It’s not easy to sleep when you’re a caregiver
Even when you get the chance to rest, the constant stress and worry of caregiving can make it difficult to fall asleep. And if you need to wake during the night to help your older adult, the problem is compounded.
But as you well know, sleep is essential for caregiver health and well-being.
We found a Fast Company article that describes an old technique used by the U.S. Army to help soldiers fall asleep quickly under difficult or uncomfortable conditions – like on a battlefield.
It’s free, doesn’t require any training or equipment, drug-free, and can be done by anyone at any time.
We summarize the writer’s personal experience testing it out and explain how to use this 2 minute sleep technique.
How well does this technique work?
This technique is reported to work for 96% of the people who tried it for 6 weeks. That timeframe is important because this method may not work immediately.
Michael Grothaus, the article’s writer, tested out the technique for the full 6 weeks and declared it a success.
He found that it took about a week of using the technique before he started falling asleep within a few minutes. After that, it didn’t work 100% of the time, but by the fourth week, it worked the majority of the time. He also mentioned that one of the visualizations seemed to work better for him than the other so it’s a good idea to experiment to see what works best for you.
Will this technique work for you? It’s definitely worth a try.
It only takes 2 minutes, costs nothing, and is drug-free. It’s a better bet than sleep medications, which don’t always work well and can cause negative side effects and long-term issues.
Be sure to give it a fair trial by testing it out over the full 6 weeks.
How to use the U.S. Army’s 2 minute technique for falling asleep fast
The U.S. Army used this technique to help soldiers fall asleep in “less than ideal” conditions. It mostly involves muscle relaxation, breathing, and visualization.
How to use the technique:
- Sit on the edge of the bed. Make sure only the bedside light is on, your phone is silenced, and your alarm is set for morning.
- Relax your facial muscles. First, tighten them up by scrunching up your face. Then, slowly let your face naturally loosen. Let your tongue relax naturally.
- Next, let gravity pull your shoulders toward the ground. Then let your arms dangle, one side at a time.
- While doing this, breathe in and out, listening to the sound of your breath. With each breath, let your chest relax further and let gravity relax your thighs and lower legs.
- Once your body feels loose and relaxed, try to clear your mind for 10 seconds. If thoughts come up, let them pass – focus on keeping your body loose and limp.
- Now. picture one of these two scenarios: 1) lying in a canoe in a calm lake with clear blue skies above or 2) lying in a soft hammock, gently swaying in a pitch-black room. If you prefer not to use visualization, chant the mantra, “Don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” for 10 seconds.
Going through these steps should take about 2 minutes. After that, lie down and turn out the bedside light. Hopefully you’ll drift off to sleep within a few minutes.
Recommended for you:
- 15 Affordable Stress Relief Products That Help Caregivers Relax and Unwind
- 2 Ways to Solve Senior Sleep Problems for Better Rest and Well-Being
- 3 Ways to Prevent Caregiver Stress and Burnout
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Champion Caregivers
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