“This technique was developed in the military to allow soldiers to fall asleep 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,” he says in the video.
“According to my research, this was developed mainly for fighter pilots who need 10 per cent of their reflexes and focus, which we all know decreases with the lack of sleep.”
Agustin proceeds to explain how the technique actually works.
To begin with, he says it’s all about simply taking some deep breaths and trying to consciously relax each part of your body one by one.
“Start by relaxing the muscles in your forehead,” he says.
“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.”
Agustin advises then imagining a warm sensation going from your head down to your fingertips, before then travelling from your heart to your toes.
“Now, take a deep breath and slowly exhale, relaxing your chest, your stomach, down to your thighs, knees, legs and feet,” he adds.
It’s important, too, to try and clear your mind of stresses, says Agustin, before offering two scenarios to think about.
“One – you’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you,” he says.
“Two – you’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch black room.”
Then, if you feel like you’re getting distracted, he says you should repeat the words “Don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” for 10 seconds.
“You’re supposed to practice every night for six weeks,” Agustin concludes.
“Apparently, 96 per cent of people who mastered this technique are actually able to fall asleep within two minutes of shutting their eyes.”
The video has amassed more than 2.8 million views and thousands of comments from users.
“I’m a military brat and was taught this,” one person commented. “I also had a veteran as a psychology teacher in college who taught this. It definitely works.”
Another added: “My doctor taught me this technique with slight variations when I had insomnia due to PTSD. Trust me it works 10 per cent once you get it down.”
How to use the ‘military sleep hack’ to fall asleep faster
Detailed in the book Relax and Win: Championship Performance, 1981, the technique is thought to have been developed by army chiefs to ensure soldiers didn’t make life-threatening mistakes due to exhaustion.
Here’s how to do it:
- Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes
- Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time
- Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down
- You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:
- You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you
- You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
- You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.
The NHS currently recommends the average person needs around eight hours of good-quality sleep every night to function properly.
It warns a lack of sleep can make people more prone to a number of medical conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
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