Try This Navy SEAL Trick When You're Super Tired But Don't Have Time To Sleep

This simple military sleep hack puts you to sleep in under 8 minutes and leads to “the best nap of your life.”

How To Try The Navy SEAL 8-Minute Nap Military Sleep Hack Getty

A viral TikTok claims there’s a military sleep hack that’ll leave you feeling recharged after just 8 minutes.

Posted by TikToker Nick Vitello, the simple hack is a Navy Seal trick that puts you to sleep in under 8 minutes and leads to “the best nap of your life.”



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How to use the 8-minute military sleep hack developed by Navy SEALs

1. Get on the floor.

You’ll want to lay on the floor or another low surface in order to complete the next step of the nap.

2. Put your feet up.

Whether it’s your bed, your couch, a chair, or a table, the point is that you want your feet elevated above your heart. Elevating your feet while sleeping helps to circulate your blood flow and take pressure off your spine so your body isn’t working against gravity, allowing your body to achieve a higher level of relaxation.

3. Set a timer for 8 minutes.

This is an important step so you don’t end up oversleeping! Plus, knowing your timer is set will allow you to fully relax without being anxious about sleeping for the right length of time.


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This 8-minute military sleep hack was first popularized by Navy SEAL Jocko Willink.

In his book, “Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual,” former Navy Seal Willink shares “strategies and tactics for conquering weakness, procrastination, and fear.” One of these strategies is the 8-minute nap that Willink is known for crediting to keeping him going despite his grueling — or, more accurately, nonexistent — sleep schedule.

In a 2019 appearance on Peter Attia’s “The Drive” podcast, Willink explains that on a typical day, he schedules 5 and a half hours of sleep for himself. For most people, this amount of sleep seems unsustainable. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation recommends about 7-9 hours of sleep per night for anyone over the age of 18.


And Willink explains in the podcast that he’s not immune to feeling some tiredness throughout the day. To curb this sleepiness, he simply takes a nap. An 8-minute nap, to be exact.

“Elevate your feet above your heart and then set an alarm for 8 minutes, 10 minutes at the most, maybe 12,” Willink explains during the podcast, claiming that the 8-minute nap is the sweet spot for not feeling groggy upon waking up.


While it may sound a little ambitious, it turns out there’s some scientific evidence that the 8-minute nap does work.

According to WebMD, one full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes. However, 10- to 20-minute naps are believed to be the most effective when it comes to waking up without feeling groggy and still having enough energy to make it through the rest of your day.

That said, even 6-minute naps are beneficial for the human body and brain, with a 2008 study finding that a nap as short as 6 minutes is “enough to significantly boost memory performance.”

Of course, for any nap to be effective, it’s important to do everything you can to get quality sleep throughout the night.


The National Sleep Foundation notes that sleep continuity, or staying asleep once your fall asleep, is extremely important to getting refreshing and reparative sleep and likely even more important than the actual number of hours of sleep you get.

For example, though Willink himself gets under 6 hours of sleep every night, he explains in the podcast that he doesn’t wake up at all throughout the night.

Practicing good sleep hygiene like doing things such as avoiding electronics within the hour before you go to sleep, consistently following a bedtime routine, and going to sleep at the same time every night can contribute to getting better rest.


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Micki Spollen is an editor, writer, and traveler.