Trouble sleeping? Try this military trick

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Do you have trouble falling sleep? If so, you have plenty of company. The American Sleep Association (ASA) says that 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. Ten percent suffer from chronic insomnia, while 30 percent have short-term symptoms.

Recently, an old method used by the U.S. Army to help soldiers fall to sleep in difficult conditions, like battlefields, has attracted attention. Lloyd Bud Winter described the technique in a 1981 book called "Relax and Win: Championship Performance," as a way to prevent mistakes by sleep-deprived soldiers. The technique is supposed to send you off to sleep within two minutes.

Here's how to do it:

1. Relax the muscles in your face, including the jaw and tongue

2. Let your shoulders drop and relax both sides of the upper and lower arms

3. Breathe out, keeping the chest relaxed

4. Relax both the upper and lower parts of your legs.

5. Picture one of these mental images:

Lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing except blue skies circling you

Being snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a dark room

Repeating the phrase “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” over and over for ten seconds

There are no guarantees, however. The Army has since published a disclaimer on the method, saying: "The bottom line when it comes to getting restful sleep is doing what works for you. There is no magical formula other than listening to your body."

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