I'm having trouble sleeping and would like some advice about it
Having trouble sleeping? Hello, I am having a hard time going to sleep staying asleep or I do not get any sleep some nights? My mind races with worry for the week ahead school home life in general many what ifs or if something bad will happen. It keeps me awake, if I do sleep it’s for few hours 2-4hours some nights I can not sleep my mind won’t stop. Please help any advice? Thank you
Hi there, thank you for sending your question to Ask Alex. We’re glad you were able to get in touch.
Sleep and creating a sleep routine are very important to improve our mental well-being. When we are feeling anxiety, this can have a negative impact on our sleep hygiene which will create a vicious cycle loop. Our brains and our bodies need sleep to process information that we have taken in throughout the day. If we don’t sleep, then this will fuel our thoughts and make it harder for us to think straight.
Here are a few tips that we can do to try and take the pressure off our minds.
- If you cannot fall asleep within 20 minutes or a half an hour, get up and do a boring task like fold some clothes, maybe have some colours by your bed so you can do a bit of colouring or try reading a book near your bed or downstairs for 20 minutes or so and then try to go back to sleep again. This will take some practice, but you are trying to train your brain to think about your bed as a place to sleep and nothing else.
- Create a to-do list: An hour or two hours before going to bed write a list of all the things that you need to do the next day. You can keep this notepad in the kitchen or in your room. This will take a load off your mind and allow you to rest. Make sure not to do it too close to going to sleep, because you want to transfer your to-do list from your head to the paper and then you do not have to think about it for the rest of the night.
- Talk to a trusted adult: A problem shared is a problem halved. We all need some help from time to time. By sharing our concerns and worries with a trusted adult, they may be able to offer a fresh perspective or solutions as to how to overcome your worries.
- Try to challenge your thoughts: When we start talking in ‘what if’s’ or catastrophising situation, it’s helpful to ask questions like ‘how likely is that to happen?’, ‘can I do anything about it now?’ (If not, then I shouldn’t give it time in my head) ‘what would I say to a friend if they were thinking the same what if’s I am were thinking?’ ‘can I ask someone for help?‘
- Make sure your room where you sleep feels like a safe place. Try not to have any loud noises, iPad, laptops or your phone in your room or at least make sure to turn them off about an hour before bed.
It is important to remember you are not alone in this. Is there any adult such as older sibling, aunt, cousin, teacher or coach that you could confide in about your home and school worries?
Childline is always here to listen when you need to talk about whatever is on your mind. If you ever feel like chatting to us, you are welcome to call anytime on 1800 66 66 66 or you can use Childine’s text service by texting 50101 or to contact us online visit www.childline.ie and you can register there to chat with us. All these services are free, available 24 hours a day and are confidential and non-judgmental.
Hopefully, you will find this reply helpful and please know you are welcome to contact us again.