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04-May-2020

Counting sheep? Trouble sleeping? Check out these top tips

Counting sheep? Trouble sleeping? Check out these top tips

If you're having sleep problems, there are simple steps you can take to ease those restless nights. Find out how to get to sleep and how to sleep better.

Understanding sleep problems

We all have evenings when we find it hard to fall asleep or find ourselves waking up in the night. How we sleep and how much sleep we need is different for all of us and changes as we get older.

Sleep problems usually sort themselves out within about a month. But longer stretches of bad sleep can start to affect our lives.

It can cause extreme tiredness and make usually manageable tasks harder. If you regularly have problems sleeping, you may be experiencing insomnia. Insomnia can last for months or even years, but usually improves if you change your sleeping habits.

Sleep problems are common, and the tips on this page should help. But if they have not worked, or you have had trouble sleeping for months and it affects your daily life in a way that makes it hard to cope, you could benefit from further support.

Top tips to get to sleep and sleep better

Keep regular sleep hours

Going to bed when you feel tired and getting up at roughly the same time helps teach your body to sleep better. Try to avoid napping where possible.

Confront sleeplessness

If you are lying awake unable to sleep, do not force it. Get up and do something relaxing for a bit, and return to bed when you feel sleepier.

Create a restful environment

Dark, quiet and cool environments generally make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Watch our video for tips on how to sleep better. Tips for sleeping better video

Write down your worries

If you often lie awake worrying about tomorrow, set aside time before bed to make a list for the next day. This can help put your mind at rest. Tackle your worries video

Move more, sleep better

Being active can help you sleep better. These videos can get you going, but remember to avoid vigorous activity near bedtime if it affects your sleep. Home workout videos

Put down the pick-me-ups

Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try to cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime. Dark, quiet and cool environments generally make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Watch our video for tips on how to sleep better. Tips for sleeping better video

For more advice and tips to help look after your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about coronavirus (COVID-19) click here