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When Counting Sheep Doesn't Work

By Stephen R. Farris

So you're having trouble falling asleep at night. You've tried hiding your alarm clock, taken numerous hot showers before heading to bed, cutting out late night snacking, hiding your phone -- but still, nothing works.

Did you know there's a method to fall asleep fast? It's actually based on a method designed by the United States Navy pre-flight school, in order to help pilots fall asleep in under two minutes, tops. Of course they went through about a six-week practice period, but once they got it down it was "boom, boom," out like a light.

So here's how it basically lines up. 

Breathing Method

This method is designed to help you get to sleep in 60 seconds -- for healthy individuals -- and combines meditation and visualization techniques. To begin, place the tip of your tongue next to the roof of your mouth, next to the front teeth. Yes, you are allowed to pucker your lips if need be. Next step, incorporate progressive muscle relaxation. In other words, while breathing in tense the muscles in your body. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly exhale and release the tension -- relax. 

Whatever you do, don't strain your muscles. Also, focus on the heaviness you feel each time you exhale and how good it feels. You'll be gone -- out like a light -- in 60 seconds!

Reverse Sleepology

Telling yourself to stay awake can actually force your body to fall asleep. Sounds crazy, right?

This method is also called paradoxical intention. Also try visualizing yourself in a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Picturing yourself in a favorite place that is relaxing is often referred to as "imagery distraction." Be prepared ahead of time, such as cooling the room, blacking out light from windows or doors as these steps will help with the method theory.

There is one more method, unassociated with the military, called acupressure for sleep. However, there's not enough research that has been done to qualify it as being effective.

And if you are having trouble falling asleep at night, visit with your local chiropractor to find out what they can suggest to help you sleep better. It could be a simple adjustment to your lower back or to your neck could do the trick.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dacula, Ga.

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