As a terrible insomniac, I find it hard to believe that any “strategy” can result in falling asleep in 120 seconds but I am game and this strategy is meant to work. In fact, this method is so good that U.S. fighter pilots used it in World War II.
How Do I Make This Happen?
Firstly relax your face. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply, relaxing your face muscles, even your tongue, eyes and eyelids.
Next, Drop our shoulders as low as they can, as if they were floating down your body. Breathe deeply.
Now relax one side of your body. Make your entire arm go floppy, right down to your hand and fingers. Repeat for the other side.
Finally tell your right thigh muscle to sink, followed by your right calf ankle and foot. Do the same for the other side.
Now turn your mind off
Clear your mind for 10 seconds. Holding a static image in your head for 10 seconds.
If that doesn’t work, say the words “don’t think … don’t think … don’t think” over and over for at least 10 seconds. This will clear out any thoughts.
According to this article which goes into more detail about this method of falling asleep, when you’re physically relaxed and your mind is still for at least 10 seconds, you’ll be asleep, even if you are on a noisy plane.
Does It Work?
Clearly, it does work for some people but sadly not for me. I have tried this, counting sheep, drinking, not drinking… I have tried most things to fall asleep on a plane. What I can say is that this method helps to calm you if you are feeling hyperactive.
I am resigned to the fact that the highly stressful aeroplane cabin environment is not one that I can easily sleep in. I tried it out 3 or 4 times on my flight yesterday and although it didn’t send me to sleep, it did highlight just how stressed and crunched up my forehead was and how tense my face was when I fly, so the exercise was definitely worth it for me to destress, even though I didn’t actually fall asleep!
Funnily enough, I do believe that pets on a plane help. To a similar end, when I give my son a cuddle it calms me hugely. Sadly he is 8 and no longer keen on hugs in public so I am left with destress exercises and a high altitude beer as my best sleep aid.
As they say.. whatever gets you through!
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