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Sleep expert issues warning if you're able to fall asleep within two minutes

Sleep expert issues warning if you're able to fall asleep within two minutes

TikTok's obsession with the military sleep method might not actually be the best thing.

A sleep expert has warned that falling asleep super quickly might not actually be an incredible superpower.

A few weeks ago TikTok was briefly obsessed with something called the 'military sleep method', which coached people through falling asleep in around two minutes.

The method involves a sort of rapid guided meditation or mindfulness as you lull yourself into relaxation and then switch off - and with practice, it promises to have you lying awake for mere minutes.

However, Dr Michael Breus - a clinical psychologist and sleep medicine expert who goes by @thesleepdoctor on TikTok - has made a video pushing back against this kind of approach.

When talking about the two-minute window, he's very straightforward: "To be clear, that really isn't how sleep works."

He explains that most people will find that they fall asleep in somewhere between 10 and 15-20 minutes in bed, and that's pretty much a perfect window.

Turning to those who boast about their ability to fall asleep in two minutes, he doesn't mince words, either. "When people fall asleep this quickly, usually it means that they are sleep deprived."

This stands to reason - the military method came out of the military, after all, where shift patterns and active combat can make for fairly brutal combinations that leave soldiers exhausted and stressed.

In that context, falling asleep quickly would more obviously be linked to just being completely exhausted, and that may have been forgotten while people tried to copy the approach.

10'000 Hours / Getty

Dr Breus doesn't condemn it entirely, though. Instead he just says that if you're finding it sends you off in two or three minutes, you might want to make sure you go to bed earlier to get more sleep overall, as this indicates you're not getting enough.

If it instead calms you down and lulls you off to sleep in around 10 to 15 minutes, he suggests that this is "exactly what you want".

So, the good news here is that no one should feel they need to immediately stop the military sleep method if it's working for them - rather, it might just be a good excuse to take stock of whether its success is down to your sheer fatigue, rather than the incredible efficacy of the technique.

Featured Image Credit: OLEKSANDRA TROIAN/Sean De Burca/Getty