Trouble falling asleep? Does counting sheep really help?

Trouble falling asleep? Does counting sheep really help?
Trouble falling asleep Does counting sheep really help

We spend up to a third of our lives asleep, but many of us don't get enough good quality sleep. So when you're struggling to slumber, you might have tried "counting sheep" to help you drop off.

Visualising woolly sheep trotting one by one before your mind's eye is calming and many people find it helps them to relax and drift off to slumber. But is counting sheep the best tip for falling asleep and are there any other techniques that can help?

American researchers found that around one in five adults sometimes used prescribed medication to help them fall asleep, despite unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness during the day. Others turn to alcohol in the mistaken belief that it will help them get a good night's sleep.

Whether your problem is not being able to fall asleep, not getting enough good quality sleep or feeling exhausted during the day, the first thing to consider is sleep hygiene. This term refers to habits and behaviours that promote quality sleep. Here are some techniques that you may find helpful:

Bach flowers mix 87: Sleep problems

Bach flowers mix  87 helps to:

  • Worry less and therefore sleep better
  • Become calm and have fewer tensions
  • Be less afraid
  • Respect your own boundaries and prevent over-tiredness
  • Have more confidence and be less worried about others
  • Sleep better and sleep soundly
Discover how Bach flowers mix 87 can help you

Tips to prepare for sleep

Following a calming, relaxing routine before bedtime helps to slow down your thoughts and prepare you for a restful night.

Create a comfortable space for sleeping

Make sure your bedroom is dark - use blackout blinds if necessary. It should also be quiet and at a comfortable temperature (between 15 - 18 degrees suits most people). Treat yourself to some pretty new bed linen or even a new mattress if yours is old and saggy. Don't do any work in bed but keep your bedroom just for sleep and sex. Doing anything else will keep your brain active and discourage sleepiness.

Don't get up late

Set a sleep schedule by getting up at the same time every morning, even at the weekend. A regular time for waking makes sure that you don't sleep too long and helps to maintain your body's circadian rhythm. If you try to catch up on lost sleep by getting up later at the weekend, you might find you have more trouble falling asleep on the following night.

Turn off your screens

Switch off all your devices at least an hour before you want to go to sleep. Tablets, phones and laptops emit a blue light that can interfere with the body's production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel sleepy. If you have to look at a screen, use the nighttime setting to create a warm yellow glow that won't upset your body clock as much.

Don't go to bed until you feel very sleepy

Listen to your body! You'll feel sleepier at certain times of the night than at others. If you try to go to sleep while your mind is still active, you won't fall asleep quickly. Instead, try relaxation techniques such as yoga or slow breathing before bedtime. If you're anxious about things, set aside half an hour earlier in the evening for "worry time". Write a list of the things that are bothering you, then throw the paper away. This technique helps to detox the mind and prepare you for sleep.

Good sleep hygiene should start early

What you do in the daytime can also affect your sleep, so follow these tips, and you'll soon be sleeping better:

Limit caffeine or avoid it altogether

Caffeine stimulates the brain and helps to keep you awake. So just a few cups earlier in the day can prevent you from feeling sleepy in the evening. As well as enjoying decaffeinated versions of tea and coffee, try sipping herbal infusions such as chamomile, ginger and mint.

Exercise earlier in the day

Exercise helps you sleep, but some people find that exercising during the evening can disrupt your sleep pattern. So try to schedule time for your workout earlier in the day.

Limit alcohol or avoid it completely

Alcohol might help you to fall asleep more quickly, but it can also disrupt your sleep cycle. For example, after sleeping heavily at first, you may wake up after two or three hours and then be unable to go back to sleep. Drinking during the evening can also lead to more bathroom trips in the middle of the night.

Don't eat too late

Digesting a big meal can sometimes stop you from getting to sleep. Many people find that eating earlier, no later than two hours before bedtime, helps them to sleep better.

Address medical issues that might be interfering with your sleep

Many medical problems, such as sleep apnoea, can interfere with your sleep. This condition means that you wake yourself up many times a night by snoring and gasping for breath. It's essential to address problems such as sleep apnoea, chronic pain or anxiety by discussing them with a physician.

And if I do shift work?

There are sometimes factors affecting our sleep that are beyond our control. Working shifts and trying to sleep at different times can be very challenging. Strategies such as changing meal times, napping before starting a shift and minimising exposure to blue light before you plan to sleep may help.

I've tried all these tips, and I'm still not sleeping well!

If you're having trouble getting to sleep, Bach Flower Mix 87 can help to reduce worries and anxiety, feel calmer and more confident, and so enables you to fall asleep more easily and sleep soundly.


Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/about-sleep-and-mental-health/


Marie Pure

Other articles


Do you 'Musturbate' too much

Do you 'Musturbate' too much?

Do you suffer from a disorder known as "musturbation"? This term was first coined in the 1950s by psychotherapist Albert Ellis and described the way a negative inner voice rules our minds and bludgeons us with words such as "must", "should", and "ought".

Read the complete article

verleden-loslaten

Letting go of the past: 5 tips

Lynn Anderson told it very nicely in her song “I beg your pardon; I never promised you a rose garden”. Life isn’t all roses and everybody experiences something they would rather not once in their life.

Read the complete article

Are things moving too fast for you

Are things moving too fast for you?

If you're worried that the world is changing too fast, you're not alone: technology is constantly developing, and it can be challenging to keep up with all the changes. As a result, many people - not just the older generations - feel anxious that they might get left behind.

Read the complete article

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

We simply can’t avoid noticing the changes all around us. Autumn is here... Autumn is also called a transitional season. Slowly and steadily, it prepares us for the transition...

Read the complete article

Is it OCD Find out!

Is it OCD? Find out!

While you often hear people joking that they have OCD because they like to keep their house clean and tidy, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be a distressing and debilitating mental health condition with a wide range of symptoms.

Read the complete article

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice. 

Read the complete article

Is the world as we know it over

Is the world as we know it over?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have taken unprecedented measures to stop the spread of coronavirus. The rapid changes we've seen have had an impact on almost every aspect of our lives.

Read the complete article

5 Signs of narcissistic perversion

5 Signs of narcissistic perversion

Narcissism is a term we often see these days. But what does it mean? It's used to describe a person who is full of themselves or overly vain. However, it's not really about self-love.

Read the complete article

goede-voornemens

A new year, a new me

It’s such a positive thing to do and hope springs eternal, so why not commit yourself to a change this year? Here’s our tips on how to stick to your new year’s resolutions.

Read the complete article

How to beat irrational anxieties

How to beat irrational anxieties

Irrational anxieties can seem overwhelming, affecting every aspect of your life. Learn how to beat your fears and worries and take back control.

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research