Having difficulty sleeping?
If you are struggling to sleep at night you are not alone, many people go through times when they find sleeping difficult. It can happen due to thinking about difficult memories, school life and exams, home life, relationships, even your diet and routine can have an effect.
It can make it harder to concentrate during the day, or make you feel low and less able to cope.
Coping with the stress that you are experiencing can really help you to sleep better. CLICK HERE to read more about this.
1. Focus on your breathing
Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Some people find it helps to close their eyes and count to 4 when they breathe in, and to 7 when they breathe out.
2. Turn off social media
It can tempting to look at your phone when you’re worried or stressed. You might want to distract yourself or be worried about missing something. But taking a break can help you to relax.
3. Chat to someone
Have a confidential chat on the121 section on Cool2talk allowing you to unburden yourself and be heard. Sharing worries can really help de-stress you. CLICK HERE for more info.
3. Relax before going to bed
Some people find reading helpful. But stick to paper books – the light from computer screens and some e-readers can make it harder to fall asleep. It’s best if you have no screen time for at least 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.
4. Make sure you’re comfortable
Not too hot or cold, and that the room you’re in isn’t too noisy or bright.
5. Do some exercise
Don’t overdo it, but try some regular swimming or walking. The best time to exercise is in the daytime – particularly late afternoon or early evening. Later than this can disturb your sleep. Exercise burns off excess energy and releases endorphins – natural chemicals that help you de-stress, feel less anxious and more relaxed.
6. Write it down
If something is troubling you and there’s nothing you can do about it right away, try writing it down before going to bed. Once it’s written down, you can tell yourself you’ll deal with it tomorrow.
7. List things that make you feel good
These don’t have to be big things – they could include the weather, your favourite song or someone in your life that you enjoy seeing. Keep the list nearby.
8. Only use your bed for sleep
If you can’t get to sleep after about 20 minutes, get up and do something that relaxes you. When you feel ready, go back to bed.
9. Picture yourself in your favourite place
Close your eyes and imagine you’re in your favourite place or where you want to be one day. Imagine yourself happy and relaxed. Slowly breathe in and out, relaxing your muscles until you feel a sense of calm.
10. Avoid caffeine and sugar
They’re stimulants, which mean they’ll stop you from getting to sleep. Caffeine can stay in your body for hours after you’ve had chocolate, a fizzy drink, tea or coffee. Try not to drink caffeinated drinks after mid-afternoon and cut down on sugar in the evening.
11.Don’t lie in too long
If you’ve had a bad night, don’t sleep in the next day. It’ll just make it harder to get to sleep the following night. Set an alarm 10 minutes before you’d usually get up to give yourself more time in the morning.
Sleep Scotland’s Support Line: To access this support, contact us on 0800 138 6565, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.