Fall asleep in 2 mins flat with this viral TikTok sleep hack

Tried and tested method used in the military

Man asleep in bed
(Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

A sleep technique has gone viral on TikTok, and it claims to be able to help you drop off in two minutes or less. The post comes from fitness coach Justin Agustin, but in fact this hack has been around for a while, and is a popular trick for those trying to figure out how to fall asleep quickly. It's apparently used by those in the US army, where maximising sleep time is vitally important, but conditions for doing so are often far from optimal. 

Surely,  if it can work for a soldier in the middle of a war zone, it can work for you tucked up safe and comfy in your bed? There are some more promising stats too – according to the 1981 book 'Relax and Win: Championship Performance' by Lloyd Bud Winter, the technique worked for 96% of recruits who tried it for six weeks.

There are two main parts to the technique – read on to find out exactly how it works. Or if it's an uncomfortable bed that's keeping you up, our best mattress ranking will guide you towards the right upgrade for you (on a budget? One of the best mattress toppers can work wonders, too). 

1. Relax everything

First, you need to focus on systematically relaxing every part of your body. Start with the muscles or your face – tighten and then loosen your tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes until your face feels like putty. Then drop and relax your shoulders, followed by your upper and lower arms, then your chest. Finish by working your way down your legs, working from your thighs down to your toes. All the whole, breathe steadily in and out and focus on listening to the sound of your breath. 

2. Picture a soothing scenario

Once you've physically relaxed your entire body, it's time to focus on clearing your mind. This technique suggests imagining yourself in one of two soothing scenes: either lying in a black velvet hammock in a totally dark room, or lying in a canoe on a calm lake, beneath a clear blue sky. If you find your mind wandering, internally repeat the mantra 'Don't think, don't think, don't think' for 10 seconds.

At time of writing, the original TikTok post – linked below – has garnered almost 384K likes, and been shared just under 56K times.

@justin_agustin (opens in new tab)

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Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.