Sleep like a Navy SEAL with this 8 minute nap hack

This Navy SEAL sleep hack will help you power through your afternoons with ease

Navy SEAL sleep hack, sleep & wellness tips
(Image credit: Vlada Karpovich / Pexels)

Feeling tired and distracted? This 8 minute sleep hack recommended by an ex-Navy Seal could be the perfect solution.

Napping can be tricky and many people have mixed emotions about whether or not taking a nap is worth it or not. Nap too long and you could be left feeling groggy but nap too little and you’ll feel even more tired than when you started.

When we looked into how long you should nap for (opens in new tab), many studies reported that people that took 10-20 minute naps saw the most benefits. However, according to former Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink (opens in new tab), napping for 8 minutes is the ideal nap time that leaves you feeling refreshed and well rested. Unsurprisingly, this clip went viral on TikTok earlier this year, with many TikTok users saying that it not only worked but they had the best sleep of their lives.

So, what is the Navy SEAL 8 minute nap hack and does it actually work? Keep reading to find out more and remember, sleep tips can help you get a better night’s sleep but it’s important to have the right set-up with the best mattress (opens in new tab).

What is the Navy SEAL 8 minute sleep hack?

While experts say the optimum power nap should last 15 minutes, the Navy SEAL sleep or nap hack only takes 8 minutes to do. To do the Navy SEAL technique, simply set a timer for 8-10 minutes, lie down and elevate your feet above your heart. This can be done by lying on your back on the floor and putting your feet up on your bed or sofa. With your timer set, fall asleep and wake up when the alarm goes off. According to Willink, “if you’re really tired, you’ll fall asleep really quickly and when you wake up, you’ll feel like you just slept for 6 hours.”

woman napping next to a laptop

(Image credit: ANTONI SHKRABA production from Pexels)

Although 8 minutes seems like a very short amount of time for a nap, Willink swears by it and takes this 8 minute nap twice a week (opens in new tab), along with waking up at 4:30am everyday after around 5.5 hours of sleep at night. Many TikTok users decided to try the Navy SEAL nap hack themselves, including Nick Vitello (getaheadwithnick on TikTok (opens in new tab)) who said to try it for the “best nap of your life.”

Does the Navy SEAL power nap actually work?

But, does it actually work? Many people and experts are skeptical about the Navy SEAL 8 minute sleep hack, mainly due to the length of the nap. For most people, falling asleep takes longer than 8 minutes so it can be seen as unrealistic to fall asleep during that time and wake up feeling refreshed.

According to Eve Sleep expert, David Gibson talking to Glamour (opens in new tab), “Comparing the benefits of 8 minutes of sleep versus 6 hours of night-time sleep is nonsense. Yes, some of your cognitive processes might feel sharper but the rest of the benefits of sleep such as rejuvenating your body, brain and immune system just won’t be there.” In contrast to this, many experts have said that even a few minutes of rest or sleep can give you so much energy (opens in new tab) so a quick power nap like the Navy SEAL nap hack can leave people feeling rested and refreshed.

It’s tricky to determine whether the Navy SEAL 8 minute nap will work for you, as many have said it leaves them feeling great whereas others commented they couldn’t fall asleep in that time. The overall consensus from experts and those who’ve tried it is that if you're feeling extremely sleepy, this hack does work as you’ll typically fall asleep quicker if you’re overtired. And in T3’s opinion, it’s worth giving it a try, especially as it’s only 8 minutes!

If you’re a fan of napping (let’s face it, who isn’t?!), take a look at how to take the perfect nap (opens in new tab), and for more sleep tips, we also tried the 2 minute military sleep hack (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!