Another day, another TikTok sleep hack to apparently solve all your woes and fix your nasty habits — but what if I told you this one is legit? A psychologist who told to us that the latest military sleep hack you’ve seen everywhere makes sense, and here’s why.

I am an absolute sucker for sleep hacks. I’ve tried probably everything except the lettuce hack, which is definitely on my list.

So imagine my joy when I came across this TikTok which claims you can get yourself to fall asleep in as little as two minutes.

TikTok fitness trainer Justin Agustin (@justin_agustin) reckons systematically relaxing each body part while imagining certain warm and relaxing images can knock you out in minutes.

@justin_agustin

Technique to falling asleep in 2 minutes! Insp. AsapSCIENCE on YT #sleep #fallasleep #insomnia #insomniac #learnontiktok #howto

♬ You – Petit Biscuit

“This technique was developed in the military to allow soldiers at any time, any place, even on the battlefield, when the environment is extremely uncomfortable and there’s a lot of noise happening. Sleep for a soldier is crucial,” Justin claims in the video.

Considering I am a soldier in the battle that is life, this hack sounds perfect for me.

“Start by relaxing the muscles in your forehead,” Justin says in the video.

“Relax your eyes, your cheeks, your jaw and focus on your breathing. Now go down to your neck and your shoulders.

“Make sure your shoulders are not tensed up. Drop them as low as you can and keep your arms loose by your side, including your hands and fingers,” he says.

You’re then meant to imagine a warm feeling flowing flowing from your head down to your fingertips, before taking a deep breath and slowly exhaling through your chest.

Imagine that sensation continuing to flow from your heart, all the way down your body and legs into your toes. Don’t forget to keep your mind clear — Justin recommends imagining yourself in serene situations.

If you find your mind wandering too far Justin reckons you should repeat the mantra “don’t think” in your head for ten seconds, and voila.

I know it sounds too good to be true but commenters on the video swear by this hack.

“I’m a military brat and was taught this,” one woman wrote. “I also had a veteran as a psychology teacher in college who taught this. It definitely works.”

“My doctor taught me this technique with slight variations when I had insomnia due to PTSD,” another said. “Trust me it works 100 per cent once you get it down.”

But of course, TikTok comments aren’t a reputable source, so we asked psychologist Dr. Chris Cheers (@chrischeerspsychology) what he thinks of the hack.

“I have no experience with the military, so I couldn’t say if that aspect is correct. However, some of the strategies shown are forms of relaxation strategies that would likely be helpful,” Dr Cheers told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

According to Dr Cheers, systematically relaxing like the video suggests is called ‘progressive muscle relaxation’.

“This is a technique used in psychology where people learn to consciously tense and relax their muscles in each part of their bodies. It’s a strategy which evidence shows to be useful in managing stress and anxiety — and it helps with sleep,” he said.

While visualising serene images like the hammock Justin recommends is helpful, Dr Cheers did warn against the “don’t think” mantra.

“I would caution against [it], as it might cause frustration since we can’t control our thoughts. However, what we can control is our attention. So, maybe rather than ‘don’t think’, it would be more helpful to notice your thought, acknowledge it as ‘just a thought’, and then move your attention back to the relaxing place you are visualising.”

So there ya have it folks. This TikTok sleep hack is (mostly) legitimate and you can definitely give it a go!

Though don’t beat yourself up if you can’t actually fall asleep in two minutes — Dr Cheers said that while quick fixes sound great, most of the time improving your sleep comes from long term changes like limiting caffeine, increasing exercise, and having a consistent routine.

If these hacks don’t work for you, that’s okay — practice self compassion, and try to create other, more meaningful changes in your life that can hep you out in the long term.


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