Self Care

Sleep Experiment: Military Method

After last week’s sleep experiment being a little underwhelming (you’re basic), I was sincerely hoping that introducing the renowned ‘Military Method’ would prove to be as dynamic as claimed. I must admit before we go into this, that I was incredibly skeptical. I could not see how breathing and muscle relaxation was going to silence the anxiety in my mind, especially with all the turmoil the world is going through right now.

Here’s a little recap from last week’s ‘Blue Light’ post:

A week of ditching technology an hour before bed, left me slightly better off on the amount of sleep I was getting (hmm that 1% is really groundbreaking) but on the whole I didn’t get a lot out of it (other than I finished my book quicker). There were nights where I slept soundly, and night’s where sleep was an acquaintance from long ago.

Photo Credit 📷: elizabeth lies

Hence, why I decided to try the Military Method. Whilst researching sleep practices for this experiment (I’m a nerd), I kept seeing this technique described as a wonder method that will make you fall asleep in 2 minutes. If you don’t know what the Military Method is, it’s simply a routine where you relax the muscles in your body, focus on exhaling and picturing a relaxing scene in your mind.

So, did this magical practice live up to the hype?

It kinda did!

Okay, I didn’t fall asleep in 2 minutes flat, because I only had a week to practice (and I’m not trained in the military, obviously). Compared to the screen-time detox, the time it took me to drift off did improve, however, white noise did a better job at it (you can find out more about this over on my ‘White Noise’ post). My sleep quality only slightly improved, but the biggest winner for the Military Method was (drum roll…………..), the amount of time I was actually asleep for. I ended up getting, on average, an extra 20 minutes of sleep which doesn’t sound like a lot, yet when you consider that experts reckon a power nap should last for 20 minutes – it sounds much better. Overall, I felt that it did take me longer to fall asleep, but by focusing on relaxing my muscles, it triggered my body to say “Shut the fuck up brain! It’s bedtime!”.

Photo Credit 📷: Kalegin Michail

On the final week of the sleep experiment, I will be incorporating aromatherapy into my bedtime routine. Will lavender dreams leave me refreshed? Is aromatherapy a load of anti-vaxer bullshit? Let science (and my sleep) answer that for you.

See you next time!

Featured Image Credit 📷: Andrew Ly

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