In fact, about 90% of your body's tension is in about 10% of your muscles... So if you target just those key areas you can quickly relax enough that your body will interpret it as a signal to sleep.
Most books on how to relax say to lay down and start relaxing at your feet and work your way up to your head. That's not the most effective way to do it because the vast majority of your body's tension is in your jaws, not your feet.
The jaw is the strongest muscle area in terms of extorted force. The world record for bite strength is 975 foot-pounds for 2 seconds. No other muscle in your body can exert more total force than your jaw muscles - and no other muscle holds more tension.
Many people go their whole lives and never consciously think how to relax their jaws. This causes bruxism, or "teeth grinding", which wears down your teeth and cause other problems such as:
So the very first thing I do before an OBE induction or falling asleep is to relax my jaws. This step is absolutely required. It only takes a few seconds so it gives you the most bang for your buck of all the relaxations you can do.
Step 1: Jaw Relaxation - Start with a very firm massage of the meaty part of your upper jaws in front of and below your ears. This is called your "masseter muscle" and is the single biggest culprit for locked up muscle knots in the entire body. Press strongly with your fingers on both sides of your head and get a 'good hurt' feeling.
Step 2: Palm Squeeze - The second step in how to relax is to squeeze on both sides of your jaws with your palms instead of just your fingers. You can use quite a bit of force when you do this because your jaws are quite strong. Let your jaw go as slack as you can while pressing.
Step 3: Jaw Stretch - It's common to stretch before and after exercise such as stretching your legs by touching your toes. But have you ever stretched your jaws muscles? You may look silly doing this, but it really goes a long way to relaxing your jaws. So the third step is to relax your jaws as much as you can then use your fingers to pull your jaws open. You may be surprised how much your jaws resist your fingers but by stretching them you can get the tension out.
My grandfather was a professor of a science called relaxology. One of his colleagues could relax his jaws so much that you could wiggle it with your hands and it felt like there was almost nothing holding his jaws on his head. You don't have to relax your jaws that much but I mention it to give you an idea just how much tension is in your jaws even if you think they're relaxed.
Step 4: Horizontal Wall Chest Stretch - Stretch your arms and chest against the wall. Place a palm flat on the wall and turn the trunk of your body so that you get a good stretch from the very tips of your fingers, down your forearm, you bicep, shoulder and all across your chest. Exhale all the tension out. Repeat this twice with both arms.
Step 5: Vertical Chest Stretch - Stretch against the wall by placing both palms above your head against the wall and then bending forward. This really targets your shoulder and chest tension. Inhale and exhale fully and slowly 3 times to work all the tension out. Stand up normally, then repeat the vertical chest stretch.
Step 6: Stretch Your Feet - Stretch the bottom of your feet by propping your foot against the wall and leaning forward. This will also give you a good calf stretch. Repeat this on each foot two more times then sit down and massage the individual muscles in the soles of your feet with your hands.
Step 7: Stretch Your Hands - Stretch the palm of each hand by pushing your fingers back with the other hand. This also gives your forearms a nice stretch.
Step 8: Relax Your Shoulders - The last stretching step. Do some slow windmills to relax your shoulders. It's tempting to skip this step but your shoulders carry almost as much tension as your jaw so it's important to stretch and relax your shoulder as much as possible.
Step 9: "Pre-roll" to Dissipate Overall Body Tension - Remember that one purpose of the roll over signal is to get you to roll over which causes you to gradually gather and release tension. Here's a trick to speed that up or even skip over it.
Lay down in bed and relax a much as you can for 15 seconds or so. Then roll over and relax for a couple more seconds. Roll again and relax... Repeat this several times and you'll relax the rest of your muscles quite quickly.
This works because normally when you stretch one body part to relax it, you have to tense up another part.
For instance, to stretch one hand you had to tense up your other hand. By laying down and rolling around for a minute you stretch and relax everything a little bit at a time and get your "roll over" phase done all at once.
Step 10: Stop, Drop and Roll - Once you're done rolling around, step 10 is to start Stop, Drop and Roll. Lay flat on your back with your arms above your head and start daydreaming.
Step 11: Start Sleep Breathing - Step is to begin sleep breathing.
Step 12: Roll Eyes to Relax Them - Relax your eyes and the stop micromovements. Roll your eyes around both directions a few times and then let them rest. The idea is to completely forget that your eyes even exist. To do that count 150 heart beats.
Step 13: 150 Heart Beat Count to Forget About Eyes - Focusing on your heart for a long time will make it feel like it's going to beat its way out of your chest. However if you get up and actually check your pulse you'll find that it's beating like normal. The heart pounding sensation is just a trick of the mind which will help to distract you from your eyes.
Step 12: Bring Arms Down to Enter 'Drop' Mode - After 150 heart beats, switch on the roll over signal. Drop your arms down to your side and move to step 15 which is to tense and release each muscle group.
Step 15: Tense and Relax Muscles - By now you should be pretty deeply relaxed. Continue to sleep breathe and sense where you still have some tension left. Slightly tense that area for a moment then release it. This will cause you to relax that muscle further than before you tensed it. Start at your jaws and end at your feet.
To do this, count 150 heart beats starting at 300 which tires your brain out a little faster. After every 10 heart beats pause the count and tense and release another muscle group. For instance, when you get to 160 tense and relax your jaws. At 170 tense and release your face, at 180 your neck and so forth. If you lose track of where what number you're on that's a good sign that it's working and you're falling asleep.
Step 16: 'Roll' Phase - When you get to 450 you'll either be asleep or feeling the roll over signal. If you don't have a very strong roll signal then just daydream and continue sleep breathing for a while until it's strong enough. When you really feel the need to roll over you've reached step 16 which is to simply roll over and release any remaining tension. Continue sleep breathing and you'll black out within a few moments.
Tip #1: Wear Warm Socks
Two things that really speed things up are socks and earplugs. You may not realize how much your body temperature drops when you fall asleep but when you're feet are just a little bit cold it's really hard to relax. So wear socks even if you don't think you need them.
Tip #2: Wear Silicone Earplugs
Earplugs are also incredibly valuable for falling asleep fast. I suggest Mack's Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs. The silicone putty earplugs work the best and you can make them last several uses by washing them with soap after each use.
Here's the complete system, step by step:
That's my entire system describing how to relax fast and fall asleep quickly.
Coming up in the final article of this series you'll find out how to use the sun to avoid the #1 mistake everyone makes in OBEs. Plus, discover how to optimize your brain chemistry for lucidity and my personal favorite OBE induction technique.
Nick Newport is the author of Lucidology, a website that teaches how to have lucid dreams and out of body experiences from a waking state. To learn more about his visualization and timer techniques, subscribe to his video series for free here.