How To Fall Asleep in 10 Seconds: A Myth?

Can you learn how to fall asleep in 10 seconds? Stellar Sleep discusses how you can learn how to sleep again using a psychology-based approach.
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For many people, the thought of being able to lie down and drift right off to sleep is a fairytale. The reality of bedtime is often far more complicated, usually involving a significant amount of tossing and turning, racing thoughts, and middle-of-the-night wakings. 

If this sounds like something you deal with on a regular basis, you’re not alone. Sleep issues are incredibly common, impacting more than 14 percent of the US population

Unfortunately, for those of us stuck lying wide awake in the middle of the night, it can be tempting to try any and every tip circulating around social media to help us fall asleep — which is why it’s important to separate fact from fiction. You may have heard that you can teach yourself how to fall asleep in 10 seconds, but is that true? Read on to learn more.

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Can You Fall Asleep in 10 Seconds?

Let’s start out with a quick reality check. Falling asleep isn’t a race, and the speed at which you fall asleep has nothing to do with your ability to get quality, restful sleep. 

Can you learn how to fall asleep in 10 seconds? Maybe, but probably not — and focusing on sustainable ways to improve your sleep overall is far more important (and realistic).

What Is the Military Method?

Though called the “military method,” this sleep induction technique actually gained popularity thanks to Olympic sprint coach Lloyd Bud Winter’s 1981 book Relax and Win: Championship Performance

The basic premise of the military method is similar to self-hypnosis. It involves a combination of techniques designed to help the mind and body relax, like deep breathing, intentional progressive muscle contractions, and visualization. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to back up the effectiveness of the military method, so it relies on anecdotal evidence (and social media hype) instead of research to back up its claims. 

What Is the Psychology Behind Sleep?

Sleep psychology is one of the subspecialties of psychology, focusing on the factors that impact our quality and quantity of sleep (including behavior and physiology). Through sleep psychology research, we’ve learned that sleep is perhaps even more important than we originally thought — both for the brain and the body. 

While you rest, your body is actively working to reset, heal, and process the events of the day. When you don’t get enough sleep (or get poor quality sleep), it can have harmful effects on your entire body.

How Can You Fall Asleep More Quickly?

Although everyone is different, the average time it takes for most people to fall asleep is between 10 and 20 minutes. Gender can also play a part — studies have shown that people who were assigned female at birth tend to have more difficulty falling asleep than those assigned male at birth.

If it is taking you significantly longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep — especially if you struggle with it regularly — there are a few steps you can take. Learning to fall asleep more quickly involves a holistic approach, combining multiple techniques to create a customized, supportive sleep routine that works for you.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Although practicing good sleep hygiene isn’t a cure-all, implementing healthy sleep habits can be an important part of the puzzle — especially when combined with addressing the psychological roots of your sleep issues. 

A few easy ways to generally improve your sleep hygiene include:

  • Removing digital distractions (like your phone) from your sleeping environment
  • Keeping your room dark and at a comfortable temperature
  • Avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening
  • Working out (but not too close to bedtime)
  • Being consistent with your sleep schedule, even on the weekends

Rule Out Health Conditions

Although many causes of sleep issues are psychological, it’s also important to rule out any physical health conditions that may be affecting your sleep. Sleep apnea, in particular, can significantly impact your sleep quality and potentially lead to an increased risk of certain health conditions (like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke). 

If you’re concerned that a health condition may be causing your sleeping troubles, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Wind Down Before Bed

Society pressures us to constantly be on the go, which can make it tempting to neglect sleep in lieu of our never-ending task lists. However, when we spend every moment stressing about the things that need to get done, we often take that stress and pressure with us to bed, leading to late nights and trouble falling asleep.

Taking the time to wind down before bed is crucial for getting better quality sleep. Instead of going to bed with racing thoughts, take some time to meditate, take a warm bath, or read a book. Creating a calmer headspace before falling asleep can help you have an easier time drifting off into dreamland.

Manage Stress

Speaking of stress, it’s no secret that both acute and chronic stress can disrupt your sleep and wreak havoc on your body and mind. Stress can disrupt your immune system, trigger high blood pressure, and make it hard to do even the basic tasks of daily life. Managing that stress, especially for those dealing with sleeping difficulties, is essential.

One way to manage stress is by practicing self-care. Self-care can be anything that adds enjoyment and reduces stress in your life — for some people, it might be painting, and for others, it might be kickboxing or going to the gym. Find something you enjoy doing, and incorporate it into your schedule a few times a week.

You can also make small changes to your daily routine to help you get a consistent dose of self-care. For instance, you might start your mornings with yoga, go on a walk or journal after lunch, and engage in a nighttime skincare routine. While none of these activities require a significant time commitment, they can work wonders for your health.

Try Stellar Sleep

Instead of trying to fix your sleep on your own, let the professionals at Stellar Sleep help guide you. 

At Stellar Sleep, we use effective, reputable methods to help our clients get better sleep. Addressing sleep issues should involve treating the entire person, including any underlying psychological issues that may be keeping them awake. That’s why we focus on identifying these psychological factors and helping our clients address them in order to get better sleep.

The Bottom Line

While there is no magic solution that can help you fall asleep in 10 seconds, there are other, more reliable ways to tackle sleep issues using a well-rounded, psychology-based approach. 

The sleep experts at Stellar Sleep are here for you, equipped with all the information and support you need to learn how to sleep well again. To get started, take our sleep quiz today.

References

Complete our free sleep quiz to see:
  • How severe your insomnia is
  • How your sleep compares to others
  • How psychology can help your sleep
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