will be given a set of instructions which they will naturally follow. For the non military person if an internal choice is made very strongly to do something, decide then that your word is sovereign and that the most important thing in your life right now is sleeping well you are beginning the process of self mastery over your body and mind. You can then speak to yourself, for instance – “I am going to perform some simple instructions, I will be asleep in minutes. And so it is.” As to the wording of “don’t think”, if this goes against the grain of only using positively worded affirmations or instructions then simply substitute it with, for instance “let go” or “empty mind”. The important thing is to focus on a couple of words to the exclusion of all else, to quell the habit of allowing thoughts and over thinking to keep you awake.

Here is a peaceful journey with relaxing sounds to help you drift of to sleep, in a less militaristic way perhaps!

Or you can download the mp3 version below, to download simply click on the 3 vertical dots and click on the download arrow.

Downloadable mp3

Published by Catherine Strang

I have been passionate about health and well-being since my teenage years when a health problem prompted me to use diet to regain my strength. By the end of the 80's I was working as a chef in a Rudolf Steiner based vegetarian cafe in Edinburgh and this led me (through working with some very alternatives types!) to pursue a career as a massage therapist and healer, which I began in 1990. Since then I have trained in many different forms of therapy, including Hypnotherapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), EmoTrance (a form of deeply mindful emotional processing). I retired completely from bodywork in 2017 and at present only occasionally work as a 1:1 therapist. My focus now is teaching and I have been doing this since 1991 when I taught Aromatherapy and massage courses for the Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme, by the time I finished these courses in 2000 I had also taught aromatherapy/massage sessions across Edinburgh in Community Centers, Health Projects and a variety of other non profit organisations. By this time however I was beginning to develop Stress Management and later Meditation and personal development courses/sessions and was including corporate settings as well as private teaching events. The list of places I have taught in is extensive and over the past three decades I've no doubt forgotten quite a few! I am dedicated to personal development, health and meditation and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to each session. I am well aware of the struggles, often hidden from work colleagues, that many go through during the course of their life and endeavor always to be kind, non-intrusive and in a work setting discreet.

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