4 expert-approved TikTok sleep hacks that help you fall asleep faster

Sleep expert gives his verdict on these 4 viral TikTok sleep hacks

Woman lying in bed asleep, sleep & wellness tips
(Image credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels)

If you struggle to fall asleep, chances are you’ve tried everything from counting sheep to breathing techniques. But for people who find it hard to drift off at a normal time and feel like they’re running out of options, they’re turning to social media for answers, specifically TikTok.

For a few years now, TikTok users have been promoting sleep hacks that they say have helped them fall asleep quicker and improved their overall sleep quality. These videos that come with the hashtag ‘sleeptock’ have been tried and tested, with some techniques even being promoted by doctors and physicians.

And I’m not one to judge, as I’ve definitely tried my fair share of sleep tricks from TikTok, including this doctor-approved TikTok sleep hack (opens in new tab) and these 4 summer TikTok sleep hacks (opens in new tab) when the UK was battling with last year’s heatwave.

However, there are a few sleep tips on TikTok which have caused many doctors and experts to speak out to dissuade people from trying them, like mouth taping and cloud beds. To find out more, I spoke to Max Stevens, sleep expert from The Sleep Checklist (opens in new tab) and he looked into 4 viral TikTok sleep hacks and revealed whether they actually work or not.

P.S. If you’re in need of a new bed set-up, check out our guide to the best mattress (opens in new tab) and our top picks for the best memory foam mattress (opens in new tab).

1. Keeping your bedroom at a specific temperature

Hack: Set the temperature in your bedroom between 18-20°C (66-69°F) for a better night’s sleep.

Verdict: Thumbs up!

During the colder months, it’s tempting to turn up your heating to keep yourself warm through the night. However, this can have a negative effect on your sleep as you need your internal body temperature to cool down to help you relax and fall asleep. “This tip is great as your body needs a cool environment to fall asleep. Keeping the temperature between 18°C to 20°C is the perfect temperature for quality sleep – any cooler or hotter and it may affect your body's internal temperature,” says Stevens.

For more details, look at why experts say sleeping in a cold room is better for you (opens in new tab).

2. The military sleep method

@justin_agustin (opens in new tab)

♬ You - Petit Biscuit (opens in new tab)

Hack: Lie on your back, relax the muscles in your face and let go of tension in your body. Next, picture a soothing scenario to clear your mind and if you find your mind wandering, internally repeat “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” until you fall asleep.

Verdict: Thumbs up… but it depends

The military sleep hack (opens in new tab) is one of the most talked about sleep tricks from TikTok. Stevens says “according to the US military, this sleep technique works for 96% of people who try it, but it could take you 6 weeks to master.” The majority of people who’ve tried this hack have raved about it and as someone who has tried it myself, I can definitely vouch for its effectiveness.

However, Stevens has fallen into the 4% of people who the military sleep hack doesn’t work for and says “while it's important to relax before going to bed, I suspect external factors such as waking up early and running miles with heavy equipment on your back help those in the military fall asleep fairly quickly." But it’s still worth giving a go!

For more military sleep hacks (promoted on TikTok, of course), try to sleep like a Navy SEAL with this 8-minute nap hack (opens in new tab).

3. Rubbing pressure points

Hack: Rub pressure points on the body to help relax and address insomnia symptoms. TikTok user and acupuncturist @anew.acu (opens in new tab) says to ball your hand into a fist and make a note of where your pinky and middle fingers touch on your hand. Rub each point for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Verdict: Thumbs up… but it depends

This hack includes the pressure point where your pinky touches your hand which is called the heart point and the pericardial point which is where your middle finger touches your hand. According to Stevens, "the science of using acupuncture to help with sleep is limited as all studies that have been performed are small in size. With that said there are no studies to say that it doesn't work and I could see this technique helping some."

Stevens’ verdict is that "whether the rubbing of pressure points has any effect on the heart is unknown, but I could see this working as it will cause you to relax and empty your mind as performing the small motions will make you sleepy."

4. Brain tapping

Hack: Lie down with your hands on your thighs. Tap your left thigh followed by your right, alternating the taps at the speed of a clock ticking. Take slow deep breaths and follow the pattern for 3 minutes before you slow the pattern down to relax the brain.

Verdict: Thumbs up!

Brain tapping has been around for several years, and is a method that’s said to help those feeling sleep deprived. While some social media users love this technique, it hasn’t worked for others, but in Stevens’ opinion, “I believe this works as it relaxes the person trying out the technique as they clear their minds and focus on the taps.” Tapping methods have been championed by many for help with sleep and anxiety, so if you’re feeling particularly stressed, try the rapid tapping technique (opens in new tab).

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Acting Wellness Editor & Deals Writer

As T3's resident Shopping Expert and Deals Writer, Beth covers deals, discount codes, how to save money and seasonal holidays, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day, Boxing Day and Easter sales. Alongside her primary focus of deals, Beth is currently Acting Wellness Editor, covering all things sleep, yoga, relaxation and general wellbeing.


Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting DIY craft projects that will probably end in disaster!