How to sleep: The ‘navy seal’ nap hack that may help you drift off ‘within seconds’

Stacey Solomon asks Joe Swash where he’s been sleeping

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There are several benefits to be reaped from daytime napping, particularly for people in good health. Daytime rest has been shown to reduce sleepiness and improve memory in a laboratory setting, bringing immediate respite to the sleep-deprived. Drifting off during the day is no easy task, however. But one navy seal hack may leave you feeling refreshed after just eight minutes of shut-eye.

The power nap, which involves propping up the feet on an elevated object, was devised to allow special operators to catch up on sleep in difficult situations.

The technique involves lying on the back and letting the legs rest over the edge of the bed or sofa.

Speaking to on the Mikhaila Peterson Podcast, former military man Jocko Willink detailed his routine of taking a short nap during the day.

He said: “If I feel tired, I will take a nap – I’ll take about an eight to 10-minute nap. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it.

“Elevate your feet above your heart, so like lay down and put your feet up on a couch or something, lay down on the floor, set your alarm clock for 10 minutes.

“If you’re really tired you’ll fall asleep really quickly, and when you wake up you’ll feel like you just slept for six hours.”

The hack rose to fame after the US Navy Seal officer discussed the method in his book.

In his book, titled Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual, Willink explained said the hack proved most useful when he was pressed for time.

He explained he would nap for six to eight minutes, and wake up feeling “completely refreshed”.

Another TikToker user, Alice Jenning, who put the hack to the test, commented: “Give this a go when you’re particularly tired. I felt like a drifted off within seconds.”

There is scientific evidence that sleeping with the legs slightly elevated can improve blood flow and circulation.

This, in turn, may provide relief from a tight lower back or swollen feet, and help the brain doze off quicker.

The Navy Seal power nap is one of many methods devised by the military to ensure personnel get enough shut-eye.

In 2017, the Navy’s Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Force Incidents revealed that fatigue and ineffective fatigue and rest management were accountable for four of the mishaps detailed in the report.

The US Navy Institute explains: “Because chronic sleep deprivation can put performance, safety, and mission in jeopardy, everyone needs to be self-aware of their fatigue levels and inform leads if sleep debt is an issue.”

The Institution continued: “Sleep is crucial to cognitive thinking, decision making and reaction time.”

Not only are these three skills critical for the smooth running of military operations, but they also play a significant part in the day-to-day lives of Britons.

A staggering third of the adult population in the UK struggles with insomnia on a regular basis, according to survey data.

What’s more, two-thirds of adults in the UK reportedly suffer from disrupted sleep, and nearly a quarter sleep no more than five hours a night.

The effects of sleep loss can be felt almost immediately, causing deficits in performance, memory and mood.

Efforts should be made to prevent sleep deprivation from becoming chronic, however, as this may pose worrisome risks in the long term.

Some of the most serious potential problems linked to chronic sleep deprivation are high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

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