Monday, 22 September 2014

Tips for Insomniacs

Sleep. Something that we all need to do, but it is not always something that comes easily to some people. I wish that I was one of those people that can sleep at any time of the day without fail, however, not all of us can be like this dog.

My first year of university was great, but it did come with struggles - my main one being my problem with sleep. I found my anxiety got even worse when I didn't have enough sleep, and then, not getting enough sleep was making the problem even worse.

I tried everything - cutting caffeine and alcohol from my diet, listening to music, having a hot bath, drinking a warm drink. Nothing worked. Some nights, I don't think I even fell asleep. Thankfully, my sleeping has improved. I still get odd nights or 3-4 days when I only have about 3 hours sleep, but here are some of my tips on how to get to sleep easier!

Don't have an alarm clock

By alarm clock I mean a clock that you can see in the dark, instead use your phone or a watch to check the time and set an alarm on. I would literally sit and watch the hours tick by when I had an alarm clock on my table and then count how many hours I would get before I would have to wake up. Eliminate the anxiety of counting down the hours and check occasionally.

Don't drink alcohol before bed

I can never sleep after a night out. Occasionally, this is fine, but if you are going out for drinks a lot, don't drink too near bed time. My heart and mind would race after a drink, so take it easy.

Take your mind off sleep 

I know that there is a lot of advice saying to stay away from electrical at night, but I find it easier to sleep after I have had some downtime scrolling through the internet. It takes my mind off the worry of 'am I going to sleep tonight'. This may not work for everyone, but do something before you go to bed.

Try mindfulness

If I am feeling anxious or just want to relax, I turn off the lights and lay on my back and close my eyes. I listen to my breathing, going in and out and try to focus on only that. This is also a good tip if you have background noise (like living in a hall of residence!). Become focussed on the noise and only the noise and keep breathing.

Act out a conversation in your head

Again, a trick to take your mind off the worry of not sleeping. Make up a conversation between you and a friend, or just words in your head. This sounds crazy, but it really does work - don't think of anything to dramatic though!

Stop worrying

This took me a long time to get over, but what is the worst that will happen if you don't get any sleep. You feel a bit sluggish for a day or too, but you will catch up eventually. Your body is not going to let you be awake for days on end without some relaxation. Make sure you are active, tire yourself out. Obviously, be careful when driving etc, but if you wake up thinking that you had more sleep than you actually did, you will feel a lot better!

I hope these tips help you out a little bit - as usual, here is a relevant Buzzfeed article to read through if you can't sleep! 
Have you got any more tips on how to get a better nights sleep? 


photo credit: ejbSF via photopin - no this isn't my dog... though I wish he was!



  1. These are really great tips... The nights I have the hardest time falling asleep are the nights I lay in bed thinking "wow I can't fall asleep" or "I need to go to sleep"... I think too much about sleeping which doesn't help me fall asleep!! Talking to yourself helps, I think. Eventually you just doze off... ;)


    1. Yeah I do that too! I just try and do lots of things to kind of forget that I need to sleep and then I just doze off. If I think about sleeping too much, I just stay awake! xx

  2. Great tips, completely agree with them all :) I suffer with anxiety a lot worse when I have not had a proper nights sleep. I actually hate clocks that tick because that is a constant noise reminder of time ticking by so that can make me feel more stressed out, so I only have my phone and a clock that does not tick. I also tend to drink a hot drink before bed, usually lemon and ginger tea (or hot chocolate in winter lol) and that makes me feel comforted a bit like having a hot water bottle with you when you are cold. Elle x

    Notes of Petranella

    1. Thank you! I had a digital clock, but it still stressed me out, now I just use my phone! May have to try some of that tea! xx

  3. I need to learn to shut my brain off, I just lay in bed and think of all the things I need to finish up
    xx, Jodi

    1. I know what you mean! Maybe try writing them down before you go to sleep? xx


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