For most of us, getting enough sleep is not a life or death. Sure, we can make bad decisions, but our sleepiness at a marketing meeting tomorrow won’t kill someone. However, during World War II, the U.S. Army quickly acquired […]
For most of us, getting enough sleep is not a life or death. Sure, we can make bad decisions, but our sleepiness at a marketing meeting tomorrow won’t kill someone.
However, during World War II, the U.S. Army quickly acquired the fact that if fighter pilots were not asleep, their poor decisions would have dire consequences. His failures included errors that resulted in his removal, or the removal of the men from his side.
Helping fighter pilots obtain good comfort quickly became a priority.
So the Army brought in the Marine Flag Bud Winter to develop and test a scientifically designed method to “teach” sleep. Winter was previously a successful college football coach who collaborated with a psychology professor in shaping techniques to help athletes relax and excel under pressure.
The relaxation designed by Winter was successful in design: after just six weeks of training, 96 percent of the pilots slept in 120 seconds. Even with distraction like shooting in the background. Even after drinking coffee. So sit down.
If you work with fighter pilots, it will work for you, no matter how much pressure you feel about this meeting tomorrow.
Here’s how to do it:
Get a comfortable position.
Obviously if you’re in bed, that’s not a problem. But if you’re outside, go to the most comfortable position possible (i.e. relax in your seat if you’re in your car; find the most comfortable chair in the meeting room if you’re napping at work).
Relax your face.
This is the key to everything. He has 43 muscles in his face, which is a big part of how his body knows if he’s tired. When you relax your entire face, it sends a physiological signal to your body that everything is fine. It is safe to sleep.
So close your eyes and relax your entire face: forehead, cheeks, tongue and jaw. Let it all go slow. When you do this, you will notice that your breathing naturally begins to be deep and slow.
Now make sure that your eyes are completely relaxed. You have six muscles in the eye socket. I feel like everyone is limping.
Lower your shoulders.
Allow them to weigh themselves, then let them go completely, as if they are falling towards your feet. Let the back of your neck relax and limp. Take a deep breath in and out slowly, removing any remaining tension there (most people store most of the tension in the shoulders, neck, and jaws).
Now your arms: feel heavy and relaxed, starting from your dominant side. If you are left-handed, start with the right head and feel comfortable. If not, squeeze it fully and then let it relax. Repeat the process with your hands.
Let your legs limp
Feel the right spring and get heavier and heavier. Next to the right calf, ankle and foot. Repeat on the other side.
Clear your mind for 10 seconds.
Now that your body has completely relaxed, all you need to sleep soundly is to stop your mind. (This is the time after your iPhone turns off when it takes a few seconds longer to completely turn off.)
What you really want to avoid is any thought that involves movement (“You should pick up the dry cleaning tomorrow”; “Remember to take out the recycling?”). These thoughts actually trigger an involuntary movement in your body. You don’t realize it, but just think of something that causes delicate contractions in certain muscles.
Winter has some advice on what to “think” instead, and remember that you put up with this for 10 consecutive seconds:
First, we want you to imagine that it is a warm spring day and that you are lying at the bottom of the boat in a very calm lake. You are looking at a blue sky with lazy floating clouds. Don’t let any other thoughts creep in. Just focus on this image and stay away from strange thoughts, especially thoughts with any movement or movement. Hold this image and enjoy it for 10 seconds.
In the second dream-making fantasy, imagine you are on a big black velvet swing and every place you look black is black. You must also hold this image for 10 seconds.
The third trick is to say the words “don’t think. Don’t think … don’t think”, etc. Keep doing this, taking apart other ideas for at least 10 seconds.
And that’s it. When you have a completely relaxed body and a mind that remains still for more than 10 seconds, you will sleep, menstruation.
Remember that pilots repeatedly practiced the method, and 97 percent of them achieved success after six weeks of training. These weeks of training are a worthwhile investment, because once you get it