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How to Convincingly Fake Being Asleep

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

How to Convincingly Fake Being Asleep

Faking being asleep while seated is a great way to eavesdrop on people around you but you have to be able to convince them that you are in fact sleeping. The problem is that most of us feign sleep in a very charming way with heads resting on chests accompanied by small, gentle breaths--like a brooding bird. Who do you know that really sleeps like this who is over the age of 7? Sleep is not a pretty thing, which means to convince people that you are sleeping, there are two crucial things you must do:

1. Have your head fall back, not into your chest. Having your head folded into your chest suggests you may be resting but not sleeping because you will lose your center of balance and fall over if you are not even slightly alert. This is what is called "commuter sleep," which means that the people are just barely sleeping and are aware of the sounds around them. Head back, however, is the way your head falls naturally when you're asleep sitting down (unless you have your head down on a table in front of you).

2. Your mouth should be slightly open. Very few people sleep with their mouths closed when they are sleeping in a sitting position. This is because with your head back and your muscles relaxed, your mouth would open slightly as it takes some visible effort to keep it closed when in that position.

People innately recognize these as confirming factors that a person is asleep and will proceed to speak openly. Enjoy.